The outermost leaves (or “wrappers”) control much of a cigar’s character and flavor. It has become quite commonplace for the wrapper shade to be used to describe the entire cigar. Of  the 100 shades identified by cigar manufacturers, 7 are most common. Generally, the darker the wrappers, the sweeter; while the lighter hued ones add a bit of dryness to the taste of the cigar. The following 7 go in order from lightest to darkest:

DOUBLE CLARO: Very light with a slight greenish color. These leaves are picked before maturity and dried quickly, thus retaining the chlorophyll (and the green color!). At one time the Double Claro was very popular, but is somewhat of a rarity today.

CLARO: Light tan or yellow in hue, these leaves are colored as all shade-grown tobacco is.

COLORADO CLARO: Medium brown, these encompass all cigars with color stronger than a Double Claro, yet milder than a Maduro.

COLORADO: Also referred to as Rosado or Corojo, the Colorado presents a distinctive reddish-brown coloration.

COLORADO MADURO: Darker than a Colorado; often linked to the African wrapper from Cameroon, and the Honduran or Nicaraguan grown wrappers from Cuban seed.

MADURO: Dark brown/black, primarily from Connecticut, Mexico, Nicaragua and Brazil.

OSCURO: Absolutely black, oily. From Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico and Connecticut; aka Double Maduro. 


This tobacco is derived from a Cuban seed first grown in Colombia in 1820. Called Ica Mazinga, this captivating tobacco has been meticulously cultivated and perfected in an isolated mountainous region of Colombia for the past fifteen years.  CAO Colombia Tinto offers you the chance to experience its signature beautiful burn and effortless smoke.

Take a Close Look at this Month’s Cigar Selections . . . Featured Countries of Origin from your Favorite Cigar of the Month Club: NICARAGUA, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC & HONDURAS

1) FLORES Y RODRIGUES 10th ANNIVERSARY GRAN TORO — 91 RATED!  Nationality: Nicaraguan   Appearance: MEDIUM-FULL bodied, 6.0; 54 ring; In an attractive Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.

Personality: Hugged by a slight reddish-hued wrap, this fine lady is bold with notes of leather and pepper. Her lingering sweet spiciness gets more pronounced the longer you enjoy her mix of Nicaraguan and 7-year-old Piloto Cubano long fillers.

2) CAO COLOMBIA TINTO – Nationality: Nicaraguan Appearance:  MILD-MEDIUM bodied, 5.0; 50 ring; Dressed in a natural Nicaraguan Jamastra wrap

Personality: A unique gem boasting a newly coveted tobacco (see info at upper right), you’re about to experience uncommon nuances of toasted nuts, coffee and a sweet n’ salty finish when you’re done with her. A delicious, premium experience!

3) PADILLA DOMINUS DOUBLE ROBUSTO — 92 RATED! – Nationality: Honduran Appearance: FULL bodied, 5.0; 54 ring; Exquisitely dressed in a Nicaraguan Corojo 2006 wrapper

Personality: This well-constructed girl (full bodied, rather short and stout, but packed with complexity), is headed to the top-shelves of humidors everywhere! She offers nuances of pepper, coffee, chocolate and earth with a sweet creamy finish.

4) LEON JIMENES IMPERIALES CLASICO BELICOSO – Nationality: Dominican Appearance: MILD bodied, 6.2; 52 ring; Dressed to bedazzle in a  silky Ecuador Connecticut wrap

Personality: Expect luxurious notes of cream, wood, cedar, earth and nuts, followed with a creamy smooth finish when you light this one on fire. This treat is great any time of day or night, with her wide array of rich smooth flavors and pleasing body.

5)  BAHIA TRINIDAD CORONA GIGANTE CHURCHILL – Nationality: Nicaraguan  Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 7.0; 54 ring; Features a dark, oily Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper

Personality: Long and built perfectly, the aged wrapper leaves enjoyed a lengthy cedar nap after optimal fermentation. Joined with 4-year-old long leaf tobaccos, the end result is an aromatic smoke with mingling notes of cedar, cinnamon, sweetness.

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Tracie Burket
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