A Walk Down the Emerald Aisle
St. Patrick’s Day conjures up visions of green-hued beer, leprechauns, Irish jigs, and... candela cigars? Of course, candela cigars! The green goddess of cigar wrappers has some interesting history, so pour up a pint of Guiness and we’ll dive right in!
It’s Not Easy Being Green
Though not as popular today, candela was once the wrapper shade of choice in the United States. The Candela, or double claro, actually came to be known as American Market Selection. From the late 1950s to early 1970s American’s smoked billions of cigars, and nearly all of them were as green as a golf course on a sunny day. Through the 1980s on, green cigars were steadily replaced by cream-colored Connecticut shade, like that of the English Market Selection. Today's aficionados are somewhat hard pressed to find too many candela cigars out there, but as you stroll through the walk-in humidor, you can still see them peeking out among the shades of brown.
Green Means GO
To keep a tobacco leaf green, it takes a little more effort, but much less time. Normally, cigar tobacco is hung in barns and allowed to cure slowly over a period of weeks, to over a month. In the case of candela, this process has to occur much faster. The barn is heated to a temperature much hotter than normal to lock in the chlorophyll and dehydrate the leaves. Afterward, the crispy kale chip-esque tobacco is carefully rehydrated, then packed into bales before resting and ultimately being used to finish off a fine cigar. One of the benefits of candela is that it shaves off months, even years, from the usual process of aging cigar tobacco.
Should You “Go Green”?
While not strong tobacco, candela imparts a slightly floral or citrus taste, with a sweet, grassy flavor. As appearances would imply, it gives off more of a fresh green leafy flavor as compared to natural wrappers. Corona Cigar Co. carries a wide selection of these uniquely green cigars, ranging in a variety of taste profiles and wrapper shades. If you’re a fan of the sweet Acid flavor, check out the Acid Blondie Candela or Kuba Kuba Candela. Big ring fans will love the Asylum 13 Ogre series, or our very own Corona Dominican 10th Anniversary Tres Capas. Iterations from Illusione offer aged versions of the leaf in the 888, 88, or HL Candela with smooth, creamier profiles. We’re sure to have the perfect candela to top off that final touch of green you need.
Full disclosure; here at Corona Cigar Co., we don’t actually have an entire store aisle devoted to green-colored cigars, but we do stock more than a handful of lines that are sure to top your pot o’ gold this St. Paddy’s Day. Give us a call and talk to one of our knowledgeable cigar experts to find out what’s at the end of the rainbow for you! (No need to catch a leprechaun.)