Cigar Shapes & Sizes

Cigar Shapes & Sizes
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Understanding Different Cigar Vitolas, Shapes, and Types for the Perfect Smoking Experience

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Once you have smoked your first cigar, there is no going back to boring cigarettes. Ask any true cigar connoisseur, and they won't stop gushing about the subtle flavors in different cigars, much like spirits, wines, or coffees. If you are a novice smoker, learning about cigars can be quite the challenge because they come in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes. The different expressions and Spanish terminology make it even more overwhelming to choose a cigar that's perfect for your collection.

So, even if you smoke cigars on rare occasions, it's worthwhile to be in the know about its different 'vitola' for the perfect smoking experience.

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What's Vitola, you ask?

This term refers to both the thickness and length of a cigar. The length is measured in inches, whereas the thickness is measured in ring gauge. A ring gauge equates to 64th of an inch. For instance, a cigar with a 38-ring gauge is 38/64 of an inch in diameter.

Does Size of the Cigar Matter?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no correlation between the strength of a cigar and its size. Remember those huge cigars passed out at that bachelor party you attended? They started smooth but ended up heavy and harsh the more they burned. Similarly, a thin, short cigar rolled with powerful tobacco will be full-bodied. So, the important thing to note is that it all boils down to the tobacco used for a particular cigar. Don't fall into the trap 'the bigger, the stronger.'

Cigar Shapes

There are two main types of cigar shapes – Parejos and Figurados. These shapes are then further broken down into various sizes. Let's look at some of them.


Parejos in Spanish means' straight' or 'flush'. As the name suggests, these are straight-sided cigars with a rounded capped end called the 'head' and a flat open end called the 'foot'. Most cigars are of this shape. Here are some sought-after Parejos worth exploring:


Typically, a Corona will have a ring gauge between 42 and 44 and will measure between 5½ to 6 inches long. This is usually the benchmark size against which all the other sizes are measured.

Petit Corona

You can think of it as a miniature version of Corona. It usually measures about 4½ inches, with a ring gauge between 40 and 42. This cigar makes for an ideal choice when you need to take a short break, say, a relatively quick 30-minute smoke.


Measuring around 7 inches with a ring gauge of 50, Churchill cigars are meant to be enjoyed at leisure. They can last for more than 60 minutes. As the cigar burns down, you can experience a subtle change in flavor which is quite rewarding for every cigar enthusiast.


Also sometimes called a corona Gorda, the toro is fast becoming a popular cigar size. At 6 inches long and with a stout 50-plus-sized ring gauge, these are cigars meant to be savored slowly.


A short, fat cigar that has become the most popular cigar size in America. The size is generally 4 3/4 to 5 1/2 inches by 48 to 52 ring gauge.


Any cigars that are not straight-sided cylinders like Parejos can be classified under Figurados. These tend to be rarer, but the cigar industry is continually broadening its portfolio with creative cigar shapes to add to the collection. Here are some popular Figurado Cigars:

Piramide: Piramide or 'Pyramid' is one of the most popular Figurado sizes with a tapered point at the head. However, it has a cut foot like Parejos cigars. These classic cigars measure around 6 to 7 inches. The tapered point has a ring gauge of 40, whereas the wider end at the foot measures 54 ring gauge.

Belicoso: These are one of the perfect medium cigars with great scent and flavor. With a ring gauge of 50 and length between 5 and 5½ inches, Belicoso cigars are like short pyramids with rounded heads. There's another variation to it called the Mini Belicoso with a smaller ring gauge.

Perfecto: Perfecto also goes by the name 'Exquisitos' and, true to its name, features in the exquisite cigar collection of almost every cigar enthusiast. It has a closed foot and a rounded head with a bulge in the middle. Its length can vary a great deal from a compact 4½ inches to an impressive 9-inch cigar. The ring gauges fluctuate from 38 to 48

If you are a first-time cigar smoker, don't get bogged down with these endless variations. See it as an excuse to explore a different variety each time until you find the perfect one for yourself.

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