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A Complete Guide To Cigar Shapes And Sizes

Smoking a cigar brings pleasure, but there's more to appreciate beyond the smoke. The size, shape, and shade of a cigar offer clues about its origin, flavor, and burn characteristics.


With the variety of cigar shapes and sizes available, it can be daunting to choose the right one, especially for beginners. Even seasoned aficionados might stick to their favorite fine cigars without exploring new options. To help you navigate, we've put together a guide on cigar shapes and sizes so you can find one that suits your taste.

Does Cigar Shape Matter?

What is a Vitola?

The term "vitola" refers to the size and shape of a cigar. Names like Corona, Churchill, and Lonsdale are examples of vitola names. Each vitola consists of a length (in inches) and a ring gauge (the diameter in 64ths of an inch). For instance, a cigar with a 38 ring gauge is 38/64 of an inch in diameter.

Why Use a Vitola?

While you might have a preferred cigar brand, the shape of the cigar, or vitola, is equally important. Brands typically don’t make one-size-fits-all cigars; the vitola defines the size, not the brand. Each vitola has consistent length, ring gauge, and shape, allowing you to identify the size by name alone.

Does Cigar Size Matter?

The size of a cigar influences its smoking experience. However, size doesn’t determine strength; that depends on the tobacco used. Thinner cigars burn hotter and faster, while thicker and longer cigars burn slower and cooler, providing a longer smoking session.

You can select a vitola based on how much time you have—small and thin cigars for quick breaks, thicker and longer cigars for leisurely afternoons.


Cigar Shapes

Cigars generally fall into two categories: parejos and figurados.

Parejos are the standard cylindrical cigars with straight sides and an open foot ready for lighting. They usually need to be cut before smoking. Parejos can be round or box-pressed, where the sides are pressed square before packaging.

Figurados are creatively shaped cigars that deviate from the cylindrical norm. They include shapes like the torpedo with a pointed cap and the perfecto with a bulge in the middle. These shapes are less common but growing in popularity.


Parejos

Parejos are straight-sided cigars that need to be cut before smoking. These cigars come in either round or box-pressed forms. There are several key types of Parejos cigars:


Entreactos: 4 inches, ring gauge 30

ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR EMERALD PLATINUM ENTREACTOS Ø30 x 4’’ (Ø12 x 102 mm)


Carlota: 5 5/8 inches, ring gauge 35

ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR RUBY PLATINUM CARLOTA Ø35 x 5 5/8’’ (Ø14 x 143 mm)


Panatela: 5 to 7 1/2 inches, ring gauge 34 to 38

ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR RUBY GOLD PANATELA Ø38 x 5” (Ø15 x 127 mm)


Lonsdale:  6 1/2 to 6.5 inches, ring gauge 42-44

Longer than a Corona yet thicker than a Panetela, it's perfect for those seeking extended smoke time without sacrificing the slender profile.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR EMERALD GOLD LONDSDALE Ø43 x 6 1/4’’ (Ø17 x 159 mm)


Corona: 5 1/8 to 6 inches, ring gauge 42 to 44

The standard cigar shape and size, often used as a benchmark for measuring other cigars.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR PLATINUM CORONA Ø42 х 5 1/8” (Ø16.5 х 130 mm)


Double Corona: 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 inches, ring gauge 49 to 52

Similar in shape to a standard Corona, but nearly twice the length!


Petit Corona: About 4 1/2 inches, ring gauge 40 to 42


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR PLATINUM PETIT CORONA Ø40 x 4” (Ø16 x 102 mm)


Half Corona (Short Corona): 3 1/2 to 4 inches, ring gauge 40 to 44

Half Corona size cigars are an ideal choice for aficionados seeking a brief yet enriching smoking experience. These cigars offer a compact session without sacrificing depth of flavor or quality. Originating from the traditional Corona size, which serves as a benchmark in the cigar industry, Half Coronas retain the same diameter but are half the length, making them perfect for those moments when time is limited.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR GOLD HALF CORONA Ø44 x 3 1/2” (Ø17.5 x 90 mm)


Toro (Corona Gorda): 5 1/2 to 6 inches, ring gauge 46-50

This is the mid-size format for Cuban cigars and suits all blends and strengths. Known as the Corona Gorda, or Toro, this is a wider version of the Corona. Corona Gordas typically take around an hour to smoke.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR TORO Ø46 x 5 5/8” (Ø18.5 x 143 mm)


Churchill: 6-7 inches, ring gauge 47-50

The Churchill: Named after Sir Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister and cigar aficionado, who famously smoked around 300,000 of these cigars in his lifetime. Longer and thicker than a Corona, perfect for leisurely enjoyment.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR BLACK PLATINUM ROBUSTO Ø50 x 6” (Ø20 x 153 mm)


Petit Churchills (Rothschild): 4 1/2 inches, ring gauge 47 to 50

The cigar was short, 4 ½ inches long, with a large ring gauge of 48-50. It was originally made in the 1880s by the Hoyo de Monterrey factory in Cuba at the request of Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), a scion of the legendary German banking family.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR SAPPHIRE GOLD PETIT CHURCHILLS BOX PRESSED

Ø48 x 4 1/2” (Ø19 x 102 mm)


Robusto: 4 3/4 to 5 1/2 inches, ring gauge 48 to 54

The Robusto: Short and stout, this cigar has surged in popularity. While it demands time to savor, it's less daunting than larger options. Ideal for beginners seeking to relish the true essence of a blend.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR BLACK PLATINUM ROBUSTO Ø52 X 4 3/4” (Ø20.65 x 121 mm )


Grand Robusto: 4 3/4 to 5 inches, ring gauge 56


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR SAPPHIRE GOLD GRAN ROBUSTO 57 x 4 7/8” (Ø22.60 x 124 mm)


Double Robusto: 5 1/2 inches, ring gauge 50 or 55


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR BLACK GOLD DOUBLE ROBUSTO Ø54 x 5 1/2’’ (Ø21,45 x 140 mm)


Short Robusto (Petit Robusto): 4 inches, ring gauge 50-52

Renowned for their compact size and rich flavor profile, these cigars offer aficionados a quick yet fulfilling smoking experience. They strike the perfect balance between time and taste, making them an ideal choice for those seeking quality and convenience.


Robusto Gordo (Short Gordo): 3 1/2 inches, ring gauge 54 or 55


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR BLACK GOLD SHORT ROBUSTO GORDO Ø54 x 3 1/2’’ (Ø21.45 x 90 mm)


Grande: Minimum of 4 inches, ring gauge 60 and above

The thickest cigar shape, emerging prominently since the 21st century. Once deemed a passing trend, these fat cigars now grace the portfolios of nearly every major producer of premium cigars outside of Cuba. With ring gauges of 60 and beyond, some even reaching 70 or 80, they offer an indulgent smoking experience.


 Toro Gordo: 5 1/2 to 6 inches, ring gauge 50-54


Gordito: 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches, ring gauge 60 and above


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR RUBY GOLD GORDITO Ø60 x 4 1/2” (Ø23.60 x 114 mm)



Bullet: 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 inches, ring gauge 56-64


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR BROWN GOLD BULLET GORDO Ø64 x 3 3/4 ’’ (Ø24.5 x 95 mm)


BOX-PRESSED

Box-pressed cigars represent a distinct category, differing in both shape and manufacturing method from traditional Figurados and Parejos. These box-pressed cigars boast a stylish and modern appearance with their flat sides and sharp corners. This unique structure not only lends an air of sophistication but also significantly affects the flavor and draw, providing a more even and controlled smoking experience compared to classic round shapes.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR RUBY PLATINUM TORO BOX PRESSED Ø52 x 6’’ (Ø21.8 x 152 mm)


Figurados

While the majority of cigars are parejos, more are embracing the distinctive, non-straight shapes of figurados.


Belicoso: 5 to 6 inches, ring gauge 50-64

Cigars with a rounded pyramid head.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR EMERALD GOLD DOUBLE TORO GORDO BELICOSO Ø60 x 6 ’’ (Ø23.8 x 152 mm)


Torpedo & Pyramide:

The Piramide: 6 to 7 inches, ring gauge 40 at the head to 52-54 at the foot. One of the most popular figurado sizes, featuring a tapered point at the head of the cigar and a cut foot like a parejos. This shape enhances the development of complex flavors in the mouth.


While not as thoroughly classified as many other cigar sizes, they generally fit into the pyramid category. Cigarmakers often use the term torpedo to denote a pyramid with a sharper point.

ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR SAPPHIRE PLATINUM SHORT ROBUSTO TORPEDO Ø52 x 4” (Ø20.65 x 102 mm)


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR SAPPHIRE PLATINUM ROBUSTO TORPEDO Ø55 x 5 1/2’’ (Ø21.8 x 140 mm)


Perfecto: 

Unlike other vitola sizes, Perfectos can vary greatly in length, from compact 4 ½-inch to impressive 9-inch cigars, with ring gauges fluctuating between 38 to 48.

They have both a tapered head and foot, with a bulge in the middle, offering a truly unique smoking experience. The rounded head and closed foot are reminiscent of a parejos, yet the distinctive bulge in the middle sets them apart.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR BROWN GOLD PERFRCTO Ø54 x 5 15/16’’ (Ø21.45 x 125.5 mm)


Culebra: Three braided panetelas, 5 to 6 inches, ring gauge 38

Once more popular in the past than today, it's perhaps the most exotic cigar shape. Consisting of three panetelas braided together and tied with string, they are sold as one cigar. The three parts are then unbraided and smoked separately. Since they're difficult to come by today, sharing the other two braids with friends turns smoking a culebra into a special occasion.

CIGAR SHAPES AND SIZES

Diademas

These are very large figurados, featuring tapers on both the head and foot, sometimes reaching eight inches or more in length.


ZAVEN BY G.P.GRANT CIGAR SAPPHIRE PLATINUM TORO DIADEMAS Ø50 x 6” (Ø20 x 152 mm)




Wrapper Colors

Cigar wrappers span a broad spectrum of colors, ranging from pale greens to blacks. Much like the seven basic colors of the rainbow, there are seven primary distinctions among wrappers, with countless shades in between. This variation arises from diverse tobacco processing methods and strains. Sunlight exposure also influences color, with sun-grown wrappers generally darker than shade-grown ones of the same seed strain.Cigar wrappers come in various colors due to different tobacco processing methods. Common wrapper colors include:

GPGrant Cigar Wrapper Color Chart
  • Double Claro (Candela): Light green. This hue is created by a quick-drying process using heat that locks in the green chlorophyll of the tobacco.

  • Claro: Light tan. Achieved by growing in shade under cheesecloth tents, picking the plants early, and air-drying the leaves.

  • Colorado Claro: Light reddish-brown. Often grown in direct sunlight and given longer to mature before picking.

  • Colorado: Medium-brown to brownish-red. These wrappers are often shade-grown and are full-flavored, though soft and subtle in aroma.

  • Colorado Maduro: Darker than colorado, lighter than maduro.

  • Maduro: Deep reddish-brown to almost black. Maduros are cured for longer, resulting in robust, almost sweet flavors.

  • Oscuro: Very dark, black-as-night. Achieved by leaving the leaves on the plant as long as possible and fermenting them for an especially long time.


There is a common belief that the darker the cigar, the stronger it is. However, this is not always the case. The color of the cigar's wrapper can influence its strength, but it is not the only determining factor.


Factors that influence the strength of a cigar include:

  • Type of tobacco leaf: Different types of tobacco leaves have varying strengths. Ligero leaves, which are often used for the wrapper, tend to be milder than viso or seco leaves, which are used for the filler.

  • Fermentation: The longer a tobacco leaf is fermented, the stronger it becomes.

  • Aging: The longer a cigar is aged, the milder it becomes.

  • Wrapper: Darker wrappers, such as maduro or oscuro, are often aged longer than lighter wrappers, which can make them stronger.


Therefore, the color of the wrapper can be an indicator of a cigar's strength, but it is not a guarantee. The strongest cigars do not usually have a dark wrapper.


  • Experiment: The best way to find out which cigars you like is to try different cigars from various manufacturers.

  • Read reviews: Reviews from other smokers can give you a good idea of a cigar's strength and flavor.

  • Ask for advice: Seek advice from an experienced cigar seller at your local shop.


Best Cigar Shapes and Sizes

The best cigar shape and size depend on personal preference. Smaller, thinner cigars offer quick, intense flavors, while larger, thicker cigars provide longer, more complex smoking experiences. There’s no single best choice, so explore different vitolas to find your favorite.


Conclusion

Understanding the different cigar shapes, sizes, and wrappers can enhance your smoking experience. Whether you prefer a quick smoke or a long, relaxing session, there’s a cigar out there for every occasion and preference. Enjoy exploring the diverse world of cigars!

Remember: The most important thing is to enjoy your cigar!



CIGAR SHAPES AND SIZES

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