The Love of a Toothy Wrapper

July 31, 2014

True aficionados will agree that smoking a cigar is not just smoking a cigar - it's an EXPERIENCE - an experience in which all five senses are tantalized: sight, touch, smell, taste, and yes, even hearing to a lesser extent (the slight rustle heard as the filler is being shifted when a perfectly conditioned cigar is gently squeezed or rolled with the fingers).

 

As we admire the aesthetics of each fine cigar we smoke, generally the first thing we observe is the wrapper - the color, whether its silky and oily or rustic and mottled, its veiny characteristic. But I absolutely LOVE a "toothy" wrapper...

 

A "toothy" cigar has tiny bumps on the wrapper leaf, like tiny pimples, that are natural concentrated pockets of tobacco oil, which has a grainy texture to the touch. They are generally the result of sun-grown tobacco, and are most frequently noted on Cameroon-seed wrapper leaves grown in Cameroon and Central African Republic, as well as Connecticut broadleaf grown in the United States. Toothy leaves tend to be more oily, aromatic, and are quite flavorful and sweet.  And some cigars are just slightly toothy, while others may be extremely toothy.

 

Besides the flavor, what I really love about a toothy wrapper is the burn.  As a toothy wrapper is burning during smoke, traces of the tooth (not teeth, please don't ever see teeth) remain visible as tiny white dots embedded in the cigar ash (click on the image for a closer look - notice the tooth on the wrapper and within the ash).

 

Aficionados appreciate cigars that produce a firm, tight ash - but a toothy cigar just elevates the appreciation to the next level!

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