How Cigar Shapes and Sizes Affect Your Smoke
Every cigar lover has a favorite type of cigar, from a standard corona to a beefy Churchill. There’s something to love and appreciate about different cigar shapes and sizes. What some might not know is that there are some key differences between each that make each style of smoke a unique experience.
Vitolas is the term that refers to cigar shapes and sizes, and cigars will smoke differently depending on which one you pick. So, we came up with a list of ten different styles of cigars and how they differ. If you want to branch out from your favorites or try something new, use this as a resource to get started.
Two things primarily determine the style of a cigar: the length and the ring gauge.
The Cigar Length
This is pretty self-explanatory, but the length of the cigar determines how long of smoke it is. The baseline for the length of a standard cigar is around 5-5 ½ inches.
The Ring Gauge
A ring gauge is essentially the circumference or fatness of your cigar. A fatter cigar has more tobacco in it so you can expect a stronger flavor from the blend of tobacco used.
Conversely, a thinner cigar has less tobacco which means the wrapper has more of an impact on the taste. This makes it interesting to compare different sizes of the same blend of a cigar to note the differences. You may find you enjoy one size more than another.
Corona is pretty much the benchmark for a standard full-size cigar. You can expect a clean and even burn that will last a fair amount of time when smoking one. The ring gauge on one of these is between 42 and 44.
If you were introducing a friend to their first “real cigar” this would be the size to go with, not too small to end the experience quickly, but not such a stogie that they become overwhelmed.
A slightly smaller cigar, also known as a “petite corona” at 4 1/2 inches and a ring gauge of 40 to 42, this one won’t smoke as long as a standard corona but is still a decent size.
You can expect the wrapper to play more of a role in the flavor of one of these due to the tighter ring gauge. If you were wanting to enjoy a quick smoke, in-between activities, this is a good option.
Now we’re moving up to the big boys. The Churchill is a slightly longer and fatter friend of the corona. The Churchill cigar received its name after the famous prime minister, Winston Churchill. Churchill smoked upwards of 300,000 of these cigars during his lifetime.
At 7 inches long and with a 47-52 ring gauge, you’re looking at a good beefy smoke with lots of flavors. A Churchill is probably not ideal as an amateur’s first smoke, but once you graduate to one of these bad boys, you’ll likely never look back.
A true fat boy, the Robusto is 5 inches long with a ring gauge of between 50 and 54, these cigars pack a ton of flavor into a relatively short length. You can expect a full-bodied flavor when smoking one of these.
While the shorter length means you won’t get as long of a burn, the size of the smoke means you’re guaranteed the full flavor of the tobacco blends used. These are a good replacement for a corona if you want a richer experience.
Another of the big boys, and slightly longer than a Robusto at 6 inches, with a ring gauge between 50 and 54 as well, a Toro is a good choice when you want a longer smoking stogie.
These are on the larger end for cigars packing plenty of flavor into their bulging frame, a must for fans of bulky cigars.
The true big boy of the bunch, Gordo’s sport a massive 60 ring gauge and can range in length from 6 to 7 inches. If you’re a fan of a fat cigar, then you’re looking at the biggest out there.
These are great for a full-bodied flavor where the taste of the tobacco leaves an impression. Even if you’re not a fan of the beefier varieties, you should try one of these at least once.
The Double Corona
You could easily call the double Corona an “all day smoke.” It’s almost double the length of a standard corona. So, you can expect to smoke this one for a while. It also has a bit more thickness to it with a ring gauge of 49 to 52.
This is the perfect golf course cigar. These pack in tons of flavor while giving you something to relax with in-between holes. If you like to kick back with a nice long smoke, you can’t go wrong with one of these.
Lancero’s are a bit on the slender side, with a ring gauge of just 38, but at a length of 7 1/2 inches, gives you a decently long smoke. You could call them a “gentleman’s cigar” with the thin profile, a Lancero gives you the full experience of the wrapper and the tobacco while being long enough to enjoy.
If you’re not a fan of the beefier varieties, a Lancero is a good choice for the selective cigar smoker.
The Lonsdale is another contender for the “typical” cigar. It’s about an inch longer than a corona and has a 42 ring gauge. Smoking gives you a nice balanced flavor between tobacco and wrapper.
This is a good second option if you’re looking for an introductory cigar to give out to people that are new to the lifestyle and want to try a “real cigar”.
These carry a distinctive taper to the head. The cut foot squares off. The pyramid is a bit longer than the standard corona or Lonsdale with a length of 6-7 inches. The ring gauge will also vary due to the taper with a low of 40 at the head and 54 at the foot.
The unique thing about pyramid-style cigars is the experience from the head to the foot. The foot is thicker and packed with more tobacco. This gives you get a richer flavor towards the back end of the cigar. Definitely, one that you grow to enjoy more the longer you smoke.
The true stogie is a Perfecto with a tapered and slightly rounded head. It has a fat middle and a closed foot. They range in length between 4 1/2 to 9 inches with the standard length sitting somewhere in the middle, giving you plenty to enjoy, and the ring gauge varies from head to foot from 38 to 48.
The perfecto is aptly named because it strikes the perfect balance between a light beginning, a heavier middle, and a smooth end. You’ll get the full experience of the wrapper, the tobacco blend, and a smooth and even burn if you smoke one of these, making it a great all-around smoke.
If you’re a cigar lover, you likely have favorites that you stick to. Yet, branching out a bit with different styles can enhance the experience, including how your cigar tastes. Sampling different cigar shapes and sizes offer ample smoking experiences. For some, this includes discovering their favorite cigar brand tastes better in a different style. If nothing else, it’s worth exploring what the different cigar shapes and sizes offer in terms of the taste experience.
Photo credit: epcarillio.com