Guide to Choosing Cigars

Choosing Cigars

Cigars come in many shapes and sizes and colors. It is often difficult for a cigar smoker to get a complete understanding of how these factors affect the taste. The shape of the cigar is perhaps the hardest thing to describe since there are no set standards used between cigar manufacturers. Usually it is best to remember the shape written on the box to remember what you are smoking.

Size and Shape

The finest cigars in the world vary in size from about a 9X64 (which is one inch wide) down to approximately 4X30. The first number refers to the length of the cigar, in inches; the second is the ring gauge, or the thickness of the cigar, measured in sixty-fourths of an inch. Most cigar smokers gravitate to a particular size, so when considering the quality and consistency of taste and aroma of a cigar, your sense of comparability can be confused and it will be difficult to judge fairly unless you are smoking the size you are accustomed to. The same cigar blends in different sizes taste different, sometimes vastly different, because of the different ring sizes and lengths. A big ring gauge, 50 or 52, produces an immense volume of smoke compared with a 28, 36 or even a 42.

  • Heavy Ring Gauge: All cigars with a ring gauge of 45 and up.
  • Standard Ring Gauge: All cigars with a ring gauge of 40 to 44 inclusive.
  • Slender Ring Gauge: All cigars with a ring gauge of 39 and under.

Length and Ring Gauge

The size is measured by length and ring gauge (cigars diameter). A cigar with a larger ring gauge will have a fuller and more complex flavor and produce more smoke compared to the smaller ring gauge cigars. The larger a ring gauge the more a cigar maker can blend and combine different types of leaves. One ring is equivalent to 1/64 of an inch. Some of the most common are:

  • Panatela (6 1/2 x 35)
  • Robusto (4 1/2 x 50)
  • Churchill (7 1/4 x 48)
  • Corona (5 3/4 x 42)
  • Double Corona (6 1/2 x 48)

Color and Wrapper

Color also plays an important part in choosing your cigars. What you see when you look at a cigar is the wrapper and it plays a role in the flavor of your cigar. Also when you look at the wrapper make sure it is not too dry,  too firm or too soft. Before you buy it, check for cracks or a defective wrapper. When you buy from us at Smoker’s Land, we do this for you. Usually the wrapper is described by the country of origin or color:

  • Claro (light tan)
  • Maduro (darkest brown)
  • Oscuro (black)
  • Colorado (reddish dark brown)
  • Colorado Maduro (dark brown)
  • Colorado Claro (mid brown)

Cigar Smoking Guide

There are many methods that can be used to enhance the cigar smoking experience. To learn more about cigar tips, tricks and proper use, visit our Cigar Smoking Guide to learn more!