Wrappers A-Z: Connecticut Shade

Connecticut leaf (or Connecticut Shade) is the gold standard of non-Cuban cigar wrappers. Revered for its silky feel and barely visible veins, this thin wrapper also burns like a champ. It’s the mild cigars lover’s wrapper and the most expensive wrapper leaf grown in the world and subsequently is used in the world’s most expensive cigars. It is mild in flavor with a subtle sweet woodiness and toast characteristics. Blenders love this leaf because it really allows them to experiment with the filler. This leaf is grown under shade, except in Ecuador, where everything is said to be grown in full sun.

Connecticut Shade is grown in the Connecticut River Valley, and this leaf is prized above all else. So much so that Davidoff had to start growing the leaf in Ecuador so they could put in on all of their cigars!


Other Versions

  • Ecuadorian – Often referred to as “Ecuadorian Sun Grown Connecticut”, this wrapper is arguably preferred in today’s market than the US version; as it has just a bit more flavor, a little less “grassiness” and a little more earth and depth. The color of the wrapper is generally a touch darker, mostly due to being completely sun grown (although most of Ecuador is in constant cloud cover). Davidoff and AVO make exceptional Ecuadorian Connecticut cigars. Also used in the 5 Vegas Gold, among many other cigars.
  • Havana Connecticut – This project was attempted in the mid 90’s (article) but I have heard little of it since. They did not even plan on using this for Habanos.
  • Honduran Connecticut Shade – This wrapper is on the La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especiale and the Alec Bradley American Classic.

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