Cigar Aficionado

Smoking Green for St. Patrick’s Day

I had some leftover candela, or green, cigars from the video shoot I did with Jack Bettridge on Irish Whiskey and cigars. We didn’t smoke the candelas on screen, but used them at the end as a little joke. In the video, I passed on Jack’s offer of a candela.

Today being St. Patrick’s Day, I found myself staring at the candelas in my humidor as I thought about what I would smoke first today. I haven’t smoked a candela in years. So I dove in.

The green cigar is an Arturo Fuente 858 Candela, a 6 1/4 inch long, 47 ring gauge cigar with a considerably green wrapper. If you read my Cigar Aficionado story about candelas, you’ll find that green cigars were once quite popular in the United States. Normal curing turns a leaf from green to brown, but for candela the farmer seals the barn, cranks the heat very high and locks in the cholraphyl of the plant, keeping the color green.

But how would it taste? I lit up the cigar and took a puff. First impression? Not bad at all. Fairly mild, innocent, with just a bit of a freshly cut grass note on the palate. I kept smoking.

After an inch or so, the cigar became more toasty, with a bit of a graham cracker flavor. That grassy taste was a little less pronounced, but still there. I wouldn’t call the flavor great, but it was far from bad. The cigar burned beautifully, held a nice ash and the draw was exceptional.

A green cigar. Did it taste better than I thought it would? Yes. Will it become part of my regular rotation? No. But it's a flavor and a type of cigar that some people love. And on a day where green is king, it’s a fitting thing to puff.

"You simply have to try the Illusione 88 Candela. " —August 28, 2010 14:59 PM
"Give the Graycliff Emerald for a good green cigar. There is less grassy flavor and more of an herbal charater. Its a pretty solid smoke." —March 18, 2010 13:16 PM