Candela Wrapper: The Forgotten Wrapper Leaf
For those of you very new to the hobby, cigars are comprised of three parts: a filler tobacco, a binder, and a wrapper. The most popular wrapper leaf used today are Natural-light brown, EMS-Medium brown, Maduro-dark brown, and Oscuro-Almost black. As a rule, the darker the wrapper, the more influence it has on the overall flavor of the smoke. Bear in mind, this has very little to do with strength. Many new smokers see a jet-black stogy and assume it will knock their socks off! That’s not always the case. In fact, many darker leaf sticks are actually creamy and smooth. But that’s a topic for another time.
Today, let’s talk about the forgotten wrapper—the green one! Unless you remember watching Captain Kangaroo, and your first new luxury automobile cost you a whopping $1200, most likely you have never heard of them, let alone smoked one.
The candela leaf imparts an almost floral or citrus taste and aroma to the blend when lit. Candela leaf is regarded as the mildest wrapper, with a sweet, grassy flavor, that offers very little in the way of strength. Daniel Nunez, president of General Cigar, distinguishes between candela and natural wrappers by stating, “A candela bears more of a fresh green leaf flavor, as compared to a natural wrapper, which bears more soil-related, earthy flavors.”
History - The rise and fall of Candela.
The process of making green cigars originated in Cuba during the 1940s. In 1948, there was a great demand by American smokers for light tobacco. Back in those days, only Cuban cigars were sold stateside, so you had just two choices: full-bodied, or fuller bodied. Many smokers were craving something mild. At the time, one of the largest selling brands was La Corona. To appeal to this market, the company began selling Candela wrapped smokes to the US. Very quickly, the amount of this tobacco couldn’t meet the huge demand, so instead of fully curing it, they froze the light tobacco to keep it green. Then, they’d fire cure it to get it the greenest shade possible. This created a tremendous demand, and other Cuban manufacturers followed suit. After the embargo, they tried this same process with domestic tobaccos from the Dominican Republic; they had a rather sour taste, while the old Cuban fire-cured tobacco had a sweet almost pineapple flavor, so the popularity of the non-Cuban double claro quickly faded. Compared to the staggering 90% of pre-embargo green wrapper smokers, today these wrappers only consist of 2 to 3 percent of total sales of all cigars. They are smoked mainly by older guys (farts) who refuse to give them up.
The Double Claro Wrapper Today
Although nearly extinct, except for many machine made, there are several companies still producing these wrappers today on premium cigars. If you are looking for something as tasty as those great old Cuban brands, you may want to try our world famous JR Ultimate brand.
JR Ultimate No. 5 · 6.12 × 44, and the JR Ultimate Toro · 6.12 × 50, both feature the long forgotten Double Claro wrapper. All though not for everybody, these smokes undoubtedly replicate that great pineapple sweet wrapper found on those pre-embargo Habano’s of yesteryear. Why not be adventurous, and experience smooth, highly aromatic, and delicious flavors that your dad, granddad, and the other 90% of Americans once enjoyed.
Top 5 Candela Cigars of 2021
Now that we’ve given you an in-depth look at the Candela tobacco leaf wrapper, we give you a list of our favorite candela-wrapped cigars. With the silk green wrappers that cloak these smokes, we also advise you to enjoy these during your Saint Patrick’s Day festivities as well!
Without further ado, here are our top five Candela wrapper cigars of 2021. Don’t forget to click the link below for our limited-time Candela wrapped sampler.
Espinosa Limited Editions
Espinosa Limited Editions cigars are a three vitola line with exceptionally rich and unique tobaccos that make the perfect blend as well as display remarkable blending skills of brand owner and cigarmaking genius Erik Espinosa. The one in our top 5 list today that we’re covering is the Espinosa Wasabi Robusto Candela. Espinosa Wasabi Robusto Candela marks the return of the smooth green leaf that long-time smokers remember from days gone by.
Cloaked in an Ecuador Habano wrapper, with binder and fillers from Nicaragua, the Espinosa Wasabi Robusto Candela provides rich tastes, all while being on the medium to full-bodied range in strength. Flavor notes you’ll get while smoking the Wasabi Robusto Candela are pepper, dried fruit, and lemon zest on the backend. With the name like “wasabi”, your guess on its spiciness is most likely accurate. So make sure you have a great drink to pair alongside this wonderful smoke.
Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan Shamrock
The ever so popular Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan Shamrock 2021 cigar is back and as amazing as ever! Much like past versions of the Shamrock, these gems are in high demand and short supply. But for the 2021 version of the Shamrock, brand owner Alec Rubin decided to kick things up a notch and use last year’s barber pole wrapper design that features not two, but three different Nicaraguan wrappers. It features Natural, EMS, and Maduro leaves that are all intertwined, resembling a barber pole.
Manufactured at Plasencia’s Tabacos de Oriente S.A. factory in Honduras, Shamrock has a mixture of the Honduran and Panamanian fillers that were in the 2020 version of this smoke as well. However, the flavors have been tweaked to offer a savory new medium to a full-bodied experience. For this year, Alec Bradley produced only 2,000 boxes with 22 cigars in each box. So order yours as soon as possible so you can enhance your St. Paddy’s festivities this year.
Illusione Original Documents
The Illusione Original Documents come in many sizes, shapes, and forms from master blender Dion Giolito. Wanting to put his expert skills to the test, Dion created the Illusione Original Documents 888 Candela for the lovers of this gorgeous, beautifully rare wrapper. The Illusione Original Documents 888 Candela is a throwback to those great old Tampa-style smokes of yesteryear when the Candela (green) wrapper was an enormously popular choice.
This nostalgic cigar is a Nicaraguan puro blend that’s medium to full-bodied in strength. Some delicious flavor notes you’ll experience while smoking the Candella 888 are earth, cocoa, and cedar. A fruity sweetness is the main highlight throughout the smoke, which is courtesy of the bright green candela wrapper leaf. The best way to enjoy this smoke is to crack open your last beer of the day and light up the Illusione Original Documents Candela 88 to put a perfect ending to your wonderful St. Pattie’s day
Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan 2021
For 2021, the Black Market Filthy Hooligan from Alec Bradley has returned for its 8th consecutive year. This eye-popping style combines Honduran Candela and Nicaraguan Jalapa Maduro wrapper leaves intertwined together that resemble a barber pole. The Honduran and Panamanian filler blend was used last year and is back again. However, the flavors have been tweaked to offer a fresh new medium to a full-bodied experience.
Some delicious flavor notes you’ll experience while smoking the Filthy Hooligan are exotic flavors of sage, lemon grass, cedar, orange rind, and hearty pepper. Released in plenty of time to enhance your St. Paddy’s festivities for 2021, only 2,000 boxes of 22 were ever made, so order yours very quickly, so that you don’t miss out!
La Flor Dominicana Double Claro 50
The La Flor Dominicana Double Claro 50 is LFD’s first-ever candela-wrapped cigar. With Candela being an extra delicate wrapper, it still delivers delicious, tasty flavors, unlike any other leaf. With an Ecuadorian wrapper, a binder from Nicaragua, and fillers from the Dominican Republic, the LFD Double Claro 50 is a medium-bodied smoke with delicious flavor notes. Some notes you’ll detect while smoking the Double Claro 50 from LFD are earth spice, coffee, and roasted nuts, with floral flavor notes on the back end. This smoke has the delicious combination of the gorgeous Candela wrapper and the signature Cuban-style cigar that La Flor Dominicana cigars provide.