Ever come across a cigar that looks like its wrapper is made out of sandpaper, and thought to yourself, "What kinda screwed up science experiment do we have goin' on over here?!"
Well fret not friend, for that rough, seemingly unsightly characteristic is actually a really good sign. All of those little bumps are called "teeth" in cigar lingo, and they are one of the easiest ways of telling if a premium cigar blend has reached the peak of maturity.
Essentially, we are talking about the "flavor crystals" of the cigar world here folks, and hot damn do I get excited when I encounter a toothy cigar!
However, if you are already familiar with this topic, and are merely on the hunt for a few fresh stogie suggestions to sink your teeth into, we've got you covered here at Klaro. Just scroll down to the list of smokes below, and we're confident that you will come across something toothy to suit your tastes.
Now as for those of you who aren't too familiar with this topic... it's tooth talk time!
For a premium long-filler cigar, a multitude of things things happen once it has been formed and rolled. Fermentation and assembly complete, the tobacco that makes up the contents of a premium cigar blend typically encounters a post-production aging process. This smooths out any unsavory rough edges, and allows all of those flavors to meld, resulting in a smoother and more complex cigar flavor profile.
One of the side effects that occasionally occurs during this process (and afterward) is the development of teeth. As all of those sugars, resins, oils, tannins, and various other organic chemical compounds within the cigar age, some of them start to come to the surface. Think evaporation, fermentation, and perspiration all blended into one motion.
But as these vegetal compounds reach the binder and begin to push upward through the wrapper, they run out of real estate and get stuck in the tightly wrapped outer tobacco leaf. With nowhere to go and shit-else to do, these globs of gooey goodness solidify along the surface, forming a rough, often discolored texture along the length of the cigar.
The Tale of the Tooth
Now that's not to say that all premium cigar blends form teeth as they age. Certain blends contain tobacco strains that just aren't prone to producing teeth based purely upon molecular and genetic predispositions.
Only the stickiest, most heavily fermented tobacco tends to produce "teeth" on a cigar wrapper. A couple of exceptions to this rule include Sumatran tobacco strains, and Cameroon wrappers, both of which for whatever reason tend to be quite toothy.
That said, don't go looking for a toothy Connecticut Shade cigar, because they are about as rare as finding hair follicles on the top of Jeff Bezos' melon.
Oily maduro-wrapped cigars and full-flavored smokes with additional age are the most prone to producing teeth, so you'll need to opt for the heavier end of the spectrum to score a "toothy cigar" 9/10 times.
I'm From Alabama, Do I Really Need Teeth?
Finally, it is worth mentioning that:
A) Yes, I am actually from Alabama.
B) A cigar doesn't need to have teeth for it to be considered mature.
Remember, cigar manufacturers age their cigars to the point where each blend is considered to be in its prime. You might be able to "grow" a few extra teeth by aging a cigar in your humidor for a certain amount of time, but there is no guarantee that this tell-tale sign of maturity will develop.
Your best bet is to either comb your local brick-and-mortar, or hope that you score a "toothy cigar" in your next Klaro shipment. It's rare, but not THAT rare. So do you stand a good chance of getting a toothy stick or two every few shipments or so. Either way, just note that if you've got a cigar with some teeth on it, know that it is 100% ready to smoke, and should be savored to the last parting puff.
🦷A Few Toothy Cigars to Try🦷