Cigar enthusiast have their own commentary on this subject. I doubt this article will change any of their minds. However, I still think it is a great conversation to have and certainly fun to test and find your own thoughts on the subject.
The industry is all over the place on this. Some will argue the wrapper is most of the flavor and others say it is decorative. How much influence the wrapper has on the flavor profile will depend a lot on the size of the cigar, the wrapper and the filler. A Connecticut wrapper is mild, so the profile will come more from the filler than the wrapper. However, a Sun Grown wrapper, which has a lot of spice, will have more influence on the overall profile. Regardless, the filler will still have a large influence on the cigar. Michael Herklots with Nat Sherman Cigars has a great video on Instagram explaining this in more detail.
I smoked the 8-5-8 Flor Fina Claro, Maduro, Natural and Sun Grown from Arturo Fuente for my experiment. I first want to say how evenly they smoked and burned. The draw was nice and easy. I like the dryness of this smoke, but I did need to drink water while smoking.
- Claro – This is a very toothy green wrapper which lends notes of hay to the cigar. As it burns I picked up creamy cedar notes, citrus or floral with a little pepper. The cigar ended with a smooth cedar.
- Maduro – I immediately enjoyed the cocoa sweetness from the maduro wrapper. There were cedar notes and a slight pepper as the cigar burned. I did get a slight citrus mid-way through.
- Natural – The start of the cigar I noticed cedar notes with some mild baking spice. I also notice a bit of citrus as I smoke it. The cigar finished with more cedar.
- Sun Grown – The start of the cigar I noticed baking spices with some cedar. As I smoked it I found a little pepper and citrus build. The cigar finished with some sweetness and cedar.
In my opinion, the wrapper does add to the profile of the cigar but by no means takes over the cigar. I enjoyed these cigars very much. The Sun Grown wrapped 8-5-8 is now in my top 5 picks. Try this yourself and see where you fall on this debate. I look forward to hearing about your experience.
By Tara Lee Maloney