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Don’t complain about a stem in your cigar. Take a look on social media, or hang out in cigar lounges. Chances are that every once in a while you will hear complaints about a stem in a cigar. Complaints like “this is a 10 dollar cigar and doesn’t suppose to have a stem”. And usually, it’s an uninformed cigar smoker making that claim.

A good premium cigar needs a stem. They add flavor to the blend. They add strength to the body. And they are an important part of the structure of the cigar. So do some research before you make claims that a manufacturer is scamming you. Learn something from industry professionals. Ask informed and experienced cigar aficionados for their opinion, and learn from them.

A lesson from Pete Johnson

Ministry of Cigars Don't complain about a stem in your cigar

A few years ago, Pete Johnson from Tatuaje Cigars posted the picture above on facebook. He opened up seven cigars, from seven manufacturers. The cigars vary from mild to strong. The cigar on the bottom is a strong Nicaraguan cigar, which used tobacco from high primings. And that’s the reason why the veins are thicker.

For educational purposes, I opened up 7 cigars from 7 popular brands. I removed the excess leaf from the center veins/stems to show that they are in every cigar and are a key part to each blend. All of them (the cigars) varying in strength from mild to strong. The cigar on the bottom is a stronger cigar I know well that uses Nicaraguan higher primings in the filler. The thicker the leaf, the thicker the vein/stem. This is normal.


Forgot to mention the need for them for the structure of the cigar.


Pete Johnson – Tatuaje Cigars

The picture shows that all premium cigars use stems, or veins as they are called as well. And that’s for the reasons mentioned above. Flavor, strength, structure but also combustion.

El Tallo

The American company United Cigars announced a cigar will an all stem filler cigar on April 1st. And they claim that it’s not an April’s fools joke. This 6×50 Toro has been five years in the making. Master Blender Jose Dominguez from Tabacalera Magia Cubana is responsible for the cigar. The tobacco is fermented five times. The name of the cigar is El Tallo.

Ministry of Cigars  El Tallo
El Tallo (photo credit: Cigar Authority)

This project inspired Esteban Disla from RoMa Craft to make an all stems filler cigar as well. Skip Martin showed it on his Facebook page. The company does not have any plans for releasing such a cigar. (EDIT: we claimed that Martin said that the cigar was pretty good, yet that was not what Martin said. We apologize for that, our memory served us wrong).

Don’t complain about a stem in your cigar.

So the next time you find a stem in your premium cigar, don’t complain. It is an essential part of the blend, strength, and structure of the cigar. Light it up and smoke.


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