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Cigar 101

Why Do Some Cigars Have Multiple Bands?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Some cigars are packaged with a secondary band or a silk ribbon on the foot. There are a handful of reasons why cigar-makers package their cigars with more than a single customary cigar band near the head. Here’s the rationale behind putting a ribbon or an extra band at the foot.

Visual Appeal

First and foremost, an extra band or a colorful ribbon commands attention on a store shelf. A secondary band can be used to communicate additional information about cigar, such as its year of release, wrapper varietal, country of origin, or if it’s a limited edition. The Perdomo Habano series, for example, identifies the wrapper on the second band at the foot: Connecticut, Maduro, or Sun Grown

Beneath the primary Padron band on 1964 Anniversary, 1926 Series, and Family Reserve cigars, the company prints a secondary band with a serial number to deter counterfeiters. When these well-aged, coveted editions were first released, they were very hard to come by and a counterfeit market emerged. The secondary band on Padron cigars is way for the brand to verify a cigar’s authenticity should it ever fall into question.

You can’t deny your eye is drawn to the bright orange ribbon on the former ‘#1 Cigar of the Year,’ My Father Le Bijou 1922. A silky hot-pink strip adorns the ultra-rare San Cristobal Ovation. It complements the colors on the cigars’ bands and boxes and adds tremendous visual emphasis. The ribbon conveys an element of prestige. Even the subtle burgundy color of the ribbon on the foot of the Flor de las Antillas brand commands importance and enhances the romantic look of the cigars.

Protect the Foot of the Cigar

Placing a band or a ribbon on the foot of a cigar also serves a practical purpose: it protects the wrapper leaf. When it comes to standard cigar shapes, or Parejos, the foot of the cigar is open, unlike the cigar’s head which is capped. The wrapper on a cigar’s foot can easily get damaged if the cigar shifts around in a box or on display. A band or ribbon prevents unwanted tears from occurring on the wrapper at the foot.

Advantage of Ribbon Vs. A Second Cigar Band

It’s more common to find a second band on a cigar’s foot than a ribbon. However, silk ribbons offer one big advantage over a standard cigar band: they’re not applied with cigar glue.

The ribbon at the foot of a cigar is gently fastened with a small piece of tape on the exterior of the cigar. As result, the ribbon easily slides off without the worry that any gum Arabic on a secondary band could tear the wrapper at the foot. Consider all the thought that goes into the packaging and the bands on high-end cigars like La Aroma de Cuba Pasión the next time you’re slipping the shiny blue ribbon off the foot.

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