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nic

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The pictures are great. I'd love to see more pictures, and maybe even reviews of wrappers you are currently using.
 
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Random thoughts...

The CT premium shade wrapper was delicate, very small veins and felt like a piece of silk. Looked beautiful when finished but it never really did anything for me. Never really liked it and don't find it worth the price.

This got me thinking that the wrapper color and texture sets the stage for what is perceived is coming in the flavor. The perception of what it should be can be a powerful mind game. When a cigar is good I find people always credit the wrapper as the reason for it's taste. Rarely do you hear someone say..."this nicaraguan filler is great" instead they say they love that particular maduro wrapper. It's always the wrapper that gets the credit.

The age old argument that the wrapper IS responsible for the majority of the cigars flavor is one I'm not in agreement with. After I see all the filler that goes into the cigar I find it difficult to believe that the little strip of wrapper leaf can be that much of an influence. However, the point is... the wrapper does set the stage, psychologically, for a certain out come. After all, it's the only thing we can actually see is the wrapper. Kind of like the conductor leading an orchestra. He is standing out front and center and has an important role but the sound of the music comes from all the instruments that make up the orchestra. A recent study showed that... "The more the influence of the conductor to the players, the more aesthetic — aesthetically pleasing the music was overall". The orchestra CAN play without the conductor. A cigar can be smoked pleasurably without a wrapper but is certainly more 'aesthetically pleasing' with one that fits within your mental image.

If this belief is accepted then the logical approach to changing the flavor and character of a cigar is by way of the filler not the wrapper. The wrapper does have an effect but it's a small tweak. However the wrapper can have a much larger impact by tricking the mind into believing that since the cigar 'looks' so incredible it therefore must be so. IMHO.
 
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Let's bring out our old friend Archimedes for this one...

Using the rg (1/64th") as our unit ---

Say we start with a 50 robusto
Let's assume the wrapper is 1
Let's assume it overlaps once -- so that's 2
The wrapper goes all around, so that the stogie inside it is 46
46 / 2 = 23 diameter
Squared that's 529
Times pi that's 1661
So that's the cross section of our unwrapped cigar

Let's look at the whole cigar:
50 / 2 = 25
25 squared = 625
Times pi = 1962
That's the cross section of a wrapped cigar

Let's compare:
1661 / 1962 = 84% & change

So that pretty wrapper comprises over 15% of the cigar by volume. Don't you trust Archie? That's not psychology; that's math. That's not an impression; that's a computation. Then figure that 15% by volume is also the part that's on your tongue and right under your nose, hence most accessible to your taste buds... hey, I don't see how the wrapper is NOT the most important single half leaf of the whole deal. Just warming it with a cherry makes that wrapper emit aroma straight in your face.

Of course, this math effect is greater for a thinner gar. For a 46rg, for instance, you're looking at 17%.

The wrapper appearance is important. Of course it is. But the proportion of wrapper to filler in a gar is far from bunk. Sure, it could be a thick PA broad or a thin Mata Fina, thus varying your proportion. So is a typical wrapper leaf one ring thick? Our copy paper here comes in compacted reams, perfectly flat, each ream two inches thick. That's 250 flattened sheets per inch, or four to the ring. Feel four sheets. Feels like a wrapper leaf to me. Stack up an inch of wrapper. You think you'd have more than 64 leaves? Stack up 25 wrappers --- wouldn't that stack reach the center of your robusto? Nor does wrapper come entirely compacted, perfectly flat, nor free of veins. If anything, I would guess your typical wrapper would be more than a ring per gauge. But I haven't miked one. Don't own a mike, & you'd be hard pressed no to squeeze the measured part.

I think that just about wraps it up
 

nic

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If this belief is accepted then the logical approach to changing the flavor and character of a cigar is by way of the filler not the wrapper. The wrapper does have an effect but it's a small tweak. However the wrapper can have a much larger impact by tricking the mind into believing that since the cigar 'looks' so incredible it therefore must be so. IMHO.
Before I started rolling my own, I completely agreed with you. However, my experience since rolling doesn't agree.

I've rolling a couple thousand cigars at this point, plus or minus. Far less than you, I'm sure, but enough to have a general idea of blending, I think. The majority of those cigars have been the same blend, binder, and size. On that blend I've burned a dozen or more wrappers, and the differences can really be astounding. Some wrappers very much showcase the filler; Cameroon, US Conn shade, etc. However, others such as H2K, PA, CBL (and any maduro), etc all make for astoundingly difference smokes. On more then one occasion, I've gone back to my blending notes to confirm that I didn't make a change in the filler, the flavor being so dramatically different. I've started to consider the wrapper's contribution into my blending.

I wonder if the difference in our opinions concerning the wrappers contributions speaks to the different blends and/or wrappers that we have used, @Gdaddy ?

All that considered, I'd be happy with 1 or 2 consistent quality wrappers, regardless of their flavor contribution. If it adds to much flavor, I can hopefully blend for that. Not enough and my blend still stands on it's own.
 
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All that considered, I'd be happy with 1 or 2 consistent quality wrappers, regardless of their flavor contribution.
Nic, what is your criteria for a "consistent quality wrapper" ? Color? Thickness? small veins?
 

nic

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Nic, what is your criteria for a "consistent quality wrapper" ? Color? Thickness? small veins?
Less thickness and more stretch/pliability/tensile strength and small veins. Color I'm not so concerned about as I am leaf quality. Few holes, tears, or other obvious mistreatment. Smooth would be nice as well. I'm happy to trade away color, shinny, and even some flavor if it just looks like quality (professional?) grade wrapper.
 
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If I could have any wrapper in the world I'd take the standard Cuban one. Thin as hell, veins aligned so you can cut close to the edge and maintain a 45-deg angle, smells great, tastes great, burns awesomely, beautiful color. Nothing (we currently have access to) compares.
 
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Less thickness and more stretch/pliability/tensile strength and small veins. Color I'm not so concerned about as I am leaf quality. Few holes, tears, or other obvious mistreatment. Smooth would be nice as well. I'm happy to trade away color, shinny, and even some flavor if it just looks like quality (professional?) grade wrapper.
My top picks...(maybe you tried them already?)

The LO 'Ecuadorian Seco Shade Wrapper' is the thinnest/smallest veins of that group and fits your description. Beautiful wrapper and about every leaf was perfect. The viso is next and the ligero is the thickest. The veins get increasingly larger also.
It has a medium 'brown' color that I like.

The LO "Brazilian Mata Fina Wrapper" is a another good choice but I find it's got a slight bit of a greenish tone vs. the brown color of the Ecuadorian seco. The LO "Brazilian Arapiraca Wrapper" is a bit darker than the Mata Fina.

All these wrappers were in excellent, almost perfect, condition.
 
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nic

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I haven't used any of the Ecuadorian shade wrapper from LO. I've been thinking about ordering some samples after all the recommendations I've gotten. I've only used a few leafs of Mata Fina. I don't remember liking the flavor, but it was long enough ago, and early enough in my home rolling, to probably merit another shot.

Thanks @Gdaddy
 
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Let's bring out our old friend Archimedes for this one...

Using the rg (1/64th") as our unit ---

Say we start with a 50 robusto
Let's assume the wrapper is 1
Let's assume it overlaps once -- so that's 2
The wrapper goes all around, so that the stogie inside it is 46
46 / 2 = 23 diameter
Squared that's 529
Times pi that's 1661
So that's the cross section of our unwrapped cigar

Let's look at the whole cigar:
50 / 2 = 25
25 squared = 625
Times pi = 1962
That's the cross section of a wrapped cigar

Let's compare:
1661 / 1962 = 84% & change

So that pretty wrapper comprises over 15% of the cigar by volume. Don't you trust Archie? That's not psychology; that's math. That's not an impression; that's a computation. Then figure that 15% by volume is also the part that's on your tongue and right under your nose, hence most accessible to your taste buds... hey, I don't see how the wrapper is NOT the most important single half leaf of the whole deal. Just warming it with a cherry makes that wrapper emit aroma straight in your face.

Of course, this math effect is greater for a thinner gar. For a 46rg, for instance, you're looking at 17%.

The wrapper appearance is important. Of course it is. But the proportion of wrapper to filler in a gar is far from bunk. Sure, it could be a thick PA broad or a thin Mata Fina, thus varying your proportion. So is a typical wrapper leaf one ring thick? Our copy paper here comes in compacted reams, perfectly flat, each ream two inches thick. That's 250 flattened sheets per inch, or four to the ring. Feel four sheets. Feels like a wrapper leaf to me. Stack up an inch of wrapper. You think you'd have more than 64 leaves? Stack up 25 wrappers --- wouldn't that stack reach the center of your robusto? Nor does wrapper come entirely compacted, perfectly flat, nor free of veins. If anything, I would guess your typical wrapper would be more than a ring per gauge. But I haven't miked one. Don't own a mike, & you'd be hard pressed no to squeeze the measured part.

I think that just about wraps it up
Looking at it from another angle... what actually goes in the cigar.

In a 50 ring I'd use approx. 2 to 2 1/2 full leaves AND wrap them in a binder using a full leaf. That's 3 to 3 1/2 full leaves of filler. The finished wrapper used, after trimming, would measure probably half of the half a leaf or 1/4 of a leaf. So there's 12/4's of filler to 1/4 of wrapper. I think even Archimedes might agree with that twelve to one ratio.
 
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Looking at it from another angle... what actually goes in the cigar.

In a 50 ring I'd use approx. 2 to 2 1/2 full leaves AND wrap them in a binder using a full leaf. That's 3 to 3 1/2 full leaves of filler. The finished wrapper used, after trimming, would measure probably half of the half a leaf or 1/4 of a leaf. So there's 12/4's of filler to 1/4 of wrapper. I think even Archimedes might agree with that twelve to one ratio.
I follow you there. I was thinking right along those lines on the ride home. Let's grant your ratio of twelve to one, without quibbling. Twelve to one is about eight and a half percent -- and that twelfth is right under your nose, right on your tongue, exuding aroma before it even burns. You don't get that from what's beneath it.

Now let's look at it this way:

I will roll you a pair of gars. Both filled with LO Hond seco and viso. Both bound with CT shade. A respectably mild blank. I'll wrap one with Ec shade ligero, the other with Ec shade seco. Just that one diff ... You smoke them both and tell me there isn't a vast difference between the two, just changing the priming of the wrapper. Same guts, same binder, same plant for the wrapper. Just higher on the plant priming. Honestly, Gdaddy, that's a very different gar. You know that.

Sometimes I wish we could all meet up in a room some day, just to drink hooch, roll gars, and swap 'em.
 
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The last batch of blends I made, I just skipped the wrapper. Thought I'd see what the fillers brought on their own. Here's a shot of 1.5 leaves nic hab seco and 1.5 leaves criollo ligero, bound with WLT Dom binder.
20170422_151616.jpg
Kind of reminds me of a burnt waffle with butter on the retro hale...
 
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