There is no perfect cigar, just the right cigar for you. What is right for your taste buds and sense of smell may differ from mine. The joy is in the journey, one smoke at a time. The sheer number of shapes, sizes and brands can seem overwhelming at times, but with a little knowledge and curiosity, the rewards are well worth it.
There are so many sizes and shapes today you could get lost in a forest of information. There was a time when it was all uniform and the name indicated the size and shape. Now a Churchill can range from 6 3/4 to 8 inches; this discrepancy occurs in all the sizes. The standard way to describe a cigar is by the length in inches and diameter or “ring gauge”.
A cigar which is 6 1/2 X 46 is six and a half inches long and 46/64 inches in diameter. A name a manufacturer chooses to call a size and shape may not be familiar, but you will eventually figure out what size you like. If you like a Churchill, then with time, you will be able to look at a cigar and know it fits within that size and shape no matter what creative name it has been given. The tobacco used in a cigar will determine the strength, not the size or shape. You should note, however, that thinner cigars will most likely smoke hotter than the thicker cigar. I smoke several different sizes and shapes depending on the cigar and brand.
There are two main categories of size and shape:
Parejos are straight-sided cigars. They have an open foot for lighting and need to be cut before smoking.
Corona, Churchill, Robusto, Corona Gorda, Double Corona, Lonsdale, and Figurados include any cigar which is not a straight-sided round.
Pyramid, Belicoso, Torpedo, Perfecto, Culebra, etc.
I discovered size does matter when I tried to smoke one of my favorite cigars and my local shop was out of the size and shape I usually smoke. No problem. Right?
I didn’t enjoy the cigar near as much yet I still liked the cigar enough to finish it. The blend was the same but the cigar smoked differently and the overall experience changed.
When my local shop received their shipment with the size I liked, I purchased it with hesitation. My concern was could the manufacturer have made changes to the blend and that is why I did not like it the last time? My fears were unfounded; the cigar was as fantastic as I remembered. However, if I had never tried a different size, I would not have known that it made a difference.
Explore different sizes and shapes. Go to your favorite cigar and smoke the box-press or torpedo and see if it makes a difference.
My first box-pressed cigar felt strange to me. But, the more I smoked them the more I came to appreciate the shape. You will notice a difference in mouthfeel, taste and the way it smokes between the sizes and shapes for some of the blends.
Eventually, you will find your favorite within each brand and blend. Enjoy the adventure and keep smokey.
By Tara Maloney