Double claro, candela, jade, or American Market Selection (AMS) – after leaf is picked in the field it is artificially heated creating a light green hue. They are generally flavorless and bland wrappers.
Natural or claro – to protect the leaves from sunlight, which would cause a darkening of the leaf, the tobacco is grown under cheesecloth. Once fully matured, it is allowed to dry naturally and slowly, creating a light brown color. These leaves create a silky, tan wrapper with a light, delicate, and distinctly smooth taste.
Colorado claro or English Market Selection (EMS) – a slightly darker wrapper than a natural with a slight dark reddish hue. Has more flavor than a natural cigar, with a slightly spiced or nut-like taste.
Colorado – this is not a special variety of tobacco, it is usually grown in Connecticut, but the leaf has an oily reddish leaf with exceptional color and flavor.
Maduro or Spanish Market Selection – a very dark brown, oily leaf with a sweet pronounced taste known for its fullness and richness. Darkness is caused by leaving the leaf on the tobacco plant as long as possible and left to air-dry naturally. After dried it goes through a process in which it is treated with heat to draw out the oils and cook the tobacco. The oils are then allowed to retreat back into the cigar. Each time this process is repeated the leaf becomes darker and darker. The wrapper sometimes has small veins and bumps on the wrapper because of the type of tobacco used.
Double maduro, oscuro, or maduro maduro – an almost jet-black wrapper with a very rich, pronounced, spicy flavor. The leaves go through an even more extensive processing than Maduro. Expect a bumpy somewhat veiny appearance.
A cigar is measured by length and ring gauge (diameter). The length is measured in inches. The ring gauge is measured in units of 1/64th of an inch. A 64-ring cigar would be one inch in diameter. Most cigars are between 32 and 52-ring size. For example, a cigar that is called “8 x 48” is 8 inches long and 48/64ths of an inch in diameter. The girth determines how much of the cigar’s burning tip is exposed to air. The fatter the cigar, the slower and cooler a cigar smokes because more of the filler is exposed to air. The shape is the length balanced with a particular ring gauge.