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Been doing a lot of controlled blending lately. Same set of leaves, vast number of variations, consistent binder and wrapper, consistent ratios across three major vitolas: corona, robusto, panatela. I've finally found what I think is the basic magic key, given a quality set of tasty leaves. Funny thing is, the key is hidden right in that blending graphic near the top of this thread! At first the graphic can seem a little vague, and your attention goes to the circular construction rather than the fact that it is actually showing you two subtle variations of three different vitolas: Churchil, lancero, corona, all of which share nearly the same blend. The gold key can be found at the corona, the strongest of those three blends: the Cohiba Siglo III and to a lesser degree the Quai d'Orsay:

1 volado aka seco
2 seco aka viso
.5 ligero

The variations occur between the 2 and the .5. Maybe you tweak to 2.5 and .25.

Your starting point is really 1 seco(volado) and two viso(seco). With quality leaf that will make a great smoke. Then you get a sense of how much extra boost in flavor and strength you want to try. So you put in .25 or .5 ligero and see what happens.

So in a nutshell I went through 72 blends between 3 secos and 3 visos and ended up back at that famous chart! 1 2 .5. That is the essence of a great and classic blend.

Now, you'll notice that 1 1 1 is a typical Cuban blend often demonstrated. But I believe that if you also at least try the magical 1 2 .5 that you won't regret it.


With thanks to @MM154 for prompting me to review this thread, and @blisscigarco for sharing the info years ago, I think I will try this blending ratio out on my next batch....
 
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I think I will try this blending ratio out on my next batch....
I reckon it'll work if the leaf's any good and goes together. And won't if the leaf ain't any good or any of the leaves don't go together... and won't if the wrapper and/or binder aren't good. And probably will if they are good.
 
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I reckon it'll work if the leaf's any good and goes together. And won't if the leaf ain't any good or any of the leaves don't go together... and won't if the wrapper and/or binder aren't good. And probably will if they are good.
I will start with the corojo primings bound in Nicaraguan habano seco...wrapper maybe criollo or Ecuador Seco...
 
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So a brother on here has been generous enough to send me a bunch of leaf to get me started.

How should it be stored once I get it?
Personally, I like to store them in little cylinders, about 44 or 46 ring gauge.
Just kidding!
I keep them in the original bag they were shipped in, sealed up by folding the open edge over several times...
 
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@webmost decided to send out some ligero, and I was the lucky recipient of his generosity. With that, I've started working on a new blend. Think I'm almost there...
This was mostly a criollo ligero. Bound it with a big Ecuadorian viso and wrapped in a Nicaraguan CT wrapper. Pretty tasty but it needs some more Nicaraguan leaf I think...20211208_180438.jpg
I have some Nicaraguan Condega seco to add, will have to try that tomorrow!
 
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Last night I bunched up 1 criollo ligero with 2 Ecuador visos, bound with the Nicaraguan habano seco. Left it in the mold from about 1am until 8 this morning.
Put the other part of the CT wrapper leaf on this stick. My glue was a bit loose/runny but worked on the delicate and pliable CT leaf.
As much as I like to smoke them right off the table, I am going to have to let this one wait til later...
You can see the extra moisture from the runny glue near the head of the cigar...it'll look nicer in a bit :)
20211209_090331.jpg20211209_090248.jpg
 
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I'd say this is a nice mellow stick. The Nic habano seco added just a bit of something, maybe spice, I don't know, but I like it.
I think I will also try adding some Piloto Cubano leaf, and as suggested earlier a variation with some T-13.
I may slip a little broadleaf in to see what happens...20211209_144805.jpg
 
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I'd say this is a nice mellow stick. The Nic habano seco added just a bit of something, maybe spice, I don't know, but I like it.
I think I will also try adding some Piloto Cubano leaf, and as suggested earlier a variation with some T-13.
I may slip a little broadleaf in to see what happens...View attachment 167144
What ring gauge is that good lookin stick? I saw you posted earlier 44-46 is a preference?
 
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What ring gauge is that good lookin stick? I saw you posted earlier 44-46 is a preference?
46, its the only mold I use anymore if I use a mold. I typically just mold with a strip of paper so who knows what size they are. I'm recently working on consistency hence using an honest mold.
I have a wooden 44rg mold but imparts some non-tobacco flavor scent to the sticks so its just a decoration these days.
 
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Lately I've been smoking straight LO Olor seco wrapped and bound in Habano. Really good. I thought it might suck since that seco had failed in some previous blends through the years. Turned out to be a legit "blend" in itself. It had got super dry, so I unpacked the best leaves, sprayed them down and stuck them back in the bag for a few days. I was worried that might start something bad, but it must have started something good.
 
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Lately I've been smoking straight LO Olor seco wrapped and bound in Habano. Really good. I thought it might suck since that seco had failed in some previous blends through the years. Turned out to be a legit "blend" in itself. It had got super dry, so I unpacked the best leaves, sprayed them down and stuck them back in the bag for a few days. I was worried that might start something bad, but it must have started something good.
Just curious, which Habano leaf are you enjoying with the LO Olor seco?
 
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Am only 6 cigars into rolling my own for my LO starter kit. Maybe have 3 more I can roll with the filler I have left. Will have a couple wrapper and binder leaves left over.

Already thinking about trying out a blend to replicate a Jericho Hill. Love a San Andres wrapper. I know the filler and binder are Nicaraguan. Just looking to get some sample packs from LO whenever they get some more nic filler back in stock. Any recommendations for nic filler that would may get me in the Jericho hill ballpark? I’m thinking maybe the Jalapa Viso. still new so not trying to do a complicated blend, 2 leaf types max.
 
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Am only 6 cigars into rolling my own for my LO starter kit. Maybe have 3 more I can roll with the filler I have left. Will have a couple wrapper and binder leaves left over.

Already thinking about trying out a blend to replicate a Jericho Hill. Love a San Andres wrapper. I know the filler and binder are Nicaraguan. Just looking to get some sample packs from LO whenever they get some more nic filler back in stock. Any recommendations for nic filler that would may get me in the Jericho hill ballpark? I’m thinking maybe the Jalapa Viso. still new so not trying to do a complicated blend, 2 leaf types max.
You might as well hear this ASAP: you can't replicate or come close to replicating a given commercial stick without THEIR tobacco. The fact it's "Nicaraguan seco" or "Condega viso," or "Criollo98" anything else doesn't mean Jack squat. You need the actual leaves they used. Same farm, same season, same batch.

It sucks if the impetus to learn to roll one's own is the dream of copying some favorite brand on the cheap, because that's going to fail.

But you will make some smoke-able sticks, and there's a lot of satisfaction in that.

Now hopefully some smarter people will tell you how to make that Jericho Hill!
 
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You might as well hear this ASAP: you can't replicate or come close to replicating a given commercial stick without THEIR tobacco. The fact it's "Nicaraguan seco" or "Condega viso," or "Criollo98" anything else doesn't mean Jack squat. You need the actual leaves they used. Same farm, same season, same batch.

It sucks if the impetus to learn to roll one's own is the dream of copying some favorite brand on the cheap, because that's going to fail.

But you will make some smoke-able sticks, and there's a lot of satisfaction in that.

Now hopefully some smarter people will tell you how to make that Jericho Hill!
I totally get that. I just know what I like and if anyone had any recommendations to get close to something I like I would gladly take it. Have never attempted a blend and don’t want to end up with something that sucks although I doubt it would really be that bad.
 
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Am only 6 cigars into rolling my own for my LO starter kit. Maybe have 3 more I can roll with the filler I have left. Will have a couple wrapper and binder leaves left over.

Already thinking about trying out a blend to replicate a Jericho Hill. Love a San Andres wrapper. I know the filler and binder are Nicaraguan. Just looking to get some sample packs from LO whenever they get some more nic filler back in stock. Any recommendations for nic filler that would may get me in the Jericho hill ballpark? I’m thinking maybe the Jalapa Viso. still new so not trying to do a complicated blend, 2 leaf types max.
I remember liking the Jalapa leaves but that was a few years back. I remember Jericho Hill being fairly complex so your two leaf max may make that a little more tricky. I came up with my marshmallow blend after receiving blending advice from Nick Melillo when I was just starting. He told me for a “balanced” blend I needed to use a seco, viso, and ligero and I usually start with a 1:1:1 ratio and tweak from there. Branch out with a variety of samples if you can. Feel free to reach out with questions here or through PM. I can’t recall ever rolling anything that was unbearable to smoke, but have had many blends I don’t care to repeat as they came out very generic to me. Take good notes. Realize that they will taste different two months old and older than they do fresh. Try to roll a half dozen of a blend to test fresh and see how they change over time
 
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