Understanding Cigar Size

Brandon Hayes


Selecting what size of cigar to smoke isn’t as simple as it seems. You don’t just snatch one up and start puffing. There are several things to consider first. Below, we’ll identify some of the most common cigar sizes and take a deeper dive into how to select the ideal size for any occasion.
Factor #1: Smoke Time
How much time does your schedule allow to smoke a cigar? Of the various cigars I smoke throughout the course of a day, my favorite is the one I enjoy on my patio before turning in for the night. I typically block off about thirty minutes before bed to decompress, set goals for the following day, and check my emails. In this scenario, I typically grab a Corona Gorda or a Short Robusto. The smoking time of these cigars syncs up perfectly with the time I have available for enjoyment.
Factor #2: Feel
Much of the decision of which cigar to choose comes down to simple feel. Personally, I have a hard time enjoying anything with a ring gauge* over 50 or 52. Yet some people feel that a larger cigar just feels better in their hand. My suggestions is to not lock yourself in to a single size (something we’ll get into later). Instead, smoke within a range of sizes that are comfortable for you.
*ring gauge is a measurement of a cigar’s diameter broken into 64ths of an inch. For example, a cigar with a 50 ring gauge is 50/64ths of an inch in diameter.
Factor #3: Flavor
The flavor of some cigars varies with the size. While some cigar makers try to keep the flavor nearly identical between sizes, others take great pride in creating a slight variation between sizes. For example, some cigar makers infuse their Toro cigars with a slightly creamier flavor than they do in their Corona cigars. While often this is by design, the fact is that sometimes it’s just not possible to deliver consistency after adjusting the binder to filler ratio when making smaller or larger cigars. My recommendation is to try new cigars in your preferred size. Then, if you find something you really enjoy, try it out in a couple of different sizes. My preferred size is Corona Gorda, but occasionally a cigar hits my taste better in a Toro.

A word from Skip Martin (Roma Craft Tobac)

"Size limits volume of tobacco which limits volume of nicotine that can be delivered. Small size also generally limits the amount of very heavy nicotine dense texture Tobacco’s that can be used in the blend which limits the volume of Nicotine and body that can exist. There is also the wrapper to filler ratio which is lower so heavier wrappers can have more influence, so a cigar that is strong big will seem even stronger small all else being equal but it won’t deliver as much nicotine." - Skip Martin 

Popular Cigar Sizes: 

Corona Cigar SizeCorona Gorda Cigar Size
Robusto Cigar Size Churchill Cigar Size
Double Corona Cigar Size Toro Cigar Size
Lancero Cigar Size Gordo Cigar Size
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