What Makes a Cigar Leaf: "Cigar Leaf"?

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ThePiedPiper

Lurker
Dec 18, 2023
18
86
In looking at pipe tobacco blends, it seems like the same types of leaves are used in 90% of them: Virginias, burleys, latakia, Turkish/orientals, perique. Every so often, I'll see a blend with "cigar leaf." Looking into cigars, it seems like there are a bunch of leaves that you can use for them: Criollo, Habano, Sumatra, etc.

What is it about those cigar leaves that make them seemingly exclusively for cigars? Are they just not really very good when smoked in a pipe? And when pipe tobaccos DO use cigar leaves in a blend, why are they usually just labeled "cigar leaf" rather than identifying a specific leaf type?
 
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DanWil84

Lifer
Mar 8, 2021
1,691
12,642
39
The Netherlands (Europe)
Because I think the manufacturers either don't know or won't tell. It could be true your cigar leaf in pipe tobacco are the scraps from longfiller rolled cigars, from machinemade scraps or there are manufacturers buying pillons (stacks of tobacco in which they are fermented) together and split them. I dont think the market for cigar leaf in pipetobacco is that big that a single manufacturer can afford to buy pillons at a tobacco farmer or cigar manufacturer. I have no access to cigarblends that are made in co-op with cigarmanufacturers, but maybe check out the Warped/C&D blends. I think cigar leaf can be a great addition to a pipe tobacco blend, especially in a vaper with a more dried fruit perique in it. Also consider to submit your question to the podcast for ask the blender with @jeremyreeves !
 
They are fermented in large stacks. The thing about cigar leaf in blends for the pipe, is that it adds a touch of spice and mouthfeel to the pipesmoke, but it is NEVER meant to give you a cigar experience in the pipe. That would be impossible, because you get the main flavor of a cigar from the leaf touching your lips. You just can't simulate that in a pipe. But, I love both, cigar blends for the pipe and a good cigar, but I don't see them as crossing over. They are two distinctly separate experiences.
 

Choatecav

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 19, 2023
110
338
Middle Tennessee
Was actually contemplating this earlier today. Glad you asked the question.

I know they refer to the filler tobaccos in a cigar as ligero, seco and viso. They are mixed in different percentages to form the different type of cigars. Now, this said, I don't know if those are types of tobacco or types of leaves from the plant. The tobaccos are largely grown in countries like Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican, etc.
Are y'all saying that the tobaccos grown there are still divided into the Virginia's, Burleys, etc??
 

badbriar

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 17, 2012
702
1,244
Suncoast Florida by the Beach
Actually, some tobacco blenders do identify the types of cigar leaf included in their blends. At least, they identify Connecticut or Maduro cigar leaf. You won't likely ever get more detail, such as Nicaraguan, Dominican, etc.
A good way to know exactly what the cigar leaf in your blend is would be to do it yourself. And, you can use truly top quality cigars with excellent taste profiles. I've done just that with very good success, using just a bit of my favorite cigars. Using different cigars varieties (Maduro, Oscuro, Habano, Sun Grown, etc.) in your home-made cigar leaf blends yield very different tastes.