Wrapper burn and sweetness


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There’s been much debate over the wrapper’s influence on flavor, and I’m definitely in the camp that it’s paramount to experiencing the essence of the marca. I’m probably taking the question a few steps further, but anytime even a portion of the wrapper isn’t burning, I notice the imbalance immediately. 

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I also feel we end up messing with the cigar more when its an uneven burn, either touch ups, blowing on the uneven burn side to encourage it to light, drawing harder, purging and perfecdraw....so I never enjoy it as much as one I don't have to think about and can just relax...

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Good wrapper burning generally indicates good overall burning meaning the cigar is combusting in accordance with its blending. The best cigars I've had burned very well and were able to be smoked slowly, and I doubt that's a coincidence. 

Unless you have the dreaded fireproof wrapper it's not always the wrapper that is causing the poor burning of the wrapper. Improperly fermented volado or binder can cause it, or a poor roll (e.g. seco where volado should be, soft/loose spots).

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8 hours ago, KavalanWhisky said:

I also feel we end up messing with the cigar more when its an uneven burn, either touch ups, blowing on the uneven burn side to encourage it to light, drawing harder, purging and perfecdraw....so I never enjoy it as much as one I don't have to think about and can just relax...

I don't think I've had more than a dozen or so cigars in the past twenty years or so that I haven't had to touch up. It gives me pause to wonder what I did before? Did I become super critical of the burn aesthetic, did cigars change something, or did I change? 

 

Regardless, I just accept that it happens now and I'll casually fix the burn line now and then. 

 

As for the original post, I had this very thought yesterday while puffing on an El principe. At least with those I really believe the wrapper influenced the taste and smell. Tootsie roll for me. Or flan.

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One of those things I had not thought of until I read it. Looking back I go damn, this kind of makes sense. ( And I will monitor going forward). See how it pans out for me.

This is why I love this forum.

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19 hours ago, Bijan said:

It seems to me that often a sweet cigar is sweetest when the wrapper is burning well and not so sweet otherwise. Is that actually a thing or just my imagination?

Can't say as I've noticed a correlation.  In fact, some of the sweetest I've had were wrapped in God awful looking leaf.  

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Interesting question and making me think about how I approached my recent sampler of the Monte Dumas, Maltes, Leyenda releases. When I opened the sampler pack they literally smelled like a bag of  chocolate.  I had the Maltes and immediately ordered a box as a dessert cigar. It was amazing and the sweetest cigar I have ever had. Then I had the Dumas and it fell short, but to your point  the burn was not as consistent and I may have rushed it.  I have yet to try the Leyenda and will see what happens.  I'm sure it also boils down to other factors, but I'm anxious to keep investigating.

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1 minute ago, KavalanWhisky said:

I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of counting how many cigars i've smoked where I don't touch up but one trick @El Presidente taught me was to help fix a runaway burn was to lick your finger and moisten the faster side to try to help slow down the burn and let the other side catch up.  This has helped me no end in not having to light the other side to try to even it out and thus improve the smoking experience.   

That's pretty slick. Pun partially intended. I'll try that later. Thanks.

 

Where I live now it's very windy and super dry which mat account for some of my issues.

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KW is dead on for moistening the wrapper. Can help immensely and is a regular practice when required.

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46 minutes ago, KavalanWhisky said:

I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of counting how many cigars i've smoked where I don't touch up but one trick @El Presidente taught me was to help fix a runaway burn was to lick your finger and moisten the faster side to try to help slow down the burn and let the other side catch up.  This has helped me no end in not having to light the other side to try to even it out and thus improve the smoking experience.   

I've definitely used that trick. Still use it whenever I get bad canoeing. However if things are not so bad you can often recover from a slight unevenness by rotating the cigar strategically. Having the slow burning side face down, taking a puff and then rotating to 45 degrees or so on other side of that and puffing there too to get the bottom side of the wrapper lit up again.

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My guess is that cigars with a proper burn probably tend to be rested, rolled, blended, stored, etc. properly and will tend to be less bitter. 

So if your storage and all that is perfect and you still have a bad burn, my guess is the blend of tobacco is less ideal. Perhaps there were some leaves that have a higher moisture content, needed more aging or curing, or are less desirable for whatever reason and more of those made it into that particular cigar. 

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