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Cigar 101

Why Are Cigars Wrapped in Cedar?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Cigar-makers package cigars in cedar sleeves to facilitate aging, offer protection, and elevate their cigars’ presentation on store shelves. Some connoisseurs appreciate the way a cedar sleeve can influence a cigar’s taste; others consider it negligible. There’s a reason cigar boxes and humidors are made of cedar. Unlike most woods, cedar reacts positively with moisture and it’s a natural cigar beetle repellent. Manufacturers often separate the rows of cigars in a box with a thin sheet of cedar, and some go even further by wrapping the individual cigars in a cedar sleeve. Here’s a bit of the logic behind wrapping cigars in cedar followed by a handful of popular cedar-wrapped cigars you should smoke.


Aging Cigars with Cedar

A cigar’s flavor changes and evolves over time, the same as wine. A cedar sleeve encapsulates the natural oils and aroma in a premium cigar, encouraging a more uniform flavor profile to emerge as a cigar rests. Cedar is a common tasting note in cigars. Cigars absorb what is in their vicinity, like sponges, and if you’re aging different kinds of cigars in your humidor, a cedar sleeve is an ideal barrier to preserve its taste. Cigars can mellow out as they age, and there is nothing like the fragrant, rich taste of a cigar imbued with cedar. That’s why cedar is the best wood for humidors.

Light Your Cigar with Cedar

In addition to improving a cigar’s flavor as it ages, a cedar sleeve can be used to light the cigar. Traditionalists will light a thin strip of cedar, called a cedar spill, on fire and light their cigar off the burning cedar. Using cedar to light a cigar prevents any residual taste from the butane in a lighter, or the sulfur on matches, from interfering with the cigar’s natural flavor. 


A cedar sleeve offers another layer of protection, in addition to the cellophane, when cigars are in transit or on display in a retail environment. A cedar sleeve protects a cigar’s wrapper from fingerprints and unwanted jostling inside the box.  

Remove the Cedar Sleeve before Smoking

Take the cedar off your cigar before you smoke it. Aficionados know better but rookies sometimes neglect this step. Cedar burns fast, and you’ll engulf your whole cigar if you attempt to light it with the cedar on.

5 Delicious Cigars Wrapped in Cedar

Here are five bestselling cigars that come wrapped in cedar sleeves. Add these to your humidor without hesitation and taste the difference cedar makes.

1. Ashton – Double Magnum

An iconic Dominican smoke blended by Carlito Fuente is handmade from a golden-blond Connecticut Shade wrapper and a luxuriant interior of premium Dominican long-fillers. Ashton Double Magnum is an exquisite 6-by-50 Toro assembled from the finest tobaccos in the world tucked under a fragrant cedar sleeve. Elegant notes of cedar, coffee bean, cashew, and almond develop with creamy texture before a luscious finish resonates.

Strength: Mild
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

Shop Ashton Cigars

2. Arturo Fuente – Chateau Fuente Series

One of the most popular Dominican cigars in the world is the Chateau Fuente series from Arturo Fuente. Legendary cigar-maker Carlito Fuente blends a creamy interior of premium Dominican long-fillers beneath your choice of three different wrappers, a Natural Connecticut Shade, an oily Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro, or a succulent Sun Grown leaf from Ecuador. Depending on your wrapper preference, the flavors range from mild and creamy, to sweet and dark, or spicy and earthy. The entire collection is sheathed in a cedar sleeve.

Strength: Medium
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade, Connecticut Broadleaf, Sun Grown

Shop Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Cigars

3. My Father Fonseca – Cedros

Beneath the cedar sleeve of the Cedros, a 6.25-by-52 Toro, from My Father Fonseca is an oily Corojo Rosado wrapper draped over a hearty blend of premium Nicaraguan long-filers. Zesty and earthy notes of coffee bean, leather, and cocoa layer the palate in a 93-rated Cuban-legacy cigar blended by Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia.

Strength: Medium-Full
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Corojo Rosado

Shop My Father Fonseca Cigars

4. Romeo y Julieta 1875 – Cedro Deluxe No. 1

Romeo y Julieta 1875 is among the most famous Cuban-legacy cigars, and the Cedro Deluxe No. 1 is six and a half inches long with a 44 ring gauge wrapped in a tidy cedar sleeve under the iconic red-and-white cigar band with a gold ribbon on the foot. A gingerbread-hued Indonesian wrapper conceals an easygoing blend of premium Dominican long-fillers. Nutty notes of pepper, coffee bean, and baking spices pleasantly mingle from the first puff to the last.

Strength: Mild-Medium
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Indonesian

Shop Romeo y Julieta 1875 Cigars

5. AJ Fernandez Dias de Glorias

The Dias de Gloria line by AJ Fernandez is finished in colorful dark-red-and-gold boxes that reveal uniform rows of cedar-clad cigars when you crack the lid open. An oily Nicaraguan wrapper leaf hugs a mature blend of premium Nicaraguan long-fillers. This line is handmade in slightly thicker sizes that evolve with spicy and nutty flavors of black pepper, leather, and wood.

Strength: Medium
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Shop AJ Fernandez Dias de Gloria Cigars

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