Simply stated, a fine cigar is a true work of art. A fine cigar is always rolled by hand, never by a machine. Not only that, but a fine cigar is hand-rolled by only the most experienced of torcedores. Such torcedores work in small factories at very simple tables, with all the tools of cigar rolling laid neatly on the table before them.
Everything must be done impeccably from start to finish, ensuring that the finished product will burn smoothly. The filler must be packed evenly and the cigar must be wrapped in such a way that the wrapper evenly spirals around the filler.
A fine cigar is expertly rolled by only experienced torcedores. These torcedores work in very focused settings in small factories that allow them to focus their full attention on every detail of their work. They sit at these little tables that have filler tobacco leaves laid out on a tray in front of them. They select anywhere from 2 to 6 of these leaves and carefully roll them into a bunch, wrapping them first in a binder, and then in a wrapper.
Fine cigars are stereotypically reputed to cost enormous amounts of money, and there are some cigar aficionados who insist on paying 50 dollars per cigar to smoke what they consider to be the very best. This is not necessary, however. A fine cigar can cost as little as 3 to 5 dollars and still offer premium flavor and aroma.
The fillers that are used to make fine cigars are made from a blend of different parts of the tobacco plant. The first of these is the ligero which comes from the top of the plant and is very robust. It must be aged for a minimum of three years. The second part is known as the seco. This word literally means dry, and it comes from the middle of the tobacco plant. The third part of the filler comes from the bottom of the plant and is called the Volado. Its purpose is to make the cigar burn evenly and smoothly.
Most fine cigars are rolled with long filler. There are some that are made with medium filler, and a few that are made with short filler. Some premium cigars are made with a blend of fillers to create a variety of tastes and aromas.
Many are surprised to learn that as much as 75 percent of the cigars flavor and aroma comes from the wrapper. The finest wrappers are grown in Connecticut, Cameroon, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. A good wrapper has a slightly oily texture and lustrous sheen that feels firm when held between the fingers.
It is absolutely necessary to store fine cigars in a cigar humidor. Without humidification, even the very best of premium cigars will not last for more than a week. If a cigar dries out, it will burn too fast and taste stale. Sometimes even cigars that have dried out too much will become unraveled while being smoked.