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Tobacconist University
Tobacco College

Tobacco College: Cigar Rolling

 
HEAD FINISHING

The head of parejo (standard) cigars can be finished in a variety of ways, but a "flag" is always employed. A flag is the expertly carved/trimmed end of the wrapper leaf that finishes toward the cigar head.

Flag

This technique uses a perfectly trimmed flag to cover the head and finish the cigar. It is a challenging and technical process since the flag must cover the head perfectly; there will be no cap to hide imperfections.

Cigar Rolling: Head Finishing - Flag

Cigar Rolling: Head Finishing - Flag

Cigar Rolling: Head Finishing - Flag

Flag & Cap

This method uses a flag to cover the head, and a cap to create a finished look. The majority of premium cigars today use this method to finish and reinforce the head. The flag & cap technique is both resilient and attractive.

Cigar Rolling: Right to Left

Cigar Rolling: Right to Left

Cigar Rolling: Right to Left

Triple-Cap

The traditional Cuban triple-cap method is meticulous and uses two extra pieces of wrapper leaf to close the head; while leaving the visual impression of three (triple) seams at the head. While the cigar is being wrapped, the flag is left hanging off the cigar near the head. Then, a tear-drop shaped piece of wrapper leaf is woven into the flag in order to cover the head. For the final touch, a cap is cut out of the excess leaf [with a casquillo] and placed on top of the head, with natural vegetable gum, to create a perfectly finished look.

Figurados

While figurados are a broad category of cigars, the most common have a pointed head. As a result, figurados require different head finishing techniques due to their taper and shape.

Cigar Rolling: Triple Cap

Cigar Rolling: Triple Cap

Cigar Rolling: Triple Cap

Another unique head finishing technique which requires a distinct flag is the pigtail. Cigars with a pigtail have the flag rolled up like a tight scroll and tied into a knot on the head. Pigtails do not have a cap and can easily be bitten open, in lieu of cutting.

Regardless of the head finishing technique employed, the head of any premium cigar should be closed and have a finished look. The head should be strong enough to hold up in your mouth and withstand cutting without unravelling.

FOOT TRIMMING

After the cigar wrapping is finished, it is cut to its final length with a guillotina. The guillotina has a measuring/stop feature which allows each cigar to be cut to the exact length required.

Cigar Rolling: Foot Trimming

Cigar Rolling: Foot Trimming

Cigar Rolling: Foot Trimming






Certified R&D Tobacconists: United States

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Adisa Horton, CRT Nat Sherman
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