SHAPES, SIZES AND SHADES
The thickness size of a cigar is measured in a
term called Ring Gauge. I am told that it is the same
measuring unit that is used in rings for the fingers... ...cool!
The smaller the number, the less thick in diameter
the cigar will be and in contrast, a larger number will give you a
ticker cigar. A thicker cigar mean more filler in the stick
The length size of a cigar is about as ambiguous a
term as it gets. One companies Toro is another companies Robusto.
Some cigar manufacturer makeup length sizes and try to market them as
unique... ...whatever! These labels are absolutely meaningless and
should only be used as a general guideline
DO NOT BE FOOLED! BIGGER ISN'T ALWAYS BETTER
Each cigar manufacturer has different filler they
put into their cigars. Some of those fillers taste
completely different when you change their amounts. I have had
many experiences with trying a cigar that at first I did not like but
once I had it in a different size, I loved it. Never be afraid to
try a cigar that you didn't care for in another size. You might
like it, like the Green Eggs and Ham guy.
Shapes are one of those more uniform things when you buy a cigar
but you will notice a few companies that try to make new ones and we
the consumers are left saying, "What?"
The ones listed her are the more common of the shapes I have
seen. The come in the straight (Parejos) or no straight
(non-Parejos) I might have just made that up... ...just saying
Diademas: This huge cigar, which measures 8 inches or longer has both of its ends closed. The ring gauge increases towards the foot.
Pyramid: This 6" cigar with a 40/52 ring gauge has a tapered head with an open foot.
Culebra: 3 panatelas braided together as one cigar which is smoked separately. This cigar measures 5" with a 38 ring gauge.
Belicoso: This cigar usually measures 5" with a ring gauge of 50 and has a rounded head rather than a point.
Perfecto: This cigar usually has a bulge in the middle and is closed on both ends.
Torpedo: A shape with a pointed head, a closed foot and a bulge in the middle.
And now the more common straight shaped cigars:
Panatela: (7x 38) or smaller.
Corona: (6 x 43) - Very Common.
Lonsdale: (6 3/4 x 42) - Fairly Common.
Toro: (6/1/2 x 48) - Very Common
Churchill: (7 x 47) - Very Common
Double Corona: (7 1/2 x 49) - Fairly Common
Robusto: (5 x 50) - Very Common
What are the numbers in there? Let's take the last one:
Robusto (5 x 50)
The first number represents its size in inches.
The second number represents its thickness in ring gauge.
REMEMBER!!! NOT EVER ROBUSTO IS 5 X 50! These are just
guidelines. Every manufacturer plays with sizes and lengths of
their cigars. Some of them play with the shapes themselves
Each cigar has an outer leaf that adds distinction
Cigar companies have research and development teams that are constantly
working on created the next best cigar. The color or shade of a
cigar adds complexity to a cigar.
AGAIN, DO NOT BE FOOLED.
A DARKER COLORED CIGAR DOESN'T MEAN THE CIGAR IS STRONGER OR MORE
The shade of the cigar offers a hint as to what the
manufacturer is trying to offer to the consumer but each smoker will
identify the properties of the shade differently. I have smoked
some very boring Madoros and also smoked some very interesting Claros
>Double Claro - . A green shade of wrapper also known as "Candela" and sometimes referred to as "American Market Selection " or "AMS".
This shade of wrapper is not as fully fermented as the darker shades. A
heat curing process fixes the chlorophyll in the leaf and results in a
somewhat grassy sweetness. This is the type of leaf that
would go into cigars you buy at Wal-Mart and local convince stores.
The are usually pretty harsh and I would avoid them at all costs.
Claro - A very light tan colored wrapper that is somewhat neutral in flavor. Much milder than a Double Claro wrapper. This grade is usually of the shade-grown varieties.
Although this version of leaf is not as common as the Colorado
Claro, it's still used on top brand cigars.
Colorado Claro - Golden brown to medium
brown in color. Some companies refer to shades in this range as
"English Market Selection" or "Natural". This is the most common
grade among today's premium cigars.
Colorado- Reddish brown wrapper that is medium to rich flavor and has a subtle aroma. Usually it is from the shade-grown varieties.
This leaf is not as common as the Maduro and the Claros but it can
be found in good cigar shops, like RAE's
Colorado Maduro - Dark brown in color, rich in flavor, this shade of wrapper is also from shade-grown varieties.
This leaf isn't very common.
Maduro - From the Spanish word meaning
ripe, this very dark brown leaf is the last to be harvested, is
fermented longer and to allowed to reach higher temperatures during
fermentation than the other grades of wrapper leaf. This leaf
is fairly common and can be combined with other tobacco to give a
more roasted taste to a cigar
Oscuro, or Double Maduro - An almost black variation of the
Maduro. Not a very common shade and usually is reserved for
the more robust cigar smokers.
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