At Hiland’s Cigars, we pride ourselves on exploring the rich tapestry of flavors and traditions that the world of cigars offers. In this spirit, we invite you to discover the intriguing world of “Green” Candela cigars. Known for their distinctive green hue and unique curing process, Candela cigars weave a fascinating story of elegance, history, and taste. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado seeking a fresh experience or a newcomer eager to explore, join us as we unwrap the mystique of the Candela wrapper that adorns the charming “green cigars” you see on the shelf. This Hiland’s Cigar blog offers a introduction that caters to both the cigar connoisseur and the curious.
More About the Candela Wrapper
The Candela wrapper, with its unique green hue, has a mystique that’s often overshadowed by more popular, robust flavored wrappers today. The Candela’s distinct coloration comes from a carefully controlled rapid curing process that retains chlorophyll within the tobacco leaf, typically drying at temperatures between 90 and 165 degrees (Fahrenheit) over 60 to 72 hours. The process locks in the green pigment, giving the Candela leaves their signature appearance. The Candela wrapper is also commonly referred to as the “Claro” or “Double Claro” wrapper. These terms indicate the green color of the wrapper, which is unique to the Candela cigar due to the specific curing process used. Some cigar enthusiasts might also refer to Candela cigars as “American Market Selection” or “AMS,” a term that dates back to when green cigars were particularly popular in the United States. In a market where up to 85% of premium cigars might be wrapped with sun-grown tobaccos, which undergoes a longer fermentation process, Candela wrapped cigars represent a niche segment and cigars using this wrapper are often offered as promotion or novelty. However, at one time the this green wrapper was favored around the globe!
The Rise and Fall of the Candela Wrapper
Candela cigars enjoyed peak popularity in the mid-20th century, especially during the 1950s and 60s in the United States. These green cigars were often associated with elegance and were seen with political figures, celebrities, and icons of the time. As with many products, they eventually fell out of favor and popularity as other wrappers grew in prevalence. The rise of robust flavors and the proliferation of various aging methods, such as fermentation processes that created darker and more complex flavors, contributed to Candela cigars falling out of mainstream favor. The modern palate shifted towards bolder, richer tastes, overshadowing the delicate Candela. Additionally, the market trends leaned towards the discovery of exotic blends and new growing regions, attracting aficionados towards a broader spectrum of cigar experiences. Marketing and branding also played a role, as the imagery associated with darker wrappers resonated with a new generation of smokers seeking an intense and sophisticated experience. Meanwhile, Candela wrappers became more associated with a niche audience appreciative of their mild and grassy flavors. The cultural shifts in cigar smoking, coupled with changes in production techniques and consumer preferences, led to a complex and dynamic transformation in the popularity of Candela cigars.
The striking green color of Candela cigars, once a symbol of elegance and distinction, has in more recent times become a barrier to wider acceptance among many cigar smokers. Contrasting sharply with the traditional brown hues most commonly associated with cigars, the green appearance can be jarring and unconventional to those unfamiliar with the Candela’s unique charm. In a market that has gravitated towards the rich, earthy, spicy, and leathery tones of brown wrappers, the green Candela has often been perceived as an oddity rather than a sophisticated choice. This perception has negatively affected both sales and production, as manufacturers have leaned towards producing what is considered more marketable and appealing to contemporary tastes. For many, the green wrapper has become synonymous with a bygone era, rather than an opportunity to explore a distinct and flavorful smoking experience. The decline of Candela cigars, in part due to its color, highlights the significant impact that visual aesthetics can have on consumer choices, even in a product as rich and complex as premium cigars.
How the Candela Wrapper is Used Today
Today, a number of popular cigar brands still make cigars with the Candela wrapper. Most notably, the Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 “Double Claro” Cigar stands out as one of the most popular and widely smoked. La Flor Dominicana, a well respected boutique cigar brand that often produces cigars with high ratings in Cigar Aficionado and other blogs and publications, offers a “LFD Double Claro No. 48“. These are the most popular cigars made with a Candela wrapper and without “enhancements”.
Then, there are flavored cigars with the Candela wrapper. Most notably, Acid Cigars’ “Kuba Kuba Candela Green” cigar and the Acid Blondie Candela Cigar. Both of these cigars feature the Candela wrapper as a specialty offering against their original blend of Kuba Kuba and Blondie. Acid Cigars are known for their herbal infused cigars — otherwise known as wild flavors.
Other brands are fairly inconsistent with the wrapper and will generally use it as a novelty for St. Patrick’s Day, as in the case of Alec Bradley’s Black Market Filthy Hooligan line. These cigars are traditionally released yearly on St. Patrick’s Day and feature a barber pole design that mixes the Candela wrapper with other popular wrappers for a unique flavor profile.
For the most part, the Candela wrapper is fairly untested by many cigar smokers be they avid smokers or new to the cigar smoking scene.
What Does the Candela Wrapper Taste Like?
The Candela wrapper, with its unique green hue and rapid curing process, imparts a specific flavor profile that is often described as being on the milder side. Common associated flavors and aromas with the Candela wrapper include:
- Grassy: This is perhaps the most common descriptor for Candela cigars. The quick curing process locks in the green chlorophyll, which often leads to a fresh, grassy note.
- Herbal: Some smokers detect herbal qualities in Candela cigars, akin to fresh green herbs.
- Sweet: A subtle sweetness can often be detected in Candela cigars, sometimes described as being honey-like or even having hints of green tea.
- Mildly Peppery: While typically milder in flavor, some Candelas might exhibit a slight peppery taste, especially when blended with certain types of filler tobacco.
- Vegetal: Some tasters have described flavors that remind them of green or cooked vegetables, adding to the fresh, earthy profile of the cigar.
The overall profile of a Candela-wrapped cigar is generally considered to be milder and fresher compared to cigars wrapped with other types of leaves that have been fermented and aged for longer periods. These flavors might be appealing to smokers looking for a lighter and more nuanced experience, but might not satisfy those looking for bolder, richer tastes.
Reasons for All Smokers to Try Candela Cigars:
1. Unique Flavor Profile:
- Novice Smokers: Candela cigars offer a mild and grassy flavor profile, which can be an approachable entry point for those new to cigars. It’s less likely to overwhelm someone who isn’t accustomed to strong tobacco flavors.
- Avid Smokers: For seasoned smokers, the unique flavors provide a chance to explore something different from the standard fare, potentially enriching their palate and understanding of tobacco. These cigars are great for parties and occasions because their green hue tends to attract conversation. Heck, you might find someone else who is interested in cigars.
2. Historical and Cultural Connection:
- Novice Smokers: Trying a Candela cigar connects a new smoker to a rich tradition and an era when these cigars were the height of fashion, providing a historical context to their smoking experience.
- Avid Smokers: For aficionados, the historical significance adds an additional layer of appreciation, connecting them to a classic style and the evolution of cigar culture. Plus, it is important to know how this wrapper’s flavor can affect your own opinions of your most cherished cigars. Like it or not, you can at least say you’ve tried it and speak intelligently about the flavor profile if that discussion ever comes up.
3. Aesthetic Appeal:
- Novice Smokers: The green hue can be a conversation starter and adds a visual novelty that might make the experience more engaging and enjoyable. This is why many cigar brands choose this novel wrapper for special occasions.
- Avid Smokers: The distinct appearance offers a break from the norm and can add a visual flair to a seasoned smoker’s collection or experience. Think of it as a “different day” cigar.
The Candela “Green” Cigar FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
- What are Candela wrappers? Candela wrappers, also known as “double claro” wrappers, are tobacco leaves that have been cured quickly to retain their green color. The result is a mild and grassy flavor that is unique in the cigar world.
- Why are Candela wrappers green? Unlike other cigar wrappers, Candela wrappers are cured rapidly at high temperatures, locking in the chlorophyll and preserving the green hue. This process gives the cigar its signature color and distinct flavor profile.
- What are the best Candela cigars? While preferences vary among cigar enthusiasts, some well-regarded brands that produce Candela cigars include Arturo Fuente, Alec Bradley, and La Flor Dominicana. At Hiland’s Cigars, we offer a selection of these and other quality Candela cigars, tailored to meet the tastes of both seasoned aficionados and newcomers alike.
- How do Candela wrappers affect the flavor of a cigar? Candela wrappers are known for their mild and often grassy or herbal flavors. They can add a fresh and unique taste to the cigar, different from the more robust and spicy flavors found in darker wrappers.
- Can I store Candela cigars with other types of cigars? Candela cigars require the same storage conditions as other cigars, but be mindful that the green wrapper can be more sensitive to light and moisture. It’s advisable to consult with a cigar specialist, like those at Hiland’s Cigars, for specific storage recommendations.
- Why have Candela cigars fallen out of favor? The shift in preference towards bolder and more complex flavors has overshadowed the mild and delicate taste of Candela cigars. Their green appearance, which deviates from the traditional brown, may also deter some smokers. However, for those interested in a unique and historical aspect of cigar culture, Candela cigars still offer a fascinating experience.
Feel free to reach out to us at Hiland’s Cigars for more detailed information or personalized recommendations. Our expert team is here to assist you!
Overall, Candela-wrapped cigars provide an opportunity for both novice and avid smokers to explore an aspect of cigar culture that is unique, historical, and flavorful. At Hiland’s Cigars, we celebrate this distinctive facet of cigar tradition by offering a specially curated selection of double claro and Candela cigars. Our commitment to quality ensures that you’ll find premium cigars that reflect the elegance and character of this timeless style. Whether you’re looking to indulge in the nostalgia of a bygone era or embark on a new sensory journey, our knowledgeable staff is here to guide you through our collection, either online, via telephone, or at our welcoming cigar shop in Scottsdale. With our exceptional customer service and fast shipping, you’re just a step away from experiencing the allure of Candela. Join us at Hiland’s Cigars, and let us help you rediscover a taste of history. We’d love to serve you and be a part of your cigar adventure.