The Different Colors of Cigars

In category: Cigar Basics

The important characteristics of cigars include its type, its shape, its size, and its color. The color of cigars depends on the shade of their outer wrapper leaves. There are about a dozen different shades of cigar colors and some of them blend gradually into another. The type of tobacco used in the production of the wrapper, even if it is grown in Honduras or Connecticut, in Ecuador or in Cameroon, will have an effect on the flavor of the cigar. Smoking a cigar not only includes the interior tobacco but the burning wrapper also.

There are six major color grades used nowadays in the manufacture of cigars and they are Natural, Colorado, Claro, Maduro, Oscuro, and Candela.

1. Natural

Light brown to medium brown in color, a Natural tobacco is generally shade-grown. Growing in the shade gives the wrapper a very light touch and a very delicate flavor so that it doesn’t overpower the main ingredients.

2. Colorado

The Colorado color grade of tobacco has a brown coloration that is darker than Natural, sometimes shading off into reddish-brown. It is not a heavy leaf and it adds only subtle aromas and mild flavors to the main ingredients.

3. Claro

Claro is a very delicate shade-grown tan leaf that adds only the lightest aroma and slightest flavor to the main ingredient. The neutrality of this color grade is highly favored by those who want to emphasize the cigar instead of the wrapper.

4. Maduro

The Maduro color grade is a dark-brown wrapper that produces a full, pungent aroma. The oily compounds in it produce a full-bodied flavor that carefully mixes with the cigar’s main ingredients.

5. Oscuro

The very dark coloration of the Oscuro tobacco leaf is the reason why it is called the “negro tobacco”. It has a very full taste that adds decisively to a fine cigar.


The Candela is a green leaf that has been associated with lower quality cigars. Despite is wavering popularity as a wrapper, the Candela is still enjoyed by many because of its distinctive taste that is a result of the application of heat before it is used.

Because cigars are agricultural products, they will vary in terms of taste and quality from year to year. Although modern quality control methods have produced some means to maintain uniformity in the products, cigar manufacturing – especially for high quality cigars – is still carried out largely by hand.

Although the color should not be used predominantly to judge the quality of the cigar, it doesn’t mean that is should be ignored either. Experiment with each color and discover which one you truly prefer.

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