Cigars made with non-cigar leaf, e.g., Virginia leaf?

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beastinview

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Jan 5, 2016
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This has bugged me for a bit: why aren't any cigars made from different sorts of leaves? Is there something about the leaf (size, structural integrity) that prevents other leaves from being used to make cigars?
Or is it merely an established tradition, and branching out would weaken the fetish-ization / commodification of it? (I.e., why there aren't a smorgasbord or wines made out of different fruit juices, and the industry focuses almost exclusively on wine from grapes.)

 

andrew

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
2,876
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Cigars are made from different sorts of leaves. There's usually a binder, a filler, and a wrapper, all 3 separate types of tobacco. There are cigars with latakia, there are cigars with perique, I'm sure there's cigars with Virginia. There's also kentucky cigars and dark fired cigars.

 

beastinview

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Jan 5, 2016
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My Googling skills must be crap--I couldn't find cigars with any of those, except I did run across some with latakia.

 

cobguy

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Oct 18, 2013
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Cigar tobacco is handled differently ... normally, it's air-cured and undergoes an extensive fermentation process and no casing.
Virginia tobacco is oftentimes flue-cured and then cased with something.
While a little Va in a cigar isn't bad, too much just makes it a bland stick.
Burley is closer, overall, to cigar leaf and can be used more successfully in a cigar.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
4,732
7,734
Austin, TX
I've often wondered about this myself. What family of tobacco is the cigar leaf? What does it start out as before its fermented and cured to become a cigar leaf? It's grown more by region, I understand that. Does it start out as s Burley or a VA strain or is it something entirely different from the get go?
I have heard about the Spectre cigar with Latakia, that sounds mighty interesting!

 

cobguy

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
3,742
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I have heard about the Spectre cigar with Latakia, that sounds mighty interesting!
They are pretty darn good ... so is the pipe tobacco of the same name.
Here is a Spectre all ready to go with some Bourbon:


 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,715
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I'd just like a Semois/Empire Virginias cigar. Would leave behind many comatose but be most excellent.

 

danhester

Member
Jan 17, 2016
249
1
Drew Estate makes a dark-fired Kentucky line.
MUWAT KFC
They're pretty good, too. Now that we're on the subject, I am interested by the idea of a cigar wrapped with corojo, and with a filler of VAs and some Perique. Given that the wrapper has such a huge impact on a cigar's flavor, I wonder if using something like corojo as a wrapper leaf would simply overwhelm the filler?
Who wants to help me set up a factory in Nicaragua? We'll get these puppies rolled up, call ourselves a boutique factory and charge $12 a stick!

 

andrew

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
2,876
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There's also Kentucky fire cured cheroots, and kentucky cheroots. I don't know if Kentucky fire cured is the same as dark fired Kentucky or not, but it sounds like it would be the same.

Does it start out as s Burley or a VA strain or is it something entirely different from the get go?

It's something entirely different from the get go, kind of like orientals vs. burley vs. Virginia's.
There's also CAO Italia that uses italian tobacco. So yes there are many different kinds of tobacco used in cigars, probably more than in pipe tobacco blends.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
27,770
42,878
Helena, Alabama
I want a Virginia cigar also. I've made one (with my limited cigar knowledge) that was ok, not great, but ok. After this next harvest I want to play with the idea more, maybe different fillers. But, Mark Ryan's 1888 perique Maduras are one of my favorites. There are a bunch of small cigars with dark fire. Use the search engine on Pipesandcigars.com.
I think the thing is that cigar guys want that fermented cigar flavor. Virginias are also a smaller thinner leaf, which makes them "different" to roll. You may also not be able to ferment them the same way. I'm not 100% sure.
Try the different sticks in the 1888 line. It will at least give you some ideas about what perique does with other leaves to condiment. Tasty.

 

beastinview

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2016
504
0
I want to ask the folks at G&H to make me a straight Rum Twist with a decent draw on it. Of course, I'd probably pass out after smoking a quarter of it, but it'd be worth it.
And yes, the Spectre's where what I'd run across with latakia. I'll have to try some sometime. I don't often smoke cigars, but I enjoy one every once in a while.

 
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