Everything You Need to Know about Cigar Shapes and Sizes
There are a dozen of different shaped Cuban cigars 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. So, let's have a look at all things cigar sizes.
THE LENGTH - You'll find that the length of a cigar is measured in millimetres or inches - generally going from around 76mm to 176mm. You'll be able to determine the smoking time that you'll be awarded from the length of the cigar - with a larger cigar providing a longer smoking time, these make great choices for any special occasion. Whereas if your looking for something quick to smoke during a lunch break, a shorter cigar would be perfect for you.
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 affect 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. Now we'd love to provide you with a fully 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 - Parejos are considered to be a typical cigar format. These are straight-sided and very smooth - with their main feature being the classic round head. Most have an open foot and the head will need to be cut before smoking.
PETIT CORONA (MAREVA) - Seeing as its 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. The Montecristo No.4 Cigar is a great example of the Petit Corona 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, like the Romeo y Julieta Churchill Cigar.
ROBUSTO - 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. One of our favourite Robustos is the Cohiba Robusto Cigar from Cohiba Cuban Cigars.
DOUBLE CORONA - 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. The Partagas Serie P No. 2 Cigar is a much loved double corona.
BELICOSO - 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. The Bolivar Belicosos Finos Cigar is one of the best.
TORPEDO - The torpedo cigars are regularly referred to as pyramids in the present day, but torpedos are actually one of the rarest cigars on the market. The torpedo has a closed foot, a tapered head and traditionally has a bulbous middle.
PERFECTO - 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. The Partagas Salomones Cigar LCDH is worth a try.
CULEBRAS - 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. We are particularly fond of the Partagas Culebra Cigar LCDH
FLAVOUR - Many people often ask the question - does a different size of the same Cuban cigar blend make any difference to the flavour? You’re likely to assume that a larger amount of something literally means you just have more of the same thing, right? Well, when it comes to blending cigars that’s definitely not the case. So to answer your question, yes size does matter! With each of the cigars, you’ll find on our site, they’re produced at the hands of skilled torcedors in Cuba - making it nearly impossible for any two cigar blends to be exactly the same anyway.
Need to refresh your cigar knowledge? Check out our cigar blog:
- CIGAR SOMMELIERS 101: THE BLIND TASTE TEST
- THE GOLDEN AGE OF SMOKING CIGARS
- THE STORIES OF CUBAN CIGAR WORKERS: FAMILY AND TRADITION