The truth about tobacco leaf classification…

Sorting tobacco leaves at Tabacalera Fernandez.

Sorting tobacco leaves at Tabacalera Fernandez.

These days strong cigars are all the rage.  So much so that the word ligero is featured on many cigar bands/rings as a way of trumpeting its strength.

Ligero leaves are generally taken from the upper-most part of the tobacco plant and are strong because these leaves get the most sun and consequently are the thickest and most potent.  But simply being from the top of the plant doesn’t make it suitable ligero.  This determination is done in the sorting stage after fermentation.  The fact is, the amount of ligero yield will vary from plant to plant, harvest to harvest, and is not determined solely by the priming (when the leaves are removed from the plant).  This is true for all cigar tobacco leaf classifications (i.e. seco, viso, volado, etc.)

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