Cigar Shapes: What They Mean
We’ve all seen various sizes and shapes of cigars in shops and there seem to be nearly as many shapes, regions, and types as you can imagine, but to the novice cigar enthusiast, and sometimes the experienced, learning about the shapes can be confusing and overwhelming. Cigar shape can affect the way a cigar smokes, as well as how the flavor is distributed while you are smoking. Each shape represents the care and craftsmanship put into every stick to bring out the flavors, as well as improve the quality of your smoke. From pointed torpedos to a short, wide Gordo, different cigar shapes and sizes have a meaning!
Some basics to keep in mind have to deal with general cigar terms. Measured in units of 1/64th of an inch, the ring gauge is how big around a cigar is at its widest measurement, similar to the gauge of wire or shotgun shells. The length is the measurement from the tip to the foot in inches. The shape of a cigar is based more on the mouthfeel, the way the cigar is rolled, or how it feels in the hand, but has little to do with the strength or flavor of the tobacco, which is all determined by the wrapper, binder, and filler mixture.
Parejo Cigar Shapes
Parejos are typically box-pressed or hand-rolled cigars with straight sides and an open foot and a closed tip that must be cut before smoking. These are the most common shapes of Parejos with standard dimensions (length X ring gauge).
- Corona: The standard measurement and the most common cigar shape/size. A nice burn that takes around to 45 minutes to smoke, depending on your pace. Dimensions: 5.5-6 inches X 42-44 ring gauge
- Petit Corona: An inch to an inch and a half shorter than the corona, it has nearly the same ring gauge and serves as a shorter smoke at around half an hour. Dimensions: 4.5 inches X 40-42 ring gauge
- Churchill: Similar in shape to the Corona, but longer and slightly wider. Named for the avid cigar aficionado, Winston Churchill, this cigar is one to be savored for up to an hour and a half or more. Dimensions: 7 inches X 47 ring gauge
- Robusto: Gaining popularity in America during the first half of the 20th Century, the Robusto is a thicker cigar, with a decent burn time of 45 minutes to an hour. Dimensions: 4.75-5.5 inches X 48-52 ring gauge
- Corona Gorda: A little bit fatter than a typical Corona, the Gorda has a different mouthfeel but burns a little longer than the Corona (around an hour). Dimensions: 5.625 inches X 46 ring gauge or 6 inches X 50 ring gauge
- Double Corona: Go big or go home with this take on the Corona. You are looking at a good hour and a half to two hours of enjoying this stick. Dimensions: 7.5-8.5 inches X 49-52 ring gauge
- Pantela: A thinner stick than the standard set by the Corona, without sacrificing length. It provides a relaxed mouthfeel and includes less filler. Dimensions: 5-7.5 inches X 34-38 ring gauge
- Lonsdale: With the Lonsdale, think long and thin. Similar dimensions as a Churchill but with a slimmer profile, and a smoke that takes about half as long. Dimensions: 6.5 inches X 42 ring gauge
- Toro: More length than the Robusto, the Toro is extremely popular for mouthfeel, the amount of filler and leaf, as well as consistency of draw. A good 60-75 minute smoke if you can pace yourself. Dimensions: 6 inches X 50-54 ring gauge
- Lancero: This stick is long and lean and provides an hour of enjoyment due to its size. Adjectives to describe it are “elegant” or even “delicate.” These varieties are fairly uncommon but are gaining popularity. Dimensions: 7-7.5 inches X 38-39 ring gauge
- Gran Corona: What are you doing for the next two hours or more? Probably enjoying the hell out of this cigar. This is what you smoke when you have an afternoon or an evening to burn. Dimensions: 9.25 inches X 47 ring gauge
Figuardo Cigar Shapes w/ Standard Dimensions
These are more uniquely shaped cigars, which rely more on craftsmanship rather than box-pressed or other “mass-produced” types. These incorporate the art of cigar rolling to allow for discerning preferences in texture, mouthfeel, and balance. Typically include closed foot and tips that require cutting, these shapes are varied and often unique. The drawback to a Figuardo type is a difference in rolling consistency that you won’t notice as much with a Parejo type.
- Pyramid: Featuring a length of 6-7 inches and a 40 ring gauge at the head, it continues to widen to 52-54 ring gauge at the open foot. This cigar usually lasts about 75-90 minutes, if you take your time.
- Torpedo: Most of today’s torpedos are actually pyramids because true torpedos are extremely rare these days. Offering 60-75 minutes of smoke time, they are distinguished by a closed foot, a head tapered to a point, and a bulge in the middle. Dimensions: 6.5-7.5 inches X 50-54 ring gauge
- Belicoso: A shorter and stubbier version of the Torpedo, they are good for a 45-minute smoke, however less time for flavor to evolve, as opposed to the Torpedo. Dimensions: 5-5.5 inches X 50 ring gauge
- Perfecto: A classic that is becoming rarer, this cigar can vary widely in size, but the defining characteristics are the rounded head, closed foot, and bulge in the middle. A cigar that could be frustrating for novice enthusiasts, due to uneven burning and draw, it is an enjoyable stick with a lot of flavor from beginning to end with lots of complexity throughout. Expect to smoke this cigar within about 45 minutes. Dimensions: 4.5-9 inches x 38-48 ring gauge
- Culebra: You don’t see these around all that often. These are actually 3 smaller cigars braided and tied together. Your choice to unravel and smoke individually or try the challenge of all three at once, it’s really up to you. Dimensions: 5-6 inches X 38 ring gauge
- Diadema: Similar to the Perfecto, these cigars are good for a few hours of smoking. They also include a tapered head, but not to a complete point like a Perfecto. Dimensions: 8.5 inches X 40 ring gauge
Becoming a tobacco enthusiast is always a learning experience. With a wide assortment of leaves including fillers, wrappers, and binders from various origins to choose from you could spend an entire lifetime learning about the differences. Browse our selection of whole leaf tobacco for sale to get started today!