Maduro is a term that can be confusing at times, mostly because it’s changed in meaning over the years. First of all, “Maduro” means “mature” or “ripe” in Spanish.
When I refer to Maduro, I’m talking about the actual process the wrapper goes through during fermentation. Maduros undergo a lengthier fermentation process that allows the tobacco to heat up naturally using introduced moisture and heat created by the weight of the tobacco stacked around the middle of the Pilón (120+/-degrees) before turning the tobacco.
Since not all tobacco can withstand this amount of heat, only higher primings (top of plant) and certain varietals of tobacco can be used. During the process, the leaf converts starches in the tobacco into sugars, which gives Maduro wrappers the dark, oily color they’re known for. Despite the sometimes intimidatingly dark hue, properly fermented Maduro tobacco should deliver a nice and rewarding sweetness.
Today, a lot of people use the word Maduro to simply describe the color of the leaf. Typically, the leaves that yield this color are high priming Connecticut Broadleaf and San Andrés varietals. Using the top of the plant on the two popular tobaccos usually delivers a darker color.
To help further the conversation and dig even deeper, we called up our friend Christian Eiroa and picked his brain. Check out his take below.
If you are looking to try out some Maduro cigars, we recommend these below.