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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ligero, Seco, & Volado: What Quality Cigars Are Made of

Quality Cigar Tobacco Leaves That Make for Great Smoke

There's nothing better than enjoying a great cigar. And any true cigar aficionado will agree that not every cigar is made the same. When it comes to the great smokes of the world, there is a wide variety of difference in quality and flavor.

A great deal of time and care go into making the perfect cigar, beginning with the cigar tobacco leaves. There are three types of leaves used for that grow on the tobacco plant: Ligero, Seco, and Volado.
Let's take a look at each of these three to see what exactly makes each of them so vital to cigars.

Ligero, Seco, and Volado: What Quality Cigars Are Made Of

Have you ever wondered where and how cigars get their great flavor? Read on to learn about the tobacco leaves that make for a great smoke.


This leaf that grows at the upper-most part of a tobacco plant and takes longer to mature than the other two varieties. Ligero leaves are typically bold and offer the most flavorful smoking experience.
The flavor is often spicy and coarse, and cigars made from this leaf produce a lot of smoke.

Cigars made from Ligero leaves tend to be popular with experienced smokers due to the strong tobacco blends. Yet despite their powerful flavor, Ligero cigars lack aroma and are thus typically blended with a filler leaf to make up for this shortcoming.


The second type of tobacco leaf is the Seco, which is harvested from the middle part of the tobacco plant. These are milder than Ligero, and therefore will produce a milder flavor in your cigar.

Seco leaves are popular for use as filler tobacco because of the overall aroma. The flavor and smoke output are both mild due to this being the thinnest grade of tobacco.


The Volado, or Viso, the leaf is found at the lower part of the tobacco plant. It ranks behind Ligero in terms of boldness and spice, and yet, much like Ligero, it offers very little aroma.

The Volado leaf is important in maintaining the even burn ratio of a cigar. This is why cigars that don't use Volado or use too little of it will generally have an uneven burn line. 

The potent burning properties of the Volado make it a vital component of the cigar industry. This is because neither Ligero nor Seco leaves burn well on their own and need the help of the third leaf.

The Secret to the Best Cigar Tobacco Leaves in the World

The finest cigars in the world all have one thing in common: the finest cigar tobacco leaves. After all, tobacco leaves are responsible for the quality of the flavor and boldness in a cigar.
A cigar leaf is a miracle of nature. Simply take a look at any tobacco plant anatomy diagram, and though it looks so primitive, this amazing plant is able to provide so much pleasure. Learning about the three leaves certainly helps one better appreciate the glories of a fine cigar!

Click here to see our extensive list of cigar brands.

What's in a Cigar: Determining the Body, Flavor, and Strength of a Cigar

What's in a Cigar: Determining the Body, Flavor, and Strength

Talk to a connoisseur of anything and they will hit you with some familiar terms used in surprising ways. The jargon of any aesthetic or job can feel like a smoke screen for the content.
Cigars provide a rich history and culture to some otherwise simple words. Describing the qualities of a cigar often comes down to strength, flavor, and body.
But what's in a cigar that provides these distinctions?
We'll go over the simple ingredients and how they affect these terms.

What's in a Cigar?

A cigar, primarily, comprises a wrapper around tobacco leaves. The leaves, though, that is where so much of the magic happens. 

You may have heard stories or jokes about wrapping and its importance. There is an art to wrapping a cigar to keep the leaves packed well enough to not fall apart. This, while still being spaced enough to breathe and smolder. 

Tobacco plants are harvested in a process called priming. Harvesters start at the base of the plant and go through in primings. The leaves at the top become more soaked with nutrients and flavor as the plant feeds them more and longer.

This means that even in a single plant a variety of factors can change in a finished cigar.
Let's take a look at the scope of each metric.


Nicotine concentration reflects only one part of the strength of a cigar. The other component is oil. Oils in the leaves carry more flavors and hit harder.

A strong cigar will carry more flavors and those flavors will linger longer (depending on the body). Nicotine concentration affects the euphoric or heady feeling of smoking a cigar. 

Remember that nicotine is a stimulant. You have one amount and it brings you up, you have too much and it sends you crashing. Plan accordingly and savor a full strength cigar slowly.


Talking about flavor makes some people edgy. It is easy to talk a bigger game than you really understand. to avoid trying too hard we have a guide for enjoying flavors over here.

Flavors exist across a spectrum influenced by taste buds and smell. Still, we've noted which are stronger and more subtle and cataloged them in sweet, bitter, sour, and salty. A cigar flavor chart like this can help you understand taste descriptions.

Flavor ranges from light to full. The higher up the scale, the more complex and deep the flavors will be. 


Unless you suffer from anosmia, you should notice flavors in the mouth and the nose. Take color blindness as an example. Everyone has some part of the spectrum they don't see. Anosmia works the same way, some people don't detect some smells.

Like strength, the higher up the scale in terms of light through full-bodied a cigar is, the more you will pick up. When describing body types you can think of them in the same way as the coating or lasting on the palette of any food. 

Flavors that linger represent a fuller body. Flavors that hit and run tend to be light bodied.

Savor the Day

The individual tobacco leaves inside make up what's in a cigar.

What you experience is dictated by the combination of strength, flavor, and body characteristic.

Consider picking up a sampler and explore how these interplay for yourself!