FrontRunners: Select Smoke
GRAYCLIFF EMERALD, GRAYCLIFF CIGAR CO.
Cigar makers have identified more than 75 distinct wrapper shades, but the most recognizable is perhaps candela (Spanish for candle), which is also called double claro (clear or light) or claro claro, because of its startling light-green tincture. The once wildly popular, slightly sweet and mild wrapper became less common in the 1970s as the trend shifted toward heavier-tasting cigars, but a handful of manufacturers are now going green. One of the latest cigars to use the candela wrapper is the Graycliff President (7 x 48), one of three sizes in the Bahamas-based company’s Emerald line. The wrapper is grown in Ecuador, and a process of applying intense heat, called “fire curing,” removes the plant’s moisture but retains the green chlorophyll. Graycliff plans to release 25,000 Emerald cigars this year through 42 shops worldwide and directly from the Graycliff Cigar Co. ($22) www.graycliff.com