This is the probably the trendiest wrapper right now. It is of course also one of the wrappers they use in Cuba (Corojo ’99 variety).
Original Corojo, in fact, was derived from the Criollo seed by natural selection, and this ancient seed is the genetic base seed for the Corojo ‘99 hybrid. A lot of cigar makers have been trying to emulate the rustic taste of a Cuban cigar for years, and this is the leaf they’ve been using. Corojo was first grown in the fertile Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba, and was originally developed by Diego Rodriguez. Now it is grown almost entirely in Honduras in the Jamastran Valley, as well as parts of western Kentucky in the U.S. The wrapper has come to be almost synonymous with Cuban cigars, however, being as it was used in almost all Cuban cigars from the 1930s to the 1990s.
Cigar enthusiasts will want to note that today the original Corojo seed is no longer used at all; instead, a genetically developed hybrid seed is used which is resistant to the diseases which wiped out so many of the original Corojo crops. The very last harvest of original Corojo wrapper leaves took place in 1996-1997. Here’s a nice article on the Corojo wrapper.
Versions of Corojo
- Costa Rican – I find this has a milder and earthier flavor than Corojo grown in other regions. Try the Alec Bradley Trilogy Authentic Corojo for a good example of this leaf.
- Corojo ’99 – developed in Cuba for wrapper leaf in 1999, but also widely planted in Ecuador and elsewhere.
- El Corojo – historically used for Cuban cigars. Replaced with Corojo ’99 in 1999.
- Honduran – One word – Camacho. They do Honduran Corojo and do it often. They Honduran-grown version is very spicy, lots of pepper and wood with underlying earthiness. One problem with Honduran Corojo is that it is nearly flame retardant. You can always expect to have burning problems with this leaf. Example: Camacho Corojo.
- Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 – Nicaraguan grown version of the Ecuadorian transplant of the Corojo ’99 plant, this is most famous in the Tatuaje line by Pete Johnson and Don Pepin Garcia. The combination of Don Pepin Garcia and the Nicaraguan Corojo plant has made this leaf one of the more popular wrappers today.
- San Andres – A Corojo leaf grown in Mexico featured in the Altadis Edicion Limitadas (RyJ, H. Upmann, Trinidad & Montecristo).