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SAFARI CIGAR: Cigar Basics 101

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Cigars are made of natural tobacco, gaining their flavor from the soil, sun, blending, and aging process. There is a great art and tradition to growing, blending, and rolling tobacco.

With the factors of making a cigar to consider, the numerous options result in a selection of all styles of characteristics in flavor and body- as much as any food or spirit. The ring gauge of a cigar contributes to the blend as well. A smaller ring gauge can intensify the flavor and concentrates on a higher ratio of wrapper to filler. A larger ring gauge gives the filler an opportunity to give a stronger role, with more surface area for the draw. Many cigars are blended and rolled with the end result of the ring gauge in mind, making the size of the cigar a unique experience of how the blend is enjoyed.

Color does not determine strength, nor does size.

WRAPPER: The wrapper is the outer shell of the cigar. This is the tobacco leaf you see as you hold the cigar, and the outer leaf you will have in your mouth as you smoke. This leaf is generally appealing to the eye, and is cared for to be at its best presentation.

BINDER: The binder is what wraps the filler of the cigar, it is found between the wrapper and the filler. The binder’s purpose is to keep the filler in place, and since it is not seen it does not have to be a flawless leaf (which is more so what the wrapper will be). The binder is rolled with the filler creating your cigar shape. It is then rolled with the wrapper and finished with a single or triple cap. The binder also serves in maintaining a proper burn as you smoke your cigar- bringing together the wrapper and filler tobaccos.

FILLER: The filler is the tobacco that makes up the meat of the cigar. The filler can consist of tobacco from one or many regions. Filler can be “short” or “long” filler. Your finer hand made quality cigars will consist of “long filler” – meaning leaves that are long similar to the length of the cigar. Short filler refers to filler that is broken, chopped up, and short in length. Short filler generally gives an uneven inconsistent burn and creates a different flavor of the blend. Since the leaves are not fully intact, short filler is much less expensive.

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* Check out’s new line of amazing cigars here …

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