Everything You Need to Know about Cigar Shapes and Sizes
There are a dozen of different shaped cigars online and sometimes it’s really difficult deciding which one is the right one for you. With the extensive selection of brands, shapes and sizes it can sometimes feel almost impossible to choose, particularly when you’re a beginner and you don’t even know where to start. That’s why we’ve written this handy guide on cigar shapes and sizes for every type of smoker.
Just like when you’re shopping for a certain style of shirt or skirt, it’s colour and cut might suit one person and not suit another, the same thought goes into when anyone, from beginners to aficionados, buy Cuban cigars and it’s exactly why some prefer a Figuarado over a Parejo shape.
The shape of the cigar is determined by two factors:
The Length of the Cigar
The length of a cigar is measured in millimetres or inches (we personally measure in mm) and can generally vary from 76mm to 176mm (3-7 inches), with some created smaller and others even bigger. The length of a cigar will give the smoker an idea of how long the smoking experience will be, so if they are attending a special occasion, like a wedding, they may want to opt for a larger size. Whereas if you are expecting to smoke during a break or meeting then it would be best to choose a shorter and slighter cigar.
The Ring Gauge
The ring gauge refers to the diameter of a cigar and just as the length does, it too has an impact on the smoking time. A ring gauge is measured in 64ths of an inch. So the Cohiba Siglo II, for example, has a 43 ring gauge and is therefore 43/64 of an inch in diameter.
The length and ring gauge of a cigar does not impact the strength of a cigar; it is controlled by the tobacco blend used within it. Nevertheless, the length and thickness of a cigar will have an affect on how the cigars burn. For instance, thin cigars like the La Gloria Cubana Medaille d'Or No. 4 Cigar will burn quicker and hotter than a thicker cigar.
Parejos and Figuarados
Cigar shapes separate into two categories, the Parejo, which is a standard shape with a rounded head, and the Figurado which has an irregular shape, such as double tapered. Now we'd love to provide you with a full conclusive list of every single shape, but the following guide will provide you with more than the basics and assist you in your journey to cigar aficionado.
Parejos are considered to be a typical cigar format. They are usually straight sided, very smooth and their main feature is the classic rounded head. Mostly they have an open foot and the head will need to be cut before smoking.
‘The King of cigars’ Zino Davidoff.
The Corona is considered the ultimate classic shape and traditionally measures at around 140mm in length by a 42-44 ring gauge.
We have the Montecristo No.3 Cigar for sale, if you want to try one of the best.
Petit Corona (Mareva)
Seeing as it’s parent was so popular, it was an obvious choice to make a corona in a smaller format to please smokers who have less time to spend on their cigars. This vitola usually measures at 114mm with a 40-42 ring gauge.
You can buy Montecristo No.4 Cigar online through our website, which is an excellent example of the Mareva vitola.
- The Churchill (Julieta No.2)
Said to carry the British Prime Minister’s Winston Churchill’s name, inspired by his love for the vitola. This shape traditionally measures at 178mm by a 47- 54 ring gauge.
Example: Romeo y Julieta Churchill Cigar
This short and thick cigar has become a very popular cigar in the present day, particularly in America. It generally measures at 124mm by a 50 ring gauge.
The Double Corona is the largest compared to other standard sized cigars. They usually measure at 190mm with a 49-52 ring gauge.
Example: Ramon Allones Gigantes Cigar
Exquisite and elegant, the Panatela is long and thin and its standard measurements are 127mm by 37.
Example: Por Larrañaga Panetelas Cigar
The Lonsdale was supposedly born out of the smoker’s demand for a corona which had a longer smoking time. It measures at 165mm by 44.
Over the years a number of cigar brands have created innovative and unique vitolas to please the every growing and every changing demands of their customers. These distinctive cigars are known as figurados, which means they are not straight sided and have peculiar formats.
The Pyramid vitola, similar to Parejo cigars, has flat cut feet, but features a very distinctive and much loved tapered head. Adored because they can intensify the complex flavours. These usually measure at 152- 177mm in length by an excellent 40 ring gauge at the head, which can expand to almost 52-54 at the foot.
Example: Partagas Serie P No. 2 Cigar
This shape is traditionally considered a short pyramid and has a softer rounded head. It measures at around 139mm in length with a ring gauge of 50. But in the present day they are considered a coronas shape with a tapered head.
Example: Bolivar Belicosos Finos Cigar
The torpedo cigars are regularly referred to as pyramids in the present day, but torpedos are acutally one of the rarest cigars on the market. The torpedo has a closed foot, a tapered head and traditionally has a bulbous middle.
A truly unique and beautiful cigar, the perfecto has a closed foot like the torpedo and it too has a bulbous middle. This is where the comparison ends, as the perfecto has a rounded heard like a parejo. The size of these cigars can vary in length tremendously, with some measuring at 114mm in length to others measuring at 220mm. The general ring gauge size measures at 38-48.
Example: Bolivar Lusiadas Cigar
Not as popular as they once were, but something every true aficionado should try, the culebra is one of the most irregular shaped cigars. It comprises of three panetelas which have been plaited together and secured with string, which is then sold as one cigar. Not to be smoked as one though, unless you want a nicotine rush sure to make you sick. The smoker will untie them and smoke each cigar separately. The Culebra is usually 127-152 mm long and has a 38 ring gauge.
Example: Partagas Culebra Cigar LCDH
If you’d like some more information about cigars, see the previous posts on our Cuban Cigar Blog to find articles on Cigar Wrappers and more. Or feel free to contact us via any of our social media platforms and email if you need any questions answered.