Sometimes also called a “Mini Corona,” this diminutive cigar measures usually 4 1/4 - 4 3/4" by 40-44 ring gauge (rg).
One of the most desired cigar sizes in the world, the Corona measures between 5-6" and has a ring gauge measuring 42-44.
Also known as a “Long Corona”, the Lonsdale generally measures 6 1/2" by 42 rg.
A large Corona, the “Corona Gorda” or “Corona Extra” as it is also known, is generally a parallel cigar measuring between 5 1/2 to 6" with a ring gauge of 46-52.
The single most popular cigar size is the Robusto. It generally measures 5" by 50 rg but many manufacturers now produce larger cigars under the “Robusto” name.
Also known as Epicure, the Toro size is a 6" inch cigar with a ring gauge of 50-54. Gaining in popularity, the Toro is the middle point between the Robusto and Churchill sizes in terms of length.
Churchill (pictured above)
Named after Sir Winston Churchill, the Churchill size is a popular cigar that is most often between 6 1/4 and 7" with a ring gauge of 48-54.
This large cigar is over 7" in length, often between 7 1/2-8" with a ring gauge of 49-52.
A very popular large ring gauge cigar measuring 6" x 60 offered in the Perdomo Habano line.
A short, stout cigar measuring 4 1/2" in length with a 60 ring gauge, offered in the Perdomo Lot 23 line.
A beautiful 6" x 60 ring gauge cigar offered in the Perdomo Grand Cru line.
Other parallel cigar sizes include:
Lancero (7" by 38 rg), Panatela (6 1/4" by 36 rg), and the enormous “A” (9 1/2" by 47 rg).
Torpedo (pictured above)
The most popular of the non-parallel shapes is the Torpedo. The tip on a Torpedo usually comes to a point and in some factories can be very definitive. The cigar flares out for about an inch before becoming mostly parallel. Although it will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, the Torpedo shape is generally 6-7" in length with a ring gauge between 48-54.
A shorter version of a Torpedo, the Belicoso usually measures between 5-6" and like the Torpedo has a ring gauge between 48-54. Belicosos often do not have the sharply pointed head of a Torpedo and tend to be more rounded.
This Figuardo varies greatly in length and shape. Perfectos can range between 5-8" and come in almost any ring gauge. Generally they do have some similarities and typically have a small head (38-44 rg), are much thicker in the middle than on the head or foot of the cigar (50-60 rg) and have a tapered foot. A common example of the Perfecto shape is the Salomon; often 7 1/2" in length with a 49 rg head, a swell up to a 60 rg middle, and a tapered foot.
A short, stout torpedo measuring 5" x 60 ring gauge available in the Perdomo Lot 23 line.
The flavor of a cigar can vary from mild to intensely full-bodied in nature, depending on how it is blended. If the blender is looking for a mild cigar he will use primarily Seco tobaccos and a light wrapper, such as Connecticut Shade, that will compliment the natural sweetness of the Seco filler and binder tobacco.
If the blender is looking for a fuller flavored cigar, then they will use more Ligero tobacco in the filler with more complex, stronger flavored tobaccos for a full-bodied taste. In this case the blender would not use a light wrapper, but a Cuban-seed, sun-grown wrapper or a Maduro wrapper. Although the flavor characteristics can range from very-mild to extremely-strong, balance is always of the upmost importance in a quality cigar.
The wrapper is the tobacco leaf that is on the outside of the cigar, covering the filler and binder bunch. Wrappers come in many different colors depending on the seed strain of the tobacco and the environment in which they are grown. These different seed strains allow the blender to have a variety of tobaccos in which to produce a perfect balance of flavor and complexity for his cigar.
Over the years there have been many articles detailing the assortment
and range of wrappers including:
Sometimes called “Double Claro,” this tobacco was once the wrapper of choice but unfortunately is no longer widely available. The wrapper tends to have a green hue to it and imparts a distinct flavor that some love and some dislike strongly. You’ll have to try it to see where you fall!
This light tan color of wrappers is one of the more popular choices. The successful Connecticut Shade falls into this category.
This wrapper is reddish brown in color and imparts more of a flavor profile to the cigar than the Claro version.
This wrapper is darker than the Colorado, but not a Maduro. It is dark brown in color and is typically used on fuller flavored cigars. It generally gets its color from undergoing a longer or secondary fermentation.
This dark brown to almost-black wrapper is rich and naturally sweet. In this case, the dark color doesn’t mean that the cigar is going to be strong as Maduro wrappers and can be used on cigars with a sweet, espresso characteristic. They can also be used on spicy potent cigars. This flexibility allows manufacturers to produce Maduro cigars for different brands within their different profile lines.
Wrappers come from all over the world including, but not limited to:
With a Humidor
(travel humidors pictured above)
Any true cigar lover will tell you - a humidor is a must. There is no better way to maintain flavor when storing cigars. Plus, humidors can also be used to age cigars for many years, keeping the proper humidity to maintain the perfect smoking condition of the cigars.
Although “ideal” conditions for cigars is 70° temperature / 70% humidity, 62° to 65° is acceptable and will help prevent mold. Just remember that the lower the temp, the higher the humidity you need to maintain proper moisture content. Likewise, the higher the temp, the less humidity. In general, keeping your humidor in a relatively cool place is best.
In addition, a small, portable, digital hygrometer-thermometer can be very helpful to double check your humidor and ensure that you have the perfect setting for your favorite cigars.
Without a Humidor
A humidor is a great, and almost necessary, investment if you are going to turn cigar collecting into a hobby. But if you don't have one yet, cigars can be stored for about 2 weeks without one.
1) Using antibacterial soap and warm water, wash a plastic storage container then let it dry.
2) Dampen a paper towel and place it in the corner of the container against the side. This creates moisture inside the container even when it’s shut.
3) Without letting the cigars touch the damp towel, place them in a row. You do not want them to get wet! A divider is a good way to make sure that this does not happen.
4) Seal tightly and store the container in a cool, dark place until you use the cigars.
Note: If you need to store them for longer than 2 weeks you can get a humidor pouch, which can store cigars for up to 90 days.
Once you are ready to smoke the cigar you will need to cut it properly. A cigar should not be cut until you are ready to smoke it.
There are several options but the straight cut made with a guillotine cutter is the most common. Hold the cigar with one hand and the guillotine with the other, then insert the head of the cigar into the guillotine and cut into the cap, usually about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch down. Make sure not to cut into the body of the cigar and not past the cap area.
If the head of the cigar is shaped like a cone, then cut into the cone, but not quite at the widest part. In any case, you do not want to cut into the body of the cigar and cause the wrapper to unravel.
Start off by holding the cigar horizontally. You’ll want to “warm” the cigar by holding the flame directly underneath the end of the cigar. Slowly rotate the cigar until the end is evenly charred over the entire surface. Next, put the cigar in your mouth and hold the flame just close enough to the end without letting the flame touch it (about an 1/2"). Slowly draw on the cigar while rotating it - the main goal is to get it evenly lit. Gently blow on the glowing end - if it is burning evenly then you are ready to sit back and enjoy.
Relighting a cigar can be tricky but there are a few techniques that can help.
One technique is to clear all the ash by gently rubbing and/or tapping it on the ashtray. You then re-toast the cigar to get the wrapper going. Relight the cigar by puffing, then blowing out - not in - through the cigar. This is supposed to clear the tar and resins left from the previous light. Be careful though as sometimes blowing out causes you to blow out sparks.
Another technique is to cut the foot of the cigar about 1/4 to 1/2-inch back. This should leave you with mostly “fresh” tobacco. Depending on how deep you cut it back, you may find the tobacco in the center is a little scorched or blackened but cutting it back it will help keep the cigar from tasting bitter.
An important detail to note is that to avoid an acrid taste to the flavor, a cigar must be relit within 1 hour of it going out.
Anillo - Band
The ring of paper wrapped around the closed head of most cigars that often contains colorful graphics, the brand name, country of origin, and/or indication that the cigar is hand-rolled.
The mixture of different types of tobacco in a cigar.
The smell of a fine cigar. Inappropriately stored and/or dried-out cigars will lose their bouquet.
The amount of air that gets pulled through a lit cigar. It can be too easy (hot) or too tight (plugged).
The taste that lingers after a puff. Finishes vary with mild cigars having very little finish while stronger, more full-bodied cigars have distinctive flavors that tend to linger.
The foot of a cigar is the end that is lit.
Refers to the strength of a cigar.
Literally translated it means Havanas, a denomination of origin for Cuban cigars.
The closed end of the cigar; the end you smoke.
A room, or box designed to preserve the proper storage of a cigar or promote aging by maintaining a relative humidity level of 65-70 percent and a temperature of approximately 65°F to 70°F.
The width of a cigar based on 64ths of an inch. A 32 ring gauge cigar is 32/64ths of an inch thick, or 1/2 inch in diameter. A 48 ring is approximately 3/4 inches in diameter.
The area where the cap meets the body of a cigar. Cutting the shoulder will often cause the cigar to unravel.
A Cigar roller.
As with wine, it refers to the year the tobacco was harvested as opposed to the year the cigar was made.