What are Culebras Cigars and How Do You Smoke Them?

What are Culebras Cigars and How Do You Smoke Them?

Partagas Culebras (Image Source: CutLightSmoke)


Possibly one of the most unique, oddly-shaped Cuban Cigars in the market - the culebras. When you think of ordinary cigars, you will immediately think of the traditional, long brown tube characteristic that of Robusto or Corona vitolas. However, a culebras does not fit that mould. If you were to compare it to something, it resembles a vine or even snakes - hence, the name ‘culebras’ meaning ‘snake’ in Spanish. This cigar is a novelty and, certainly, is a distinctive cigar to add to your Cigar Collection. Want to find out more? Continue reading below.


The origin of the culebras isn’t clear; however, there are a few theories to how this weirdly-shaped cigar came about. Based on a limited written history, it is thought that the cigar first came from the Philippines during the late-1800s when the cigar industry was starting off. The idea behind the shape is that, maybe, by weaving thinner cigars together it can help the tobacco mature quicker. Another popular theory by aficionados is that the culebras was made for those who worked in the cigar factories. Within a day, it was said that each worker was given three cigars to smoke, this was done so that they can prevent workers from taking the cigars home - either for selling or smoking themselves. These are just a few theories to how the culebras came about, and even today, many cigar enthusiasts aren’t a hundred percent sure whether they’re accurate or not. Despite this, culebras cigars are still being widely made and distributed within the market.

Partagas Culebras LCDH 


The culebras is made with three panetelas cigars measured to be about 6-inches with a 38 ring gauge. This is considerably thinner than most other cigars, for instance, the Robusto, a popular choice for many aficionados, has a ring gauge of 50. The reason why the panetelas of the culebras are thin is mainly due to the fact it is easier to weave them together. Each panetela could either be handmade or machine-made, and in the case of the Partagas Culebras in our Cuban Cigar Shop, it is handcrafted in Cuba.

On top of making the cigar thinner, the panetelas of the culebras tend to be underfilled or over moistened to further allow ease into braiding the cigars together. If this isn’t done, then it will run the risk of splitting or cracking while weaving the cigars - which isn’t ideal at all. After being plaited, the three panetelas are wrapped together with a ribbon, and eventually, the moisture will evaporate, allowing the culebras to maintain the shape (even if you take out a panetela!).

The Twilight Zone (1963) Burgess Meredith playing a culebras-smoking Satan.


At first glance, some people may think that you smoke the culebras with all three panetelas together. Though it may be possible, it is not recommended. When it comes to smoking a culebras, you should first unwrap the ribbon, and then separate them. Afterwards, take one panetela and light it up with a high-quality lighter like the Davidoff Prestige Palladium Lighter, while you put away the other two in your dedicated humidor. Alternatively, you could also give the two other cigars to share with friends. A culebras cigar is a great choice for smoking with other people, imagine taking it to a Cigar Lounge, it is sure to attract some attention as it is a very rare cigar!

The Culebras cigar is one of the most distinguishable novelty cigars in the market, especially with its unique looks. It isn't the most popular choice for many aficionados, however, it is certainly a rare, novelty cigar that can be considered as a collectible! If you want to stay up-to-date with everything associated with Cuban cigars, check out our Cuban Cigar Blog.