FAQ: How much flavor comes from the wrapper?
A: Well, unfortunately that's a tough one to answer. The correct answer is "it depends". What is NOT a correct answer is an exact one. Why? Because it simply can't be. A premium cigar has three "parts": The wrapper, binder and filler. The wrapper is one leaf, which means it's one seed variety from a specific region. The binder is also one unique leaf. The filler tobaccos, are usually a blend of different types of tobaccos often from different regions and different positions on the plant (called primings). The filler tobaccos are positioned in the hand with the strongest tobaccos in the center, surrounded by milder tobaccos to ensure even combustion. The binder is applied to hold the fillers together, and after being pressed in a mold, the wrapper is applied over the bunch.
In the picture above, there are four cigars. The two cigars on the far left are the Metropolitan Banker Maduro and Natural, and on the right the Angler Maduro and Natural. The two darker cigars use a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper, and the two lighter a Connecticut Shade wrapper. The two Bankers (5" x 70) use an identical blend of filler and binder tobaccos in the same proportions to accommodate the incredibly large ring gauge. The two Anglers (5.5" x 43) also share the same filler and binder relationship between the two of them.
Smoking the Maduro against the Natural version in the two examples, it is quite easy to detect the rich, bittersweet characteristic of the Broadleaf wrapper, compared to the significantly lighter, brighter notes of the Connecticut shade, but equally interesting is to compare the twoMaduros side by side and the two Naturals. The Angler Maduro is the richest of the four, since the influence of the rich Maduro wrapper can take center stage with the smaller ring gauge. The Banker Maduro has similar character, but smokes rounder and creamier- as more air combines with the smoke, and there is physically much more filler tobacco burning to counter and balance the wrapper's dominance.