If you love a great maduro, you might be interested to know a bit more about the wrappers. Here’s a look at how they are fermented differently than natural wrappers.
Maduro wrappers gain their richer, fuller flavor in two important ways. First, most maduro wrappers are taken from the high primings of the tobacco plant known as the ligero. As the top row of layers, the leaves receive the most sunlight which caused them to pull more nutrients into the leave. They also ripen on the vine longer which enhances their flavor.
A second important part of the process is the way the leaves are fermented to produce maduro wrappers. The standard practice is to ferment them in pilones – one to three-foot tall piles of tobacco in which the fermentation process gets started.
Natural wrappers and other types are fermented at temperatures around 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaves used for maduro leaves are allowed to reach 150 F. The leaves can handle the higher temperature because they are ligero leaves. Being the top sun grown layer creates a thicker, tougher leaf.
During the process, harsh elements in the leaves such as ammonia are broken down to mellow the flavor of the tobacco. The higher temperature also creates a darker wrapper for finishing your favorite cigars.
Cigars Direct has a wonderful inventory of many of the finest maduro cigars made today. If you want a couple signature maduros to try, consider the Oliva Serie O Maduro, a Nicaraguan puro of extraordinary quality or the Cusano 18 Paired Maduro.