Cigar Buying Guides

CA Report: Green Cigars For St. Patrick’s Day


Updated March 2022

Are you looking for the best cigars to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Well…aren’t you lucky?!

Green clothes. Green hats. Suspect green beer. And a guaranteed hangover the next day at work. That’s the St. Paddy’s Day way. But what about cigars? Yep, they can be green, too. And as off-putting as they may look to some, green smokes have a set of unique flavors among their bragging rights – like tea, sweet grass, and a mellower profile.

They’ve also been around a long time, and believe it or not, were once as popular as ol’ faithful Connecticuts.

These green leaf cigars are using a Candela wrapper (you might also see them called Claro or rarely, Jade). Whatever it is you call them, they’ll turn heads at any lounge.

Why are Candela leaves green instead of brown?

Most premium tobacco goes through a lengthy curing stage that takes about 50 days. Normally, the curing process oxidizes the leaves, robbing them of their green pigment (chlorophyll).

With Candela, farmers will flash cure the tobacco, accelerating the timetable to about three days. Curing like this requires high temperatures, so they use heaters to push the thermometer upward of 165 degrees. On the final day, the heaters are turned off, the barn doors are opened, and they cure normally for the remainder of their time to rehydrate. The entire process happens so fast that the tobacco never loses its chlorophyll. Voilà. Green cigar wrappers.

It’s worth noting that this fast curing typically makes for a mellower leaf.

Now that you’ve earned your Candela degree, let’s get into our “Lucky 7” picks to smoke on St. Patrick’s Day:

Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan

The ultimate no-brainer: Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan. This is of course an extension of the Alec Bradley Black Market that has been wildly popular with cigar smokers everywhere, only this now comes equipped with a dual Candela/Maduro barber pole wrapper. It’s tailor made for celebrating St. Paddy, but you can expect the same flavors you love from Black Market, updated with a more pronounced sweetness. And while it’s nothing you can’t handle in the strength department; it may be a good stepping stone for newer smokers looking to explore stronger cigars.

Arturo Fuente Claro

There’s that other name for Candela – Claro. In Spanish, this word means “clear,” or for our purposes, “light.” Essentially, any time you see the word Claro in the cigar biz, we’re talking about a light-colored cigar which can be anything from a Connecticut Shade to a Candela. In any case, Arturo Fuente Claros are actually one of their most popular sticks – and not just on St. Patrick’s Day! It’s an everyday go-to cigar for many Candela lovers; just listen to them swear up and down that they’re the best mellow cigar money can buy.

Rocky Patel Edge Candela

Green tea, sweet spices, and a bit of an edge. That sounds about right – we are talking about Rocky Patel Edge Candela, after all! Don’t worry, these green sticks aren’t gonna knock you out of your shoes, just expect a pinch of pepper to keep things interesting. For this blend, Rocky picked a Honduran hybrid leaf, but he’s stayed quiet about the tobaccos on the inside. Doesn’t matter what they are to us. It satisfies all the way down to the nub – that’s all we need to know.

La Flor Dominicana Double Claro

If you’re looking for the typical ‘knock you on your ass’ LFD experience, La Flor Dominicana Double Claro isn’t it. What it is: a medium-bodied offering via a lush Candela wrapper that still goes big in the flavor department. Double Claro smokes smooth with a sweet, earthy taste that reminds me of tea, pepper, and even a hint of lemon, thanks to a robust array of hand-selected Dominican tobaccos in its core.

ACID Blondie Green

Don’t worry, infused cigar fans, Drew Estate has a green cigar for you. Built upon their wildly successful ACID Blondie blend, Blondie Green smokes even sweeter thanks to a Candela wrapper amplifying the mellow-yet-aromatic taste of the original. All those herbs, essential oils and botanicals that make up Drew’s secret recipe goodness remain. If you’re going to get yelled at by some Karen for smoking a cigar within nose shot this St. Pat’s, it probably won’t be this one.

The Upsetters Para El Sapo

And now for something completely different…Nick Melillo goes off the beaten path to make this Figurado – Jamaica, to be exact, where a strain of tobacco called “cow tongue” has been growing for generations. A Drew Estate alum, Nick infused the tobacco with his own blend of herbs and spices…wrapped it in a traditional Candela finish, and ta-dahhh: The Upsetters. There’s a hefty dose of Nicaraguan tobacco in there too, because it (A) adds complexity and (B) Nicaragua adds its own flavor of reggae. The perfect smoke if your Irish tunes are more Paddyrasta than Dropkick Murphys.

Espinosa Wasabi

Leave it to Erik Espinosa to go full tilt on a Candela. He calls it Wasabi, and just like the Japanese horseradish that inspired its name, it’s decidedly spicy. The blend builds with peppery notes of cedar, earth, and sweet tobacco – all thanks to a unique Nicaraguan Clara Rojiza flash-cured, wrapper. What’s in the core is a secret, but we’re convinced it’s got some strength behind it. Keep it on your short list if you want your St. Paddy’s Day cigar menu kept on the bolder side.

Garcia y Vega Game Palma Green

Maybe you just want to try something green without spending a lot of green on it. Understandable. Garcia y Vega makes a machine-made Candela on a budget – and it averaged 4.5 stars from Famous Smoke Shop customers. Not bad for a box that’s just over a buck a stick!

So there you have it, folks – the green cigars you should try, plus a side of knowledge. Go green – and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!