When you look at a cigar, you may notice that the outside of the cigar looks somewhat different from the inside or end. If you were to take a razor blade and slice open a cigar, you would see that a cigar is composed of three basic parts: the wrapper, the binder, and the filler. These components are essential to superior performance and all affect the flavor and aroma of the cigar.
The Wrapper is the cigar leaf that is evident when you first look at a cigar. A good wrapper will look smooth, thick, and feel oily to the touch. These leaves come in a wide variety of colors from green to black and are grown all over the world. Today the most popular wrappers come from Connecticut, Cameroon, Cuba, and most recently The Dominican Republic. Industry experts insist that up to 75% of the flavor you enjoy in a cigar comes from the wrapper.
The Filler composes the majority of the cigar and is found in the center. These leaves often come from different fields, regions, and even countries. The Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur #1 Maduro, for instance, has filler from Honduras, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. Master blenders labor to combine the tobacco leaves of many plants and harvests to achieve that smooth, balanced flavor that is coveted by cigar enthusiasts world-wide.
The Binder is a strong, flexible tobacco leaf found between the wrapper and the filler and is actually what holds the form of the cigar true to its shape. This least known component is actually the most important as often if your cigar burns unevenly, this is the culprit! Slow lighting of the cigar will help ensure an even burn throughout the smoke as the filler can expand too quickly and rip or tear the binder thus causing a run up the side.