Cigar manufacture differs from that of cigarettes in many ways. The most obvious is that whole tobacco leaf is used as the outer wrapper, rather than paper. Bunches of leaves known as ‘fillers’ create the contents.
To produce the desired tobacco flavors, ‘fillers’ of different strengths are blended together before being rolled into a cigar.
And unlike cigarettes there is no filter (although filters and even paper wrappers are sometimes used in some mini cigar products). Typically cigar smoke is not inhaled but tasted on the palate, so flavors and aromas are balanced differently compared
Cigar tobacco also involves a complex and precise fermentation process. This can take anything from a few weeks to several years depending on the cigar the leaves are destined for. This fermentation also influences both the taste and scent of the
Because the cigar wrapper is also tobacco leaf, and organic and therefore a less predictable material than paper, cigar manufacture requires very specific processing. This is designed to ensure the tobacco retains both its taste characteristics and flexibility (so the outer wrapper and contents do not crumble) and involves careful control of moisture levels.
Some cigars also use a third type of tobacco leaf – the binder – between the filler and the wrapper. This allows leaves chosen for the wrapper to be selected for visual appearance, while the wrapper ensures the product holds its shape and texture.
Some moisture also has to be retained post-production, particularly in the wrapper, to ensure the product maintains its quality and characteristics through shipping, storage and delivery, until it is enjoyed. So before trimming and packing, cigars are placed in a conditioning room to ensure they have the correct moisture levels.
Our major cigar brand is Hamlet, which is manufactured at our factory in Lisnafillan, Northern Ireland.