Cigars come in many shapes and sizes. Some have a classic look, others are more inventive. Here are some things to remember the next time you walk into your cigar shop.

Cigar sizes and shapes - What you need to know

The length of a cigar is measured in inches or fractions of an inch.

Ring gauges are used to measure the diameter—, but its diameter is measured in “ring gauges,” a unit of measurement that is unique to the cigar industry. One ring equals 1/64th of an inch.

When referencing cigar sizes, length is used first. So, for example, a cigar that is 5” x 32 is five inches long and a half an inch in diameter.

Some cigar makers are explicit with the names and sizes of cigar they produce -- i.e., a Cohiba Robusto is a 5" x 50".

Others are less obvious. The good news is all cigar makers use the same range of sizes. Like most cigar manufacturers, General Cigar use a different name for each of the sizes we produce. Sometimes the name tells you exactly what size the cigar will be, as in the case of Cohiba Robusto. In other cases, the cigar has a proprietary name, for example Macanudo Café Hyde Park.

Standard cigar sizes explained:

Here are some standard cigar sizes used by most manufacturers, regardless of country of origin.

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Double Corona (7 ½” x 50+) – Largest standard-sized cigars, these are great after-dinner choices and will provide the fullest flavor and coolest smoke. Double coronas take at least an hour to smoke.

Churchill (7” x 47) – The next largest size category, and a term often used erroneously to describe any large cigar. And yes, it was named after Winston Churchill, as this was his favorite shape.

Corona Gorda (6” x 50) The name literally means “fat corona;" it is also sometimes called a “Toro.” This is one of the most popular sizes today, providing full-flavor in a manageable amount of time.

Lonsdale (6 1/2” x 42) – This has always been one of the most popular sizes in the United States. However, recently the Lonsdale has been losing popularity to larger-ringed cigars.

Corona (5 1/2” x 42) – Same ring size as a Lonsdale, just an inch shorter. It used to be the second most popular size in the United States, although, like the Lonsdale, it has been losing ground to larger diameter cigars.

Robusto (5” x 50) – A great trade-off between time and taste; a robusto provides big cigar flavor and coolness in a shorter cigar that only takes about 30 to 45 minutes to smoke. This shape is traditionally known as a Rothschild, and is one of the most popular sizes today.

Panatela (6” x 38) – A popular shape in the 50’s and 60’s and still favored in Europe. Women often feel more comfortable with this sleek and elegant size.

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Figurado Cigars – The word “Figurado” means “figured” or “shaped.” These are cigars that do not have traditional straight cylindrical sides with a cut foot and a rounded head.

There are three types of figurados:

Torpedo – A cylindrical cigar with a pointed or “perfecto” head and foot. Traditionally, these have been cigars that are pointed or tapered at both ends, with a “fat” or swollen mid-section.

Pyramid – A cigar that is pointed at the head and with slightly slanted sides, like an elongated pyramid.

Belicoso – A cigar with a pointed head or cap and parallel sides.

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