With so many cigar shapes and sizes available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is for you, especially as a beginner. Even seasoned cigar aficionados may just stick to their tried and true favourite cigar, without exploring what else is on offer. Below we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on cigar shapes and sizes so you can pick the right one for your tastes.
Does cigar shape matter?
Cigars come in two different shape categories: parejos and figurados.
Parejos cigars have a more traditional shape and are the most common. Whilst figurados cigars have more unique dimensions with a pointed head and a bulge in the middle of the cigar.
The key difference between the two styles is that the cigar may burn differently, which can affect the smoking experience.
Does cigar size matter?
The size of a cigar can affect the smoking experience, but it doesn’t necessarily represent the strength of a cigar. Cigars are measured by two factors: length (inches) and diameter, known as the ring gauge.
Thinner cigars tend to burn hotter and faster in comparison to thicker cigars. Sometimes, thicker cigars may have more filler but this entirely depends on the brand.
Cigar size can greatly influence the experience, so it’s important to decide which is right for you.
What are the different cigar shapes and sizes?
Let’s delve deeper into the two different groups of cigars: parejos and figurados.
Parejos are straight-sided cigars that need to be cut before smoking. These cigars come either round or box-pressed. There are several key types of parejos cigars:
The standard cigar shape/size that’s a benchmark by which other cigars are measured. The traditional dimensions are 5 1/2 to 6 inches, with a ring gauge of 42 to 44. These are approachable cigars popular with beginners.
A miniature corona that tends to measure about 4 1/2 inches, with a ring gauge of 40 to 42.
Named after the former British Prime Minister and avid cigar smoker Sir Winston Churchill. The Churchill is a large corona with standard dimensions of 7 inches with a 47 ring gauge. Perfect for enjoying with plenty of time to spend.
A short, fat cigar that’s become hugely popular. Usually 4 3/4 to 5 1/2 inches by 48 to 52 ring gauge. Takes time to enjoy, but isn’t as much to smoke as a large cigar. Perfect for beginners looking to enjoy the true flavour of a blend.
Another fat cigar that’s growing in popularity. The corona gorda traditionally measures 5 5/8 inches by 46 ring gauge.
A large cigar with dimensions of 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 inches by a 49 to 52 ring gauge. These are harder to come by nowadays.
Long, thin and elegant, with measurements of 5 to 7 1/2 inches with a ring gauge of 34 to 38. These burn hot and fast and aren’t as popular as other shapes.
Longer than a corona but thicker than a panetela. Classic size of 6 1/2 inches by 42 ring gauge. Perfect for those looking for a longer smoke time than the corona, whilst still enjoying a thinner cigar.
The majority of cigars fall into the parejos shape category. However, more are adopting the unique non-straight shape of the figurados.
These cigars have heads tapered to a point and typically measure from 6 to 7 inches in length, with ring gauges of about 40 at the head, widening to 52 to 54 at the foot. The shape allows more complex flavours to develop in the mouth.
Short cigars with a rounded pyramid head. They often measure from 5 to 5 1/2 inches, with ring gauges of about 50.
These cigars have a tapered head and come in a variety of different sizes for every smoking experience
This has both a tapered head and foot, with a bulge in the middle. Again, these come in a huge range of sizes and offer a truly unique smoking experience.
Possibly the most exotic and unique cigar of them all. Culebras consist of three standard panetelas twisted together into a braid-like formation. You can choose to unbraid the cigars and smoke them separately or altogether for a truly memorable experience.
What are the best cigar shapes and sizes?
The best cigar shapes and sizes depend entirely on personal preference. Smaller, thinner cigars will smoke faster, sometimes with a more intense flavour. Whilst thicker, longer cigars smoke for longer but the filler flavours may be more prominent.
With such a wide variety, there’s no reason not to try them all! The classic Parejos shapes can be a good place to start before branching out to more exotic tastes such as the Culebra.