One of my new favorite cigars is the Liga Privada T52 by Drew Estate. This cigar may just revolutionize the cigar industry.
Most tobacco plants are primed, a method where the tobacco leaves are harvested by hand from the bottom of the plant to the top at various times throughout the growth process. The leaves are then tied in pairs and hung in drying barns. A leaf takes roughly 50 days to cure in the drying barns before it is ready to be fermented in Pilones.
With the T52 the tobacco plants are Stalk Cut and then Stalk Cured. Stalk Cutting allows the plant to grow until maturation and then the harvester cuts the plant at the base. After the plant is Stalk Cut, the whole plant is air cured. This process is called Stalk Curing and takes much longer to dry than primed tobacco leaves because the leaves cure while still attached to the stalk and continue to receive nutrients while drying. But this extra time and nutrients give the leaves a much richer flavor.
With the recent success of the T52, I'm hoping more companies are willing to invest the extra time and extra cost in producing lines that use Stalk Cut and Stalk Cured tobaccos.