How to Determine Cigar Size – Length, Diameter: Corona, Churchill, Robusto, Torpedo and Double Corona Cigar Sizes

 

When someone asks for a specific size of a cigar, they wouldn’t ask for a five-inch cigar. The proper way to ask for a certain sized cigar is ask for a cigar by a specific name. The specific names of a cigar (not to be confused with cigar brands) tell both the length and diameter of the cigar. Before the names that designate the size are learned, it’s important to understand cigar ring sizes.

Understanding the Length and Ring Size of a Cigar

When a cigar is purchased, the box of the cigar will normally show the name of the cigar size as well as the actual size. For example the cigar box might say 5.00 X 50. The name Robusto gives the buyer an idea of the cigar size. The 5.00 indicates the length of the cigar in inches.

The 50 indicates the diameter or ring size of the cigar. The rings size is the diameter of the cigar in 64th of an inch. In this example the 50 would indicate a cigar diameter of 50/64th of an inch. In the case of a cigar that’s tapered, the ring size would indicate the largest diameter of the cigar.

Cigars Names and Their Sizes

In certain instances the name of the cigar may also indicate the shape of a cigar. For example a Torpedo is the name of cigar size that’s tapered, meaning that one end is larger than the other. The following names and sizes are averages and can vary slightly in size from one brand of cigar to another. For example an Ashton (brand name) Churchill (name size) is 7.50 X 52, which is on the larger side for a Churchill. A CAO Gold Churchill is 7.00 X 48.

  • Corona – 5.50 X 42
  • Double – Corona 7.50 X 54
  • Robusto – 5.00 X 5.00
  • Churchill – 7.00 X 50
  • Torpedo (tapered one end) – 6.25 X 52
  • Half Corona – 4.25 X 42
  • Rothschild – 4.50 X 50
  • Lonsdale – 6.50 X 44
  • Toro – 6.00 X 50
  • President – 8.50 X 52

These are some of the most common sizes. There are still many more names that certain brands and/or cigar manufacturers may use that designate the size of the cigar.

The longer the cigar the more cooler it burns. The bigger the ring size of a cigar, the more flavor the cigar smoker receives on the pallet. So the actual size of the cigar can have a drastic affect on the taste and burn of the cigar. Naturally the bigger the cigar, the longer it takes to smoke. The larger sized cigar, like a Churchill or President can take 2 hours or longer to smoke (click here for more info). It’s important to set aside the right amount of time to relax and enjoy the cigar to its fullest potential.

Five Great Cigars For Beginners

 

Cigar smoking is a habit that should only be entered into after considering the health risks of tobacco use. Once reviewing them, however, many people decide that they wish to at least give it a try. Maybe there is simply a special occasion; for example, the birth of a child has always been a cause for cigar-centered celebration. Other times, its simply something the user has seen in a movie and has decided they’d like to try. Alas! The budding smoker quickly realizes that they have no idea what to even try!

Flavored And Flavorful Cigars

Backwoods Honey-Flavored Cigars are an excellent choice for beginners. Relatively inexpensive (an eight-pack is approximately $10), this cigar is nevertheless a pleasant experience. A Backwoods cigar is thin; its profile calls to mind a long cigarette, save for the fact that it is wrapped in a tobacco leaf (as most, but not all cigars are) and that the filler tobacco is not shredded and compressed. In addition, the end of the cigar intended to be drawn from has a honey flavoring to it, making it taste quite sweet. It might be “cheap,” but its good!

Another excellent choice and a frequent favorite is an Omar Ortez Original. A short cigar of this brand is about $5, but is well worth the price as it burns slowly and richly. Some may prefer a rounded cap, but others will choose to embrace the torpedo cap for easy clipping, so that beginners may cut their teeth on them. Either is acceptable and downright pleasant. Interestingly, while most cigars have an emblem near the cap, the Omar Ortez Original’s emblem is wrapped about the end of it.

Other Excellent Cigar Choices

Perdomo Limited Edition cigars are fairly long, feature a deep and rich flavor, and burn exceptionally well. It may test a novice’s ability to cut a cap properly, but with a good cigar cutter there should be no problem. Depending on the size, a Perdomo cigar should be in the $6 range, making it both affordable and amazing tasting.

Onyx is a brand marked by its mostly-white emblem, slipped in particular over a torpedo cap. The cigar is fairly easy to cut and is an excellent smoke for the dollar, ranging in the $5 category. It is extremely reminiscent of the Omar Ortez Original, but as with all cigars it has a different taste to it. If the Omar Ortiz Original is a “soft” cigar, the Onyx is a “hard” one – of course, one’s own pallet is the final judge.

If you are a vape lover and a professional vapor who always prefers to buy vape liquid then below advice is for you.

Final Advice for Choosing Cigars

The truth behind smoking a cigar is pretty simple: Smoke what tastes right. Sometimes, a smoker will want nothing more than a Dutch Masters; something that can be purchased at any 7-11 with ease. On the other hand, someone might want another lower-cost cigar, such as a short La Gloria Cubana or Romeo y Julietta; each of these cigars has merits. Rather than suggest a cigar to try, however, the best thing to do is to suggest what to avoid.

Seeking out and purchasing the least expensive cigar in a shop is a recipe for disaster. Always inspect a cigar you want to experiment with and ensure that the wrapper is intact and that the cigar doesn’t crack under gentle pressure. When encountering a cheap smoke that looks nice, but has a shabbily printed emblem, it may be wise to pass as the cigar might well be on the ill-produced end.

Eventually, a smoker will find a cigar they love. It may be cheap, it hopefully isn’t too expensive. That will become their favorite smoke. But, even then, its always fair to experiment with other brands, and to start the selection process again!

The Hand Rolled Cigars of La Palma: Cigars to Rival Cuba's, but at a Fraction of the Price

 

Famous Cigar Smokers

On the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma near Africa, the local men will tell anyone who’s willing to listen that their hand rolled cigars are as good as those from Cuba. Local pureros (cigar makers) insist that Fidel Castro himself admitted as much, but clearly didn’t broadcast the fact, and that La Palma’s cigars were favourites of the British bulldog, Sir Winston Churchill.

Whether these claims are accurate, who knows? But what is fact is that wooden boxes filled with dozens of submarine shaped cigars lie in sepia toned warehouses waiting to be exported to the Spanish Royal Household and to the homes of some of the Spain’s former Prime Ministers.

History of Cigar Making on La Palma

There’s been a relationship between the Canary Islands and Cuba and other Latin and South American countries dating back centuries; to the discovery of the New World in fact. The establishment of La Palma’s cigar industry came about as a result of emigrants returning to La Palma from Cuba with riches and new found knowledge. La Palma’s sub-tropical climate and lush gentle slopes proved ideal for the cultivation of tobacco leaf .

Hand Rolled Cigars

The way cigars are made in La Palma has hardly changed in decades. Rows of men and women sit at long wooden benches in factories which look as though they’ve been transported from 1950s downtown Havana. In front of them are piles of rich brown tobacco leaf, clenched between their teeth is a puro (cigar). They grab a handful of leaves, dampen their fingers and in moments a perfect looking cigar is created. Despite urban myths, there are no thighs involved and considering the grizzled appearance of some of the pureros, that is no bad thing.

Quality Cigars at a Low Price

Whereas the reputation which Cuban cigars have gained over the years has bumped up their price and pushed them into the luxury category, the cost of La Palma’s cigars has benefited from their relative obscurity. They’re far cheaper than their Cuban counterparts, which is why every other man walking the streets of La Palma’s capital, Santa Cruz de La Palma can afford to have one permanently between his lips.

How to Smoke a Cigar

There isn’t just an art to rolling cigars, there’s also an art to smoking them properly. In order to enjoy their subtle mix of flavours to the full, follow these guidelines to experience a really satisfying smoke.

  • Cigars should never be left in the mouth while they're being lit.
  • Using a fuel lighter to light the cigar is a serious no-no, the lighter’s fumes can affect the cigar’s flavour. Matches are preferrable.
  • It’s important to blow through the cigar before taking the first draw. This gets rid of any unwanted flavours picked up during lighting (see above).
  • Smoke should be drawn into the mouth, but not inhaled. After a few seconds it should be slowly released.
  • Leave at least a minute between draws.
  • Cigars should NEVER be left in the mouth for longer than three minutes. The cigar can become soggy and lose its flavour.

Clearly this last rule is pretty much ignored by the men in La Palma, who never ever seem to remove their cigars from their mouths.

What Combination of Cigars + Booze = Pleasure?

 

The moment you puff on a cigar, the effect is potent. Your taste buds react powerfully. A cigar’s piquancy loiters on your palate for hours, influencing whatever you are drinking. If you plan to drink while smoking a cigar, it is worth the effort to make sure you choose an appropriate beverage that will compliment the cigar.

Many cigar lovers find that strong drinks with a high alcohol content are the best thing to pair with a cigar. A handy guideline is to choose a beverage with similar weight and body as the body and strength of the cigar. But rules are made to be broken. While aficionados wouldn’t consider sipping a glass of Cabernet or champagne while puffing a cigar, others have found pleasure pairing a light cigar with a flute of Dom Pérignon.

The typical accompaniment to a great cigar is rum, brandy, whisky, or port.

 

  • Rum

Tobacco is used for both items so pairing rum with cigars is a natural fit. And rum is made with sugar which goes with a smoky cigar like almonds covered in chocolate. The fact that rum can be easier on the wallet than some other hard liqueurs is another attraction. A note of caution – there are no standards for rum quality so beware of inferior bottles of the libation.

Straight or on the rocks, a cigar paired with a glass of high-quality rum is a relatively safe bet.

  • Brandy

If we went by tradition alone, Cognac is the choice of accompaniment for cigar smokers. As Cognac is often served after dinner and cigars are frequently smoked after a meal, the two may have come together out of opportunity. Cognac comes in three types – VS (very superior), VSOP (very special old pale), and XO (extra old). Most taste buds will love the combination of a full-bodied cigar and an XO Cognac. If you are smoking a light cigar, a panatela perhaps, a VSOP is a good choice. Cognac has established itself as one of the finest types of brandy but don’t discount ones made in southern France or even California.

With the rising popularity of cigar smoking while enjoying a brandy, bottles of the fine liquid have appeared on store shelves that are created specifically for imbibing while enjoying a cigar. Some common choices include Hine Cigar Reserve Cognac, Davidoff Classic Cognac, Davidoff Extra Cognac, Pinar del Rion, A. de Fussigny Cigare Blend, the Cigar Blend from Germain-Robin, and Pierre Ferrand Cogare Blend Reserve Havana, among other choices.

  • Whisky

Some cigar connoisseurs consider a glass of single malt scotch to be the ultimate partner for a weighty cigar. Purists say the scotch is best served straight or with a splash of pure spring water, never ice which can dull the taste and aroma. Eighty to one hundred proof is ideal. Other single malt whiskeys and Irish whiskeys are also popular.

  • Port

Port is a perfect cigar accompaniment due to its sweetness. The silky, smooth wine coats your tongue and throat and cleanses your palate, eliminating the chance of your cigar overpowering your taste buds. Make sure you choose a fine vintage for maximum effect. A tawny port is usually well aged and its thickness is what encompasses your tongue, leaving a sensation like no other.

Beer?

What about beer? While beer is not the usual drink people think to order when puffing on a cigar, it does have its fans. Not long ago you wouldn’t see any self-respecting cigar smoker chugging a beer but nowadays, pubs and beer festivals are holding stogy sessions in their cigar rooms. If you want to try a beer with your cigar, aim for a dark, strong beer with robust flavour; few lighter beers are able to hold its own against a cigar. With a spicy cigar, try a fruit-tinged beer. Of course taste is subjective so whatever you like best, go for it! If a bottle of Budweiser is what you love with a classic Cuban, do it.

There are a slew of other drinks you might want to consider, depending on what your cigar-smoking taste buds prefer. Consider a glass of Bailey’s on the rocks, a dry martini, a margarita, coffee laced with Irish Cream, a Kahlua of some sort, a dark barley wine, or even a Mai Tai. Ignore what drink is the most socially correct one with your cigar; go with what gives you the most pleasure.

For those who like a non-alcoholic drink with their cigar, coffee is the usual choice. A complex coffee or a cup of espresso, with its preponderance of flavours, can make your taste buds sing. For some people, the combination is as pleasurable as a cigar and a good Cognac or the perfect glass of port.

The type of cigar you are smoking is a deciding factor in what drink to enjoy. Smoking a $20 cigar rolled on the thighs of virgins calls for a different drink than a cigarillo sold for $1.99 in a cellophane packet. Even the time of day can influence your cigar plus drink choices. A cigar smoked after an evening meal will be different than one you smoke as the sun rises.

The only way to figure out what cigar and booze combination you like best is through experimentation. Keep in mind that a cigar should never overpower a drink and a drink should never overpower a cigar. Through trial and error you will learn what makes your palate smile so get busy!

Cigars to Stay Away From – Copacabana Maduro

 

What do you get when you add a short, inconsiderately flavored cigar, an emblem printed on paper perhaps one step better than computer paper, and a four dollar price tag? The Copacabana Maduro cigar, a short stub that isn’t worth the tobacco its made of.

Flaws of the Copacabana Maduro Cigar

First and foremost, lets look at the price: Four dollars. Considering it falls far short of the Robusto size category, there are much larger cigars available for the same price. If it were of extreme quality and taste, this might be forgivable – per ounce of sheer tobacco, there are much more expensive cigars on the market.

However, taste is where the product truly begins to decline. While it is indeed a Maduro (relatively dark, but not obsidian) cigar, its flavor is simply underwhelming. Tasting more like cigarette tobacco than anything, its flavor is raw and almost non-existent. Furthermore, the cigar has a tendency to have large gaps in the tobacco that run throughout the stick, causing the center to burn extremely fast while leaving the wrapper relatively unscathed. This also produces a very weak draw for the cigar, forcing a smoker to struggle to get a good pull. When one is struggling so much to get any sort of circulation through the cigar, it leads to the binders burning down quickly – and that means less cigar for the dollar as the smoke wafts away with the breeze of the overhead fan, moving for every direction but the mouth.

Don’t Judge a Cigar by its Cover, Unless its Bad

The main reason this cigar was picked up in the first place was its highly unusual label. The fact it, it was nothing more than high-quality paper wrapped around the stick, with its brand name and color range printed on it. Most cigars have high quality, embroidered emblems that proudly announce the cigar’s pedigree. The Copacabana Maduro? No such luck. It isn’t hard to imagine a small, start-up cigar company not being able to afford the high-class pedigree, however, and as the old saying goes, it isn’t fair to judge a book by its cover. Why judge a cigar?

The answer is simple: Rocky Patel. This Cigar brand was started less than thirty years ago, yet it has a lovely label and an excellent pedigree. It has a much higher quality label than the Copacabana, but once upon a time it was a new brand struggling to survive and, surprise, it prospered. Did it always have an excellent label? That’s hard to know – but it was certainly a good cigar to have done so well.

Review: Gurkha Warlord Cigar

 

Reviewing the Warlord cigar, a super premium smoke from Miami-Based Gurkha Cigars.

This holiday season was special for me for many reasons. I got time off to travel and visit family that I haven’t seen in a long time. I got some exceptional gifts from some exceptional people. And I got to experience a Gurkha Warlord cigar that my father-in-law offered me. The lucky guy had just received a whole chest of them as a gift.

The Gurkha Warlord Review

The Warlord is a super premium smoke by Gurkha. Gurkha was opened in 1989 in Miami, Florida, and still operates there, being led by Gurkha’s president Hansotia Kaizad.

My Warlord indicated that it was manufactured in Nicaragua on the band, but I’m told that Gurkha’s line of cigars feature tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Indonesia as well. The Warlord cigar in particular is made of Nicaraguan fillers, a Nicaraguan wrapper, and Connecticut binders.

 

Upon opening the sleeve that the cigar shipped in, the first thought that came to my mind was: bold.

Construction of the Gurkha Warlord

The quality of the construction of the Gurkha Warlord is one not typically seen in cigars today.

The cigar is a 7×55, but feels thicker and heavier than a standard 55 gauge cigar. Mine felt solidly assembled and was densely packed with tobacco – there were no noticeable weak or soft spots to indicate voids left in the rolling process.

The wrapper was smooth and tight with no noticeable veins or bumpy areas.

The Gurkha Warlord features a cloth band at the foot of the cigar with a much larger band made out of cedar right above that. The labeling band with the Gurkha crest in gold lettering with a black-with-gold “Warlord” band below finish off the package. The Gurkha Warlord is not just a cigar, it’s truly a work of art.

Smoking the Gurkha Warlord

The Gurkha Warlord is regarded as a super premium cigar and smoking the Warlord did not disappoint in that regard.

The draw was well-balanced, if not a little bit on the easy side – especially considering how tightly packed the cigar is. The ash burned white, powdery, and thick like you would expect of a cigar of this caliber.

The Warlord was robust and meaty in flavor – a hint of leather perhaps – but nothing too overpowering. As I neared the end of the cigar, I was expecting the flavor to strengthen or develop a bitterness, but I didn’t notice much of any difference. The flavor remained full and satisfying.

The worst part of the cigar was finishing it knowing that I didn’t have another one to smoke.

The Gurkha Warlord was truly a pleasure and I hope I get an opportunity to experience another one in the near future.