Wrapper Transplanting: Partagas Cuban Wrapper Transplant to an Oliva Serie V Lancero Filler and Binder
by Scott Glenn (bipolar)
To facilitate the re-wrapping process, I picked two cigars of roughly similar ring gauge. The Oliva was longer. However, I figured I could probably use the extra bit of wrapper from it (since I have no experience rolling cigars). I filled a coffee mug with water, anticipating it would be necessary to re-hydrate the wrappers, then gathered some other tools like a razor and my cheap (but perfect) single-blade cutter. I lightly wet both wrappers and let them sit for a couple of minutes, paying special attention to the caps, which I knew were going to be the most challenging part of the process. The Partagás was first to be de-wrapped. The initial cap came off whole, and the other cap came off in fairly intact pieces. The cigar unwrapped easily. As the wrapper was laying flat on the plate, I could see where the torcedor had cut it with his or her chaveta, and was the last person who had ever seen the leaf like this. It was nothing short of amazing to see a cigar like this in an unwrapped state.
After a brief examination, I set the de-wrapped Partagás to the side. It stayed together wonderfully and, to my surprise, the binder was hardly wet at all. I used the same method to de-wrap the Oliva, though instead of removing the cap, I cut just under it so that it would unwrap easily. I hoped the extra tobacco in the wrapper would suffice for a stylish pigtail or fold over deal. The leaves were then lightly moistened in order to attempt to keep them supple, and to provide good adhesion upon returning them to the binders.
Now I had to re-wrap. This task, though not exactly easy, turned out to be not as difficult as I had feared. I had to investigate how to roll the cigars so that their new wrappers would appear correctly applied, hopefully thereby preventing any burn issues. I rolled each cigar up with its new wrapper, keeping the wrapper flat on the plate and rolling the two cigars upward with my fingers and at an angle to evenly distribute the wrappers. The wrappers are cut in a kind of crescent shape, and this fact creates added difficulties in terms of replicating the traditional 'barber-poled' effect throughout the full length of the cigar.
I have a whole new respect for torcedores and the art of rolling! It did surprise me that the binders held together so well, and that transplanting the wrappers ended up being easier than I could have ever imagined. At the outset of the process, I honestly thought I was going to ruin the outer leaves, in which case this article would have never been.
Thanks for reading of my experiment. I know that it could be viewed as sacrilege by some BOTLs. But hopefully my article will inspire others to attempt creating equally unique smoking experiences by blending together the best of tobaccos Cuba and elsewhere.
I smoked my re-wrapped cigar on the way home from work one evening. And since 'a picture is worth a thousand words', I'm going to show you as well as tell you about the experience.
|The ride began with a snip of the end and the anticipation of a unique smoking experience. The pre light aroma was awesome, both sweet and very crisp.
|The cigar lit perfectly with my battered lotus vertigo torch. Very tasty!! A distinctly mild Cuban twang combined with the robust tobacco spiciness of Nicaraguan tobacco. Surprising eh? NOT!|
|No burn issues yet, but a very strange taste. At times through french-inhaling, I found the sweetness of the Cuban tobacco complemented the fullness of the Serie V blend wonderfully. The combination really made me appreciate the subtleties of flavor contributed by each country's tobaccos.
|Around the mid-way point, I REALLY started enjoying this beast. It was strong as hell, replete with all sorts of unusual flavors - at times distinctly sweet and almost floral, and at other moments giving off a sort of a mild and sour tobacco flavor. The cigar certainly kept me guessing.|
|It was at this stage that I confirmed my need to use a wrapper from a Cuban cigar of higher quality. So I'm thinking this will be a possibility for future experiments. The cigar retained a LOT of sweetness and smoothness. And the burn issue was quickly resolved by a flick of the lotus.|
|Here is the nub-let as viewed back at my house, where I could execute a better camera shot. The previous pictures were taken from behind the wheel of my beloved Maxima. This cigar only got better as it burned down. I reallllly enjoyed this smoke. It was a pleasure to review this for y'all.|
All in all, this was an EXCELLENT smoking experience. I encountered no issues with the applied wrapper coming off, or anything else for that matter. The cigar burned well, smoked great, and tasted like an Oliva/Partagás 'baby' should. The different tobaccos complemented each other beautifully.
It was a pleasure to review this. Hopefully it will spark interest.