A Guide to Shapes, Sizes and Colors

There are two basic categories of cigars: Parejos (parallel sides) and Figurados (irregular shapes). Within each category are a variety of cigar types, further distinguished by their size. There are two standards of measurement used to describe a cigar – length and diameter:

  • Length is measured in inches or centimeters
  • Diameter, referred to as the ring gauge, is  measured in degrees of 1/64th of an inch. View Details & Chart

Although different manufacturers will use different names, ring gauges and/or lengths for their particular cigars, the chart below offers a good, general point of reference for some of the most common cigar types (arranged alphabetically):

Parejos (Parallel) Sides:

Cigarillos


These small cigars, popular in Europe, are about the size of a cigarette. Smoking time: approx. 10 minutes.
Typically 3 inches in length
20 ring gauge

Churchill


A large corona-format cigar, named after Sir Winston Churchill. Smoking time: approx. 45-60 minutes.
Typically 7-8 inches in length
48 ring gauge
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Corona


The most familiar size and shape for premium cigars. Generally straight-sided with an open foot and a closed, rounded head. Smoking time: approx. 30-45 minutes.
Typically 5 1/2 inches in length
42 ring gauge
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Corona Gorda


Because of its similarity to the corona, this large cigar is often called a “double corona.” Smoking time: approx. 45-60 minutes.
Typically 7 5/8 inches in length
48-50 ring gauge

Gigante or Presidente


The largest of all cigar types, give yourself plenty of time if you purchase one of these. Smoking time: approx. 60-90 minutes.
Up to 10 inches in length
Up to 64 ring gauge

Gran Corona

Gran Corona
A longer version of the corona gorda. Smoking time: approx. 45-50 minutes. Typically 6 3/4 inches in length
48 ring gauge

Lonsdale


Named after the Earl of Lonsdale, this cigar is characterized by its length. Smoking time: approx. 45-50 minutes.
Up to 7 inches in length
40-42 ring gauge

Panatela


A long, thin cigar, often braided to create Culebras. Smoking time: approx. 35-45 minutes.
Typically 5 inches in length
40-42 ring gauge

Petit Corona

A smaller version of the classic corona. Smoking time: approx. 25 minutes.
Typically 5 inches in length
40-42 ring gauge

Robusto or Rothschild


Named after Baron de Rothschild, this short, fat cigar is also known as a Robusto. Smoking time: approx. 25-40 minutes.
Typically 5-6 inches in length
50 ring gauge
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Figurados (Irregular Shapes)

Belicoso


Similar to the pyramid but the head is polished, or rounded off, instead of pointed. Smoking time: approx. 45 minutes.
Typically 6 inches in length
48-52 ring gauge

Culebras


This strange cigar is actually made of three panetelas braided and banded together. Smoking time: approx. 25-30 minutes.
Typically 5 inches in length
33 ring gauge

Perfecto


A distinctive cigar shape that is closed at both ends, with a rounded head, and usually with a bulge in the middle. Smoking time: approx. 45 minutes.
Typically 5-6 inches in length
48-52 ring gauge

Pyramid


A sharply tapered cigar with a wide, open foot and a closed head. Smoking time: approx. 45-60 minutes.
typically 6 1/2 inches in length
52 ring gauge

Torpedo

This cigar features a closed foot, a pointed head and a bulge in the middle. Smoking time: approx. 60 minutes.
Typically 6 inches in length
60 ring gauge

Ring Gauge/Ring Size

This is a standard industry measurement for the diameter (width) of a cigar, the size of which affects the overall flavor. The fatter the cigar, the more developed and full a cigar will taste. A wider cigar will also burn slower. The measurement is calculated in degrees of 1/64th of an inch.

You can get an idea of how thick your cigar is by taking the the ring gauge and dividing it by 64. This will give you the width in inches (see chart below). A cigar with a ring gauge of 64 would be one in ch in diameter. A cigar with a ring gauge of 32 would be a half of an inch (32/64).

Helpful Hint: Try to select a cigar with a larger ring size if you tend to have a heavy draw. A smaller ringed cigar will tend to taste harsh if your draw is heavy because you are scorching your smoke. Even the finest cigar won’t taste proper if you don’t know your draw.

Wrapper Color

Cigars come in a variety of colors which tell a lot about the cigar. Generally, the color of a cigar wrapper is a good indication of the strength of the cigar. A darker wrapper indicates that it has fermented longer and, therefore, will have a stronger taste. Below are the major color categories:

  • Double Claro – Also referred to as Candela, the pale greenish tint of this wrapper is achieved by a heat-curing process that fixes the chlorophyll content of the wrapper while it’s still in the barn. It’s a light cigar that has had limited aging.
  • Claro – Light tan or biscuit colored, it is the typical color of shade-grown tobacco. Generally mild, this cigar has a smooth and sometimes, rather neutral flavor. Connecticut shade-grown wrappers are regarded as the best for this style.
  • Colorado Claro – Darker brown in color and similar to a Cameroon wrapper from West Africa, this cigar is slightly stronger than the Claro but still considered mild.
  • Colorado – This reddish brown wrapper is most often seen in well aged and mature cigars which provide a medium to strong flavor.
  • Natural – Also known as English Market Selection (or E.M.S.), these dark tan or brown leaves are sometimes sun-grown (without canopy protection) for a smooth, rich and full flavor.
  • Colorado Maduro – This dark brown wrapper, usually seen on cigars produced in Honduras, Nicaragua and sometimes in Cuba, is generally considered medium to strong in flavor.
  • Double Claro – A greenish-brown wrapper that produces a somewhat light and bland taste.
  • Maduro – A dark, almost coffee-like color associated with full flavored and slightly sweet tasting cigars. These wrappers give off an excellent aroma.
  • Oscuro – This black wrapper is produced in Mexico, Brazil and Nicaragua and is strong in flavor.

Country of Origin

This term refers to not only the country where the cigar is made, but also the country where the tobacco is grown. Sometimes they are the same but not always. Cigar manufacturers can buy leaves for filler, binder and wrapper from anywhere in the world, so some cigars are manufactured in one country using tobacco from another.

Knowing the country of origin can give you a general guide to the particular style of cigar:

  • Jamaica – Usually light-bodied and mild.
  • The Dominican Republic – Generally mild to medium-bodied.
  • Hondorus or Nicaragua – Mostly stronger and fuller-bodied.
  • Cuba -The best are very rich, smooth and somewhat creamy.

*All cigars manufactured by Victory Cigars are premium, handmade at our factory in the Dominican Republic. For more information, choose a link below:

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