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Cigar 101

All About Barber Pole Cigars

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Cigar-makers have pushed their creativity to the brink in recent years. You can find cigars shaped like footballs, baseball bats, a traditional twisted trio of smokes, called a “Special C” (C is for Culebra), and cigars the size of your forearm have been blended and produced. No matter its size or shape, one of the most visually striking cigars you’ll encounter is a barber pole cigar. The candy cane look of a barber pole smoke is unmistakable.  

What is a Barber Pole Cigar?

A barber pole cigar is rolled with two different, alternating wrapper varietals. The most common wrappers found on a barber pole cigar are a Natural and Maduro, or more specifically, a Connecticut Shade wrapper that alternates with a Connecticut Broadleaf, like on an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Between the Lines. The pattern is particularly noticeable because one wrapper is golden-blond in color while the other is dark brown. The contrast is impressive. Barber pole cigars can be made from a number of wrapper combinations, including Ecuador, Brazilian, and Candela varietals.

Barber pole cigars emerged during the Cigar Boom of the 1990s. The Fuente family was the first to create the distinctive barber pole. Barber pole cigars are less common because they can be difficult and costly to produce in large quantities. The most experienced cigar rollers are required to roll barber pole cigars. Matching two different wrappers leaves in a seamless manner without overlapping them requires much patience. Cigar rollers at the Fuente factory undergo extensive training and today remain among the most capable when it comes to crafting original and unconventional cigars like a barber pole.

On top of that, cigar lovers admire the visual aesthetics of barber poles smokes, but sometimes argue over the benefits of taste. Some barber pole cigars exhibit a wealth of balance and originality of flavor, while in others, the taste profiles of each wrapper leaf contradict one another.

5 Great Barber Pole Cigars

If you’re curious about barber pole cigars, we’ve compiled a list five distinctive examples to consider.

#1 - Arturo Fuente Hemingway Between the Lines

Hands down, Arturo Fuente Hemingway Between the Lines is the most sought-after dual-wrapper cigar. Between the Lines is handmade with premium aged Dominican long-fillers beneath an alternating Connecticut Shade and Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Besides relying on a celebrated blend of tobaccos, Between the Lines is handcrafted in an iconic 4.5 x 54 Figurado, roughly the same size as a Hemingway Best Seller. Plus, the cigar has long been a favorite of Cynthia Fuente who isn’t shy about sharing Between the Lines should you have the pleasure of meeting her in person at a cigar event.

#2 - Rocky Patel The Edge A-10

One of Rocky Patel’s most popular full-bodied smokes is The Edge. The potent and peppery recipe is finished with a reddish-brown Corojo partnered with a Maduro wrapper in Rocky Patel The Edge A-10. A sweet and spicy mix of flavors includes notes of earth, chestnuts, black pepper, wood, and leather.

#3 - CAO America

As part of CAO’s World collection, CAO America is blended to commemorate specific areas of the globe. CAO America is a less-conventional barber pole, as the wrapper predominantly features a Connecticut Broadleaf but with a thin pinstripe of Connecticut Shade wrapper. The effect is subtle but enhances the cigar’s complex interior of Dominican, Nicaraguan, American, and Italian tobaccos.

#4 - 7-20-4 The Hustler

A pint-sized 4.25 x 40 format is handmade with a golden Ecuador Connecticut wrapper mixed with a deep, dark-brown Brazilian leaf over a complex medium-bodied blend of long-filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Costa Rica in 7-20-4 The Hustler. Sweet, toasty, earthy, and spicy notes switch in and out in a concentrated shape called the Dog Walker. If you’re a fan of Brazilian cigars, this barber pole is an excellent way to taste a dark Brazilian wrapper mixed with a Connecticut-seed varietal. 

#5 - Rocky Patel Mulligans Golden Ferret

For only $3.49 per cigar for Rocky Patel Mulligans Golden Ferret, you don’t have to shell out an arm and a leg to get your hands on a tasty barber pole blend. Surprise your pals on poker night with a truly unique smoke drawn from an alternating Connecticut Shade and Maduro wrapper leaf patiently draped over a mild to medium-bodied marriage of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers. Notes of toasted cashews and dark chocolate mingle in a sublime 6 x 54 Toro with an impressive finish.

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