Here it is, that age old question . . . wait for it . . . does size really matter? In a cigar, of course!

A cigar is a compact, bundle of dried, fermented tobacco, rolled tightly inside a tobacco leaf and used for smoking. Cigars have a distinct, pungent aroma when burning. Cigar tobacco is grown in warm climates around the world and in the Eastern US.

Cigar Sizes and Shapes

Characterized by size and shape, or vitola, a cigar is measured by its ring gauge (diameter) and its length (inches). The measurement of each cigar size progresses by sixty-fourths of an inch. Cigars are categorized by names, such as Corona or Panetela, instead of size numbers that indicate the length or thickness. This can be very confusing for the cigar enthusiast. Also, the actual size may not be consistent among the manufacturers. Some companies may have identical names, but the cigar may be a different size altogether. There are no specific guidelines for choosing the right sized cigar, so it is best to try different sizes to see which is more comfortable and flavorful.

Cigar Sizes

Cigar sizes vary in length from brand to brand, and it is difficult to describe the size without referring to the shape. A cigar may be long and fat, or short and thin, or vice versa. Larger cigars do not necessarily mean that they are stronger in flavor, but this is not consistency. Milder cigars are less expensive than the ones with a stronger flavor.

Names of Cigar Sizes

The names, shapes and sizes vary, but listed below are a few of the average cigar sizes you may come in contact with. Please keep in mind that these lengths and dimensions are approximate, but this will represent a general sizing scale that can be followed:

PAREJOS (cylinder shape)

Parejos, or straight-sided cigars, must be cut before smoking even though the end is open. The may be round in shape or pressed square before packing.

CORONA: the standard size to which others are measured

Length: 5 1/2″ – 6″ Ring gauge: 42 – 44

PETITE CORONA: a “mini” corona

Length: 4 1/2 inches Ring Gauge: 40 – 42

CHURCHILL: large corona

Length: 7 inches Ring Gauge: 47

ROBUSTO: a short fat cigar; most popular size in the United States

Length: 4 3/4 – 5 1/2 inches Ring Gauge: 40 – 42

CORONA GORDA: also called “toro”

Length: 5 5/8 – 6 inches Ring Gauge: 46 – 50

Cigar Sizes

DOUBLE CORONA: a bulky cigar

Length: 7 1/2 – 8 1/2 inches Ring Gauge: 49 – 52

PANETELA: a long, thin elegant cigar

Length: 5 – 7 1/2 inches Ring Gauge: 34 – 38

GRAN PANETELA: longer than 7 inches

Length: 7 inches or more Ring Gauge: 40 – 42

LONSDALE: thicker than panetelas, but longer than coronas

Length: 6 1/2 inches Ring Gauge: 42

FIGURADOS (Irregular shape)

In addition to the basic parejos, figurados are unusually shaped cigars without straight sides.

PYRAMID: tapered head, cut, open end

Length: 6 – 7 inches Ring Gauge: 40 at head, 52 – 54 at bottom

BELICOSO: short pyramids with rounder head; mini belicosos are also available.

Length: 5 – 5 1/2 inches Ring Gauge: 50

TORPEDO: rare; actually a pyramid with closed end, bulky in the center, and head tapered to point

Cigar Sizes

Length: 6 – 7 inches Ring Gauge: 40 at head, 52 – 54 at bottom

PERFECTO: closed end, bulky in center, round head

Length: 4 1/2 – 9 inches Ring Gauge: 38 – 48 bottom

CULEBRA: exotic, 3-panetela twisted braid, sold as single cigar

Length: 5 – 6 inches Ring Gauge: 38

DIADEMA: gigantic cigar with tapered head

Length: 8 1/2 inches Ring Gauge: 40

Whether cigars are inexpensive and mass produced by a machine in the US, or hand rolled with the finest tobacco leaves from the Honduras, the attraction and allure of the cigar will remain.

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