A Guide To Cigar Sizes
There’s a lot to consider if you’re just getting into cigar smoking. What equipment do you need, what brands should you try, how should you cut and light a cigar. It can seem overwhelming at first, which is why we’re putting together a series of blogs going through the basics.
We’ve already covered what accessories you may need, how to choose a cigar, how a cigar gets its flavour and how to store cigars. This time, we’re going to go into the detail of different cigar sizes and shapes and what difference they make to a smoker.
Cigar sizes and shapes are highly varied but they are broadly categorised into several variations. Cigars are measured by both their length from end to end, and their diameter (known as ring gauge). The cigar world hasn’t quite bought in to the metric system yet, so length tends to be denoted in inches and ring gauge is broken into 64ths of an inch. That means, for example, that a Churchill with 47 ring gauge is 47/64ths of an inch in diameter. Maybe not particularly intuitive, but it’s traditional so there you go.
Below we’ve pulled together some of the most common shapes and sizes so you can be confident you know your Robusto from your Lonsdale. Cigar size and shape most noticeably has an effect on the amount of time it takes to smoke, so we’ve included an estimate of that too.
- The Corona is the traditional, most recognisable size of cigar. They’re between five and six inches long and has a ring gauge of between 42 and 44. This size takes around 45 minutes to smoke, and is often used by blenders and tobacco growers to taste their crop.
- Corona Gorda. Also known as a toro, this is a wider version of the Corona, with a ring gauge of about 46. There are some that have even gone up to a ring gauge of 50. Corona Gordas typically take around an hour to smoke.
- Petit Corona. Simply a smaller version of the Corona. Petit Coronas are up to five inches long and have a ring gauge of 39-42. They typically smoke in half an hour.
- The Churchill. An elegant cigar size, and also known as Julieta II. They’re usually seven inches long with a ring gauge of 47-54, and take an hour and a half to smoke.
- Robosto cigars have become very popular in the USA, and are a little stubbier than Coronas. They are five inches long and have a thick ring gauge of between 50 and 54. Depending on the ring gauge they take from 45 to 60 minutes to smoke.
- Panetela cigars are usually long and thin, and are not quite as popular now as they used to be. They vary quite a lot in length, from five to seven inches, but always have a small ring gauge of 34-38. They take between half an hour and an hour to smoke.
- Lonsdale cigars are longer than Coronas but wider than Panetela. They’re usually more than six inches long and have a ring gauge of 42, and smoke in about 45 minutes.
- Double Corona. These are seriously weighty cigars and to smoke one you’re going to need a good two hours or so. They’re between six and a half and seven and a half inches, and have a ring gauge of 48-49.
- Pyramids have tapered heads and cut feet, usually measuring between six and seven inches with a ring gauge of 40 at the head and about 52 at the foot. They’re popular with aficionados because the unique shape of the cigar allows complex flavours to be appreciated more. They take up to an hour and a half to smoke.
- Belicoso cigars are shorter pyramids – usually about five inches long with a ring gauge of 50. They don’t taper in ring gauge quote so much as a pyramid and take about 45 minutes to smoke.
Even within each type there can be significant variation in size and often what would be considered a Pyramid today wouldn’t have been considered a Pyramid 30 years ago.
There are of course plenty of other variations, but this is a pretty comprehensive list of the type of cigars you’re likely to come across. We hope it’s helpful!