If you’ve ever wandered into a walk-in humidor or a tobacco shop, you’ll know that there are many different types of cigars. The huge variety of cigar shapes and sizes can be intimidating, especially for beginners and those new to cigar smoking. There are many important factors that determine how a cigar will smoke.
In this guide we will cover the large role that size and shape play. However, the cigar type you choose isn’t the only thing that influences the flavor and how it smokes. It’s important to understand how various colors and types of tobacco used in the filler, binder, and wrapper contribute to the cigar’s flavor. If the tobacco is lighter in color, it may have a milder flavor compared to the sweeter, more intense flavors found in darker hues. Flavors also vary greatly depending on where the tobacco is grown and the region it comes from.
Ultimately, the shape and size of the cigar will affect how you perceive the individual flavors in each tobacco blend. A large, robust cigar like a Presidente will smoke and taste much differently than a smaller Corona, even if they use the same types of tobacco. In cigars with smaller ring sizes, the wrapper used in the blend can sway the overall taste of the cigar. On the other hand, the filler flavor will be more prominent in large cigars. Once you understand these distinctions, you’ll have no problem choosing the best cigars to smoke for every special occasion.
Cigars are measured in two distinct ways, the length (in inches) and the ring gauge (cigar ring size). The ring gauge is the diameter of the cigar and is measured in increments 1/64th of an inch.
For example, a cigar labeled 6 × 54 is 6 inches long and has a diameter of 54/64 inches.
Contrary to popular belief, the size of the cigar is unrelated to the cigar’s strength. Read on to discover cigar sizes explained.
The Robusto cigar size is one of the most common on the market. It measures from 4.75 to 5.5 inches with a ring gauge between 48 and 52. It is the perfect size to smoke when you have a chunk of time to indulge, but don’t feel like tackling a large cigar. Robusto cigars are great for beginners because they let you fully experience the blend’s flavor at a lower price point than a Toro or Churchill.
At approximately 5.5 inches with a ring gauge of 52, the Belicoso is similar to the Robusto. The biggest difference between the two is that Belicoso features a pointed head, while a Robusto traditionally has a more rounded head. A Belicoso is one of the best cigars to smoke, since many smokers find that tapering the head creates a smoother feel in the mouth.
The Corona cigar size is one of the most popular choices. It measures 5.25 to 6 inches with a ring gauge of 42 to 44. This type tends to be categorized as a small thin cigar or little cigar. Their somewhat smaller ring gauge can be more approachable than a Robusto. However, the size has no impact on blend’s depth of flavor and complexity.
In the world of cigar sizes and shapes, the Lonsdale is categorized as a long and thin cigar. The typical Lonsdale is 6.5 inches with a ring gauge of 42 or 43. The Lonsdale is a great option if you’re looking for a smoke that takes more time than a Corona, but still maintains the advantages of a thinner cigar.
Panetela & Lanceros
While the name Panetela is still widely used in Europe, you’ll predominantly find these cigars marketed as Lanceros in the United States. They have a wider variety of lengths ranging from 5.5 to 7 inches and a ring gauge between 34 and 38. However, American Lanceros are a bigger cigar type. They are typically 7 inches long with a ring gauge of 38. These long and thin cigars are known for their complex flavors that develop throughout the smoke.
The Churchill cigar size may be the most classic and popular option. It is named after the former British Prime Minister and avid cigar smoker, Sir Winston Churchill. The Churchill is 7 inches long with a ring gauge of 47. Occasionally the cigar ring size varies between 48 and 50. These cigars are perfect for relaxing after dinner with ample time to spend.
The Presidente cigar size is known as a large cigar. The Presidente has lengths up to 10 inches and ring gauges that vary in size. These cigars are great for long smoking sessions. They are often enjoyed during days spent on the golf course or all-day fishing trips.
What Makes a Cigar a Big Ring?
Big Ring Cigars can also go by the name of Gordo or Gigante. They adopted this name because they usually have a ring gauge over 60. Since ring sizes are measured in 1/64th of an inch, this means the cigar is nearly an inch thick.
If you want to try one for yourself, we recommend the INCH Maduro and INCH Natural. These are a fantastic option if you want to deep dive into the blend’s flavor and depth. Hear more about how big ring cigars are made and what makes them a standout smoke.
Not every cigar is shaped the same. The head shape can be pointed or round, the body can be slim or thick, and the feet can have a signature mark too. The most common shape is the Parajeos, but there are other unique options as well. Let’s review all the usual cigar shapes and learn how this impacts the smoking experience.
Parejos are by far the most common cigar shape, and typically what you think of when you picture a cigar. They are flat along the body, have a rounded head, and an open foot. They can come in just about any size. Typically, when manufacturers list a cigar as one of the sizes covered above, the Parejo shape is implied. The next group of cigars are known for their unique shapes, contrasting the standard.
The tapered shape of the Pyramid is similar to the Belicoso. The Pyramid cigar size measures between 6 and 7 inches with a ring gauge between 52 and 54. The Pyramid’s head is more pointed than other cigar shapes. It continues throughout the length of the cigar, making it an excellent choice for longer smoking sessions.
The Culebra is made by twisting together three standard panetelas into a braid-like formation. While some smokers choose to smoke all three of the individual cigars at once, the more common approach is to unbind the Culebra and smoke each cigar individually. These are relatively rare, but they’re a great option when you want something truly unique to share with cigar-loving friends.
The Perfecto features a tapered head similar to a Pyramid or Belicoso. Unlike other cigar types, the Perfecto has a pronounced bulge in its midsection and an unusual, closed foot. The sizes vary widely, ranging anywhere from 4.5 to 9 inches and ring gauges up to 48. These are the perfect choice for a truly unique experience.
A Torpedo cigar size also has a tapered head, while the rest of the cigar shape is straight. The Torpedo is like a Belicoso and can be categorized as a small cigar or a large cigar. E.P. Carillo has a wide variety of cigar shapes and sizes for every cigar smoking experience.
View our collection of all the cigar shapes and sizes offered by E.P. Carrillo.