Cigars 103: The Corojo Wrapper
If you are an avid cigar enthusiast, you have seen the name “Corojo” in the wrapper description of many of your favorite premium cigars. Corojo thrives in the sun, and these leaves add a zesty, spicy character to the blend. Many cigar makers have been trying to emulate the unique earthy robust taste of a Cuban cigar for years, this along with the Habana 2000, an early hybrid of Corojo, are the two varieties they have been using to give your smokes that much desired Cubanesque quality.
Beloved for its robust, earthy sweet flavors and complexity the Corojo leaf was created in the 1930’s by Diego Rodriguez in Cuba’s famed Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region. Using selective breeding, and experimenting with several varieties of native Criollo seed, the Corojo was born. The leaf’s name comes from the “El Corojo” plantation, not far from the town of San Luis y Martinez in Pinar del Rio. From the 1930’s through the 1990’s, Rodriguez’s Corojo wrapper was used exclusively on all Cuban cigars. Then, towards the end of the decade, various diseases virtually wiped out the entire crop, luckily there was an ample supply resting in the curing barns, making the original Cuban Corojo of today, strictly a vintage selection.
Corojo is grown almost entirely in Honduras in the Jamastran Valley, as well as parts of western Kentucky in the U.S. mostly noted for its thick and nutty tasting Burley leaf that is featured in many top-quality pipe tobaccos.
Corojo ’99 – the last native Cuban priming, developed for wrapper leaf in 1999, but also widely planted in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Kentucky, and several other regions, where this seed has thrived.
Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 – The Nicaraguan grown version is an Ecuadorian transplant of the original Corojo ’99 seed, this is an extremely popular variety with tons of complexity, and is used on such notable brands as Perdomo Habano Cigars, the Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo, and our affordable yet incredibly flavorful Nicaraguan Factory Corojos.
Honduran- The most popular version, the Honduran Corojo is both sweet and spicy and offers tons of complexity. The brand that comes to mind first is Camacho Corojo , One of the world’s only 100% authentic Corojo cigars. Don Tomas Corojo is a bold Cuban style offering that features this wrapper in a very dark shade, and Punch Rare Corojo , a puro (All Honduran) offering from this world-famous brand.
Mexico- Produced in very limited quantities; the San Andres Corojo is dark reddish brown in color and adds a profound nutty flavor to the smoke. This gem is featured in the Room 101 San Andres, the AJ Fernandez San Lotano Maduro, and the bold H. Upmann Reserve Maduro, to name a few.
If you’re looking for a smoke with a full flavor profile and a bit of a kick, then Corojo cigars should definitely be at the top of your list.