Those who are new to the complex and wide world of cigars ask themselves many questions; one of the most frequent is: what is the difference between long-filler and short-filler cigars?
Let's start by defining what each of these two categories means:
What are long filler cigars?
A long filler cigar, also known as a long leaf cigar, is a handmade cigar that is characterized by its internal construction and flavor. The way the tobacco leaves are assembled establishes an important difference with other cigars. The long filler refers to the filling of the cigar, which consists of whole tobacco leaves, rolled one on top of the other along the entire length of the cigar.
Premium handmade cigars only use long filler, resulting in what are known as "premium cigars". A premium cigar generally blends between two and five leaves of filler tobaccos. The whole leaves are long, folded or rolled together, and form a tube wrapped by a binder and leaf wrapper.
Long filler cigars are prized by tobacco connoisseurs for their quality and complexity of flavor. The quality of the tobacco used, the skill of the torcedor (the person who rolls the cigar) and the aging process of the cigar also influence the smoking experience.
What are short filler cigars?
Short filler cigars, also known as chopped filler cigars, are a type of cigar usually made by machine, whose filler is composed of chopped or shredded tobacco leaf fragments instead of whole leaves.
The chopped and shredded leaves are usually left over from the manual process of making premium cigars. Short filler, also known as picadura, is used in various types of machine-made cigars or in a hybrid of short leaves and some long leaves, commonly known as Cuban sandwich or mixed filler cigars.
Differences between long and short filler cigars
The differences in filler composition between long filler and short filler cigars have consequences both in the shape and burning time of the cigar and in its flavor.
Differences in combustion:
The whole tobacco leaves from which long-filler cigars are made provide a uniform blend of flavors and aromas as the cigar burns. Conversely, the variability of the bite of short filler cigars tends to generate less uniform combustion, which can result in uneven burn and flavor release.
Differences in taste:
Because the filler of long filler cigars is composed of whole leaves, their selection aging and treatment have been subject to special care. In addition, the different layers of tobacco are burned gradually and evenly, as a result of which, the flavors tend to be smoother and more fully appreciated as they are progressively released as the cigar is consumed, offering a smoother and more complex smoking experience.
Short filler cigars often offer a more concentrated and, in some cases, spicier flavor compared to long filler cigars. Flavors can be more intense, but less complex.
It is important to remember that the choice between long-filler and short-filler cigars depends largely on the personal preferences of the individual smoker. Both types offer different smoking experiences, and the quality of the tobacco used and the skill of the roller also influence the overall quality of the cigar.