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Maduro, perhaps the most misunderstood tobacco in the world, has slowly been taking more of the spotlight as cigar makers add more dark and oily blends to their lines. Maduro has had a tough reputation over the past 15 years, mainly because of misconceptions by cigar fans that have given a stigma to maduro as being strong when in fact they are typically quite the opposite.
Maduro literally translates as “ripe” in Spanish and is not a specific type of tobacco, but rather a process employed on any variety of tobaccos to extract extra sugars from the leaf through extended fermentation. This process is lengthy, producing high levels of heat and as a natural by-product, turns the tobacco a beautiful, dark color with an oily texture. When done properly, a good maduro wrapper will possess sweet qualities and the flavors are detected both on the lips and in the smoke.
Not all wrapper is suited for maduro as a hefty variety of leaf is needed to withstand the extra steps in fermentation that are very hard on the tobacco. For this reason, mostly broadleaves or Habano seeds are most often used for maduro wrappers.
The misconception surrounding maduro cigars as producing more strength originated during the cigar boom of the 1990s. During the boom, demand outweighed supply; there was an enormous incentive to cut corners to bring cigars to market as quickly as possible. Since some cigar makers did not have the patience to wait the several years necessary to process maduro wrapper naturally, many resorted to coloring or painting their tobacco so it would appear as a fully fermented maduro. Since this type of leaf is not fully fermented, it is often described as strong, edgy, tannic, and bitter in flavor. There was such an overwhelming amount of this raw tasting tobacco on the market that enthusiasts began to associate these qualities with all dark cigars.
Maduro wrapper is currently the best it has ever been. The higher standards set by consumers has pressured factories to process and fully ferment all of their tobacco, which is why many people are gravitating back to the sweet and flavorful qualities of maduro wrapped cigars.
Published Thursday, August 14, 2008 5:41 PM by
Great overview. thanks. Have been smoking cigars for the last couple of years due to a freind of mine that smokes about 5 cigars a day (he is an ex-professional hockey player and lives the part) and I love hanging out with him. When I do, we smoke cigars non-stop and I am now smoking cigars at home and trying a little bit of everything. When I do, I read blogs like yours and learn more. thanks again. gary merenstein
October 2, 2008 12:25 AM
My faves.are Maduros & Corojo wrappers I just love the sweet spicy taste of both.I started enjoying cigars back in '92,but I had good friends in Florida so gettin' good stogies was easy so glad all those wannabe brands are dead and gone.You can really get some excellent cigars now,and w/masters like Don Pepin Garcia making blends things should only get better..
October 2, 2008 10:53 PM
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About Alex Svenson
I enjoy at least one premium cigar everyday and have the privilege of working directly with every major cigar maker in the industry. I love developing new and exciting cigar blends and bringing only the best this industry has to offer to our Cigar.com clients.
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