When it comes to cigars, the binder is an essential component that helps to keep the filler in place and maintain the tightness of the cigar. It is important to choose a binder that is of good quality and blends well with the flavor of the wrapper. The binder also helps to create consistency in the cigar and determine its stretch. If it is too loose, the cigar will burn too quickly and unevenly, while if it is too tight, you will have to re-light your cigar frequently. The filler is what gives the cigar its flavor, strength, and boldness.
While there are many variables that can affect a cigar's flavor, such as soil content, tobacco variety, climate, curing, fermentation, and aging, most tobacco manufacturers agree that the wrapper has the potential to influence the subtle secondary notes that large cigars can transmit. However, this potential depends on the type of wrapper used and how it is used. Like a chef in a kitchen, a tobacco maker carefully selects different percentages of wrapper, binder, and filler to create a unique flavor. The binder holds together the filling and can have a significant impact on the overall flavor of the cigar. In larger ring-caliber cigars, such as robustos, the cluster (the combination of binder and filler) has more influence on flavor than the wrapper.
On the other hand, in lanceros, the wrapper plays a more important role due to less filling tobacco. Some companies use this debate as inspiration to create unique cigars with two different wrappers rolled up together. When smoking these cigars, fans will notice a change in taste as they reach different wrappers. For a cigar binder to perform its function correctly, it must be elastic and strong. It should also share characteristics with both its neighbors - the wrapper and filler. The binder must be thick enough to keep all components in place and give the cigar its final shape before applying the wrapper. Some cigars even have multiple binders designed to ensure that all internal components stay in place.
The wrapper, binder, and filler must create a pleasant mix to form an ideal cigar. The tightness of the application of a binder around the fillers helps determine the quality of stretch and burning rate. The folder is usually of lower quality than the wrapper but still decent enough to serve its purpose. Some cigars do not even require a binder - such as machine-made cigarettes and cigars that use short refills.