Not all cigars come clad in simple cellophane. Many of the world's top premium cigar blends are sheathed in additional forms of protection, all of which we will discuss in brief detail here today.
Part protective covering, part cigar billboard, the following five forms of cigar armor are easily the most widely implemented.
Tube-encased cigars are what most people think of when they hear the words "cigar armor," or cigar protection. Commonly constructed from aluminum, tubos typically have a screw cap on one end where the foot of the cigar rests, and a rounded cap on the other for the head.
Oftentimes, there will be a thin sheet of Spanish cedar curled up inside around the cigar. This is called a "cedar spill," and it further protects the cigar from jostling around while serving double duty as a traditional form of lighting a cigar.
Tubos can also be made from glass, and are almost always exclusively reserved for rounded cap parejo style cigars.
While it may not be as secure as an aluminum tube, a cedar-wrapped stogie does provide a fair deal of protection for the most sensitive section of the cigar, its wrapper.
Aromatic and often ribbon banded around the foot, this form of cigar armor makes for a very appealing product. Fans of spicier smokes and cedar aromatics will find the cedar-tubed "Dias de Gloria" by AJ Fernandez to be a particularly nice treat. Whereas infused cigar fans will adore C.A.O.'s bourbon vanilla "Moontrance" premium cigar blend.
It may not be as commonplace as the first two forms of cigar armor, but foil-wrapped cigars do exist. With wrapper protection being their primary objective, this blinging form of coverage tends to sheath the majority of the barrel when implemented.
Aganorsa Leaf's "Signature Selection" serves as a prime example of what foil-wrapped cigar armor can do for a stogie, both in appearance and protection.
Paper-wrapped cigars are becoming more popular than ever. Not only does the paper provide the cigar wrapper some shielding from scuffs, but it also serves as an environmentally friendly form of marketing. The C.L.E. Connecticut serves as a prime example of how this methodology is implemented.
The Banded Foot
Finally, there is the technique of placing a cigar band around the foot of the cigar. While this may not do diddly-squat for the rest of the cigar wrapper, it can help prevent the foot from cracking open during a drop. Some cigars only come with a foot band, with Rocky Patel's "The Edge" being the first that comes to mind.
Like all of the other forms of cigar armor on this list, the cigar foot band serves as a way for cigar manufacturers to further market their wares and set certain premium cigar blends apart from the pack.