How much does the wrapper of a cigar really influence its flavor?


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Most cigar smokers look at wrapper quality as one of the most important characteristics of a quality cigar (more so perhaps than even the construction of a cigar). We lust after oily wrappers, and drool over their beauty.

How much influence, really, does a wrapper have on a cigar's overall flavor profile?

 

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Opinions vary, primarily based on the rationale that the wrapper is a much smaller percentage of the total leaf smoked than the filler -- but the data indicate it can be a significant part of the flavor, especially when the leaf imparts a unique character.  For example:

 

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Wrappers can have a dramatic influence on the flavor profile of a cigar.  Take a popular NC marca, LFD.  Their Double Ligero line includes both natural and maduro cigars in like sizes.  Aside from the wrappers, the filler and binder is identical for each.  There is a world of difference in the total flavor profiles of them.  Can't speak on CC's as I have not had two of the same Cubans with different wrappers, but I would bet there is the same difference.

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Without question the most important single aspect of taste. However not everyone likes dark wrappers. I know smoking buddies who love light conn shade wrappers and regard dark oily wrapper cigars as tar laden and generally objectionable. Every once in a while I will get a box with medium wrappers that outperform their darker counterparts so this is not an exact science. OTOH I rarely get a dark oily box that disappoints 

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I like to remove the band from the cigar either before lighting up or shortly thereafter.  Sometimes (and almost always with ISOM smokes), this results in the wraper starting to unravel.  This has given me the opportunity to compare like for like: smoking the same marca and vitola with and without the wrapper.  The result, for me, is quite clear: wrappers do have a significant impact on the flavour.  

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30 minutes ago, gweilgi said:

I like to remove the band from the cigar either before lighting up or shortly thereafter.  Sometimes (and almost always with ISOM smokes), this results in the wraper starting to unravel.  This has given me the opportunity to compare like for like: smoking the same marca and vitola with and without the wrapper.  The result, for me, is quite clear: wrappers do have a significant impact on the flavour.  

you are cutting too deep.

try to just remove a leaf thickness and see how it goes..........

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a while back I tried putting a broadleaf wrapper over a Cuban cigar to see what affect it would have.

the result was that the broadleaf almost totally masked any of the flavors of the cigar, t was difficult to find ANY Cuban flavors.

I did this with several different marcas,and found that only a Bolivar had enough power to overcome the broadleaf.

it was still obvious that the broadleaf was too much to let the Cuban flavors come thru.

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The math in my mind says it doesn't make sense but taste buds had shown it had a bigger effect than one would think that one thin, delicate slice of leaf should have 

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24 minutes ago, Hutch said:

Precisely 68% of the flavor.

What's the confidence interval on your figure?  

Have you corrected for confounding factors?

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1 hour ago, garbandz said:

you are cutting too deep.

try to just remove a leaf thickness and see how it goes..........

This happens when I remove the band, not the cap.  I don't usually take a knife to the cigar band....

 

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11 minutes ago, gweilgi said:

What's the confidence interval on your figure?  

Have you corrected for confounding factors?

I have confidence in his figure and try to judge his posts at frequent intervals.

I find correcting factors on this thread confounding.

Remove your cap and put on your band before smoking.

CB

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... it largely depends on which hemisphere you live in.

Flush your toilet! If the water spins to the right, and you have a right helix wrap on your cigar, then you have intense 'helix' wrapper warp!

The right warp is more significant than the left warp, unless you stand on your head or smoke underwater!!!

You will have to trust me on this, as facts are hard to come by!

-Piggy

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