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Bacon Lover
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What was the deal with the H2000 wrappers used on cubans a few years back? From what I understand they were used on most, if not all isoms due to the fact they were more resistant to bugs.
Reason I ask is I actually never had a isom from this era until last week - a monte #2 from 2001 I think. It was HORRIBLE! Had a harsh, sweet, metallic flavor and none of that classic monte creamy tanginess". :pu
 

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MoTheMentor
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ER: H2000 and Habano2000

Let's see if I can explain this right. It's a bit complicated.
First of all, there are two Tobacco strains, both of which are used in wrappers. There's the H2000 which is used on domestic brands here in the US and there's Habano2000, which is a Cuban strain that was used in 2000 production year in Cuban cigars.

The H2000 is believed to be a hybrid [. . . and BTW, any herfs out there feel free to chime in since my sources of information on these wrappers are a bit scattered, but you can check out CigarNexus as a source http://www.cigarnexus.com/ ], I think a cross btwn. Connecticut Wrapper and Cuban seed. It's supposed to have a feel and look similar to Connecticut Shade but impart some very distinctive flavors (closer to Cuban seed) that made its use as a wrapper popular. As far as I know, it's still being used today.

Cuba grows two main strains of tobacco. The Criollo, which is sun grown & used as filler & binder, and the Corojo, shade grown, and is used as wrapper. Cuba has a world renowned "Agricultural/Tobacco EXperimental Station" where there's a lot of tobacco plant breeding taking place and new strains being developed all the time. There's the Habana87, Habana97, and Habana98 strains for instance. [Again, BTW, any herfs out there who have add'l information on the different stains that have been developed please feel free to chime in].

The Habano2000 is an all Cuban STRAIN of wrapper that was genetically bred to be more resilient, insect/fungus/mold/virusresistant and even a bit more weather resistent then the general Corojo wrapper that was popular, and has since been re-instated. The Habano2000 also had a very high yield compared to the regular Corojo strain, which is very delicate, and whose yield is very sensitive to the elements.

The Habana2000 was planted & gave a very high yield, much to Cuba's delight. Unfortunately, as you've noted smokemifyagotem, it tasted like S--T, and made cigars that used that wrapper just not that good. Rumor has it that before the cigar production for the 2000 crop was complete, the Cubans, bowing to pressure and MANY complaints from customers, switched back and finished that year's production with Corojo.

[As an aside, the tobacco plant is one of the most genetically consistent plants in the world. Generation after generation, the plant's genome undergoes very little random change, which makes cross breeding the plant so much fun for geneticists because results are very consistent and reproducible.]

Well, hope that shed some light on the subject. Have fun smoking.

Oh, I just want to add, that while a lot of herfs prefer buying Havanas with age on them, I have found a lot of the '03 dated cigars hitting the market to be so much better than '01 and '02's that I now search more for that year's production than past years'.

MoTheMan
 

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MoTheMentor
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Thanks!
 

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i'd also like to add, although it has nothing to do with cuban cigars, that ANY non-cuban wrapped in the famed H2000 wrapper will suck ass as well. have yet to have a good tasting one of those yet, and will NEVER smoke one again.
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but great info on the cuban HABANO2000 wrapper leaf.
 

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Bacon Lover
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
that totally clears it up - thanks Mo!

I've found that the domestic H2000 wrapper tens to get better with a little bit of age. Even so, not my favorite, but not bad either..
 

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The way I understand it is that Habana2000 and H2000 are the exact same thing, a tobacco strain developed in Cuba but used throughout the tobacco regions.

As for the problems associated with H2000, there is a little confusion regarding what wrapper is what. H2000 does have its fair share of burn problems, but for the most parts, the ones I have seen have been a reddish hue and was very thick and coarse. Another tobacco varietal that has some issues is the H-92 version. This strain is also very thick and dark with a mottled color and burns like crap. I think this is the wrapper that was put on the original 2000 ELs, cause 95% of the ones I have had had are brown and black mottled wrapper and would not burn at all. There was some talk that the EL's were "invented" to use up this wrapper and present them to a market that wanted a darker "maduro" cigar, i.e. US market.

Some of the problems associated with H2000 have been taken care of with a different curing process. The tobacco cant be all that bad, Alejandro Robaina planted H2000 for his crop last year whether it was his choice or not can be debated though.
 

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I just read an article somewhere that the H2000 is coming back soon. :pu
They are taking it out the field earlier this time which they think will make the wrapper better (thinner). One of the big problems with H2K tobacco was the thickness of the leaf which caused many problems with the folks who actually roll the cigars.
I also read somewhere else the reason it is being reintroduced has something to do with a possible mold problem with the '98 C wrapper leaf used the last several planting cycles.
I'm keeping my eyes open and ears to the ground as to when we'll actually see this wrapper in production.
 

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MoTheMentor
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Good updates. Thanks.

JDC20, Do you know for sure about the H2000 and Habana2000 lineages? I have heard both stories, that they are the same seed AND they are different seed (one is a cross hybrid, the other a new varietal strain).
I'll do some additional research & see what I come up with.

MoTheMan
 

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HABANA 2000 - THE WONDER WRAPPER



Emelio Espino, a sub director of the Ministry of Cuba's Agriculture's Tobacco Research Institute was integral in creating Habana 2000.Habana 2000 is a cross between El Corojo , the standard wrapper leaf from the Vuelta Abajo, the Cuban region that many believe produces the best cigar tobacco in the world, and a tobacco called Bell 61-10, a mild cigarette tobacco that's more resistant to blue mould than cigar tobacco. The Cubans first crossed El Corojo and Bell 61-10 tobacco to create something they called Habana 2.1.1. Then they took the new mixture and crossed it again with El Corojo, arriving at Habana 2000. "The whole idea was to develop something that maintained the character of El Corojo but was much more resistant to blue mould and other tobacco diseases." Originally, tobacco men from the United States and Latin America misconstrued the composition of Habana 2000 as a cross between Cuban-seed tobacco and Connecticut shade. The Cubans began developing Habana 2000 in the mid-1980s. Because of an assiduous growing process, which was hindered by tobacco growers' inexperience with harvesting the new leaf, Habana 2000 didn't go into cultivation until 1992. From fermentation and drying to selecting and rolling, the early Habana 2000 crops were difficult to process. Quality, however, has improved with time.



HABANA2000 GROWN OUTSIDE CUBA



Outside of Cuba, Habana2000 is written without the space. There is some controversy as to how cigar manufacturers outside of Cuba obtained the real Habana 2000 wrapper seeds, but Habana2000 is now being cultivated in the Americas and most maintain that it's a better quality wrapper than Connecticut and Sumatra-based types. Habana2000 that is wrapped around non-Cuban cigars is the most important innovation in the premium cigar market since Dominican-shade wrapper hit the market in 1995 and an indication of this is that in the last year, 25 percent of the Best Buys named by Cigar Insider were made with Habana2000 wrappers. - "The Habana2000 grown outside of Cuba is visually stunning. The tobacco is oily and dark, with silky texture. It has rich, complex and muscular flavours and heady, toasty aromas. The most telling observation I can make is that several brands that have added sizes and shapes with Habana2000 wrappers have outperformed their predecessors. The addition of Habana2000 varieties seems to have lifted these cigars from the ranks of the ordinary into the category of the most sought after cigars."

From a retailers website, I won't post a source though.




;)
 

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MoTheMentor
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Great info.
Guess that gets to the heart of the story!!

Thanks again.

MoTheMan
 

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Good article BayouDawg. I didn't believe that Plascensia (sp) developed the tobacco, I thought he was the first to grow it outsided of Cuba. I have been wrong before though....:confused:
 

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MoTheMentor
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Ah!
Some of the basis for the confusion comes to light.
Thanks for this update BayouDawg.

MoTheMan
 

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There is a ton of info out there on this stuff. Here is another

Central American cigarmaker Nestor Plasencia was the first to grow Habana2000 outside Cuba, planting a small test crop in Esteli, Nicaragua, in December 1996. Plasencia said the crop yielded enormous leaves that combined the best qualities of each seed component.
Mike Marsh, Cigar Aficionado
 
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