Wrapper Colors

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When it comes to cigar colors, they come in many different shades.  While it depends largely on the type of leaf, fermentation length, and a number of other nuances, colors are grouped into seven different categories.  You can often tell what kind of strength and flavor profile a cigar will offer by looking at the wrapper leaf.  Here are the seven categories and their characteristics:

Candela: These cigars are often pale green in appearance. They are typically extremely light in flavor and very mild in body. Example brands: Camacho, Don Thomas, Illusione, La Flor Dominicana
Claro: Cigars with this color wrapper are typically very light tan. They typically exhibit a mild flavor profile and are mild in body. Example brands: Macanudo, Dunhill, Perdomo
Colorado Claro: Medium brown in appearance, this group usually is quite mild as well.  There are exceptions, however. Example brands: Davidoff, Montecristo, Nat Sherman
Colorado: Here is where colors start to mean less in terms of strength. Colorado cigars are the middle color grouping and are usually medium to dark brown. These cigars can be mild but also closer to medium or even full strength. Example brands: Tatuaje, A. Fuente, CAO
Colorado Maduro: Cigars in this group are very dark brown. The fermentation process is more intense here and flavors are usually a bit sweeter while kicking the strength up a notch from medium to full bodied. Example brands: Ashton, Padron, Don Pepin
Maduro: This group is often very dark brown bordering on black. This group has a higher fermentation process yet again and are usually sweet but typically contain more strength. Example brands: Rocky Patel, Gurkha, Kristoff
Oscuro: This group is black. Deep brown black. Usually quite powerful in strength and sweet in flavor, these should be avoided by novice cigar smokers. Example brands: La Sirena, La Herencia, Casa Magna

  There are numerous exceptions to the rule as you can easily tell by walking around your local cigar shop or browsing online.  If you are looking for a mild cigar ask your local retailer for help.  Just to make it easy, here are a few I recommend to folks in the shops I frequent - when the staff are busy, of course.

  • Mild: you can't go wrong with a Perdomo Champagne for mild with lots of flavor....
  • Mild/Medium: Torañ o makes some great mild/med cigars....try a 1916 Cameroon
  • Medium: There are tons of medium bodied smokes out there.  I would go with La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial or Tatuaje Miami
  • Medium/Full:  On the fuller side of things you can't miss with Kristoff, Punch, or Tatuaje Havana VI
  • Full: For a full bodied smoke it is hard to top a La Sirena or Camacho Corojo

Well there you go. This ends part one of my cigars 101 section of Stogienet.  Hope I don't steer anyone wrong.  Just remember if you feel sick from smoking a cigar put a spoonful of sugar on your tongue.  It really works!