What does a “regular” cigar look like? Is it thin or thick? Is it short or long? Is its head rounded or tapered off?
Of course, there is no answer to this question because cigars can and do come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. And even seasoned smokers may need help keeping track of every cigar frontmark. So today, we’re going to go back to basics and review a few critical terms regarding cigar dimensions. Here’s our quick and easy guide to cigar shapes and sizes:
Cigar Shapes: Parejos vs Figurados
In a broad sense, cigars can be divided into two main categories: Parejos –– straight cigars –– and Figurados –– cigars that aren’t straight throughout. Parejos can further be subdivided into cigars with rounded caps and box-pressed cigars. A stark example of a box-pressed Parejo is the aptly named CAO Flathead, which, unsurprisingly, has a square-shaped head. On the other hand, the hexagonal Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto is a more unorthodox approach to a box-pressed Parejo.
Figurados, however, typically come to a point at one or both ends. Popular Figurados include the Belicoso, the Torpedo, and the Pyramid. (Example: the 2022 Macanudo Gold Label “Gran Pyramid.”) Note that Perfectos come to a point at both ends, while Belicosos, Torpedoes, and Pyramids only come to a point at the head of the cigar.
Typically, cigars range from around three inches on the short side to over seven or even eight inches long at the other end of the spectrum. Cigars are also measured in terms of their width or thickness. A cigar’s width is referred to as its “ring gauge.” A cigar with a 60 ring gauge is an inch thick across; a cigar with a 30 ring gauge is half an inch; a 90 ring gauge is an inch and a half.
Here’s a quick list of common cigar sizes and their regular dimensions:
- Petit Corona –– 4.5 inches long by 40 ring gauge.
- Robusto –– 5 inches long by 50 ring gauge.
- Toro –– 6 inches long by 50-55 ring gauge.
- Churchill –– 7 inches by 47 ring gauge.
While there are many more varieties and sub-varieties of cigar size (Lanceros, Gigantes, Lonsdales, etc.), you can always determine a cigar’s dimensions by its length in inches and width in ring gauge.
And lastly, remember that a cigar’s dimensions can affect the smoking experience. Certain blends lend themselves better to different frontmarks, and smoking the same cigar in a different vitola can lead to substantially different results. So keep that in mind the next time you go cigar shopping!
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