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Each cigar consists of three components which determine how it smokes, tastes and feels:

Filler

This cigar part plays the key role in how a cigar smokes and tastes. Forming the very center of the cigar, filler consists either of a whole leaf of the tobacco plant (long filler) or scraps of leaves (short filler) of different flavors and strengths/intensities, depending on the blend or tobacco mix that forms filler. Blending is an art of its own because a perfect taste, flavor and strength require not only the highest quality tobacco but they also require a perfect mix of tobaccos in the right size and proportions. Altering the proportions or size of filler leaves alters the taste of the cigar even if it consists of the same mix of tobaccos.

Binder

It’s what holds the cigar filler together and forms the middle part of a cigar. Tobacco leaves used for the binder tend to vary from one cigar producer to another.

Wrapper

It is the outer part of a cigar and determines how the cigar looks and feels but it also plays an important role in its taste and flavor. Generally, the highest quality leaves are used for the wrapper. Colors range from very light brown to very dark, almost black.

According to color and shade, wrapper can be divided into the types below although cigar makers distinguish between more than 100 shades:

– Double Claro. This type of wrapper is green or greenish brown in color and has a very mild flavor. Leaves used for Double Claro wrapper are picked before mature and as a result, they contain little tobacco oil.

– Claro. It has a very light brown color because the leaves are taken from tobacco plants that are grown in shadow. Just like the Double Claro variety, Claro has a very mild flavor.
 
– Colorado, Colorado Claro and Colorado Maduro. These wrappers have reddish brown color albeit of different shades. Colorado Claro has the lightest color, Colorado has medium dark color and Colorado Maduro has a very dark color. The darker the color, the stronger the flavor and aroma.

– Maduro. This type of wrapper has dark to very dark brown color and is more textured and veined than the above mentioned wrappers. Likewise, it is stronger tasting and more aromatic.

– Oscuro. These wrappers are very dark brown, almost black and have the strongest taste of all wrappers.  

Alternatively, cigar wrappers are sometimes also divided into the following types:

– American Market Selection (AMS). It is basically a synonym for Double Claro wrappers.

– English Market Selection (EMS). Also known as Natural, the EMS covers all brown cigars (including those with Colorado wrappers) with the exception of Double Claro.

– Spanish Market Selection (SMS). This term is sometimes used to refer to wrappers with the darkest color – Maduro and Oscuro.

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