The Ultimate Guide to Cigars
If we made a list of everything that brings a dapper man joy, cigars would be on top. The burning product and its unique taste bring as much joy as the elegance of such act. It is also something we are proudly knowledgeable being a topic of conversation that can last a nice few hours. As no one is born knowing it all, we had our own little way to learn everything about it. Here is an article with every information you need to find and enjoy the best premium cigars available in the market.
Shape and Size
There’s no pattern when it comes to the size of a cigar, every brand has their own, so knowing to differentiate is necessary. There are 2 factors that measure a cigar, its length (in inches) and its ring gauge (the cigar’s diameter broken into 1/64 of an inch). Keep in mind size doesn’t mean strength, the tobacco in it do. Also, the thinner the cigar the hotter it burns.
Filler is the name given to the tobacco leaf on the cigar. There are only 2 types of it, long and short fillers. The first is made with the entire leaf of the tobacco (which burn slower and have a more consistent flavor), and the latter is made from broken pieces of the leaf (which burn faster and hotter due to the air between the leaves and is usually put together in search of a complex final product). Each person has their own personal choice when it comes to it, but as short fillers are made from broken leaves they are usually seen as low-grade.
Binders are a part of every hand-made premium cigar, being used to both hold the filler in place and burn the cigar evenly. Not premium cigar does not always have a binder but as a dapper man, you know the worth of restricting your cigar shopping to premiums only, as the value is worth it considering its superior quality.
Hand-made vs Machine-made
The hand-made cigars are as the name suggest hand-rolled cigars known for its high quality. Usually made with long filter. This is the category all premium cigars are made of.
The machine-made cigars are usually made with short fillers and have lowered price as it is a mass-produced product.
Both panejos and figurados are the names of the different types of cigar’s formats. The most popular one, panejo, is the name of straight-sided cigars with rounded caps and open bottom.
The benchmark for all other cigars. This panejo type cigar size varies from 5.5 to 6 inches with a 42 to 44 ring gauge.
2. Petit Corona
The miniature version of the corona type cigars. Its size is usually 4.5 inches and its ring gauge varies between 40 to 42.
3. Corona Gorda
This size corona follow a 5.5/8 to 6 inches pattern and 46 to 50 ring gauge.
4. Double Corona
A larger but not actually double corona cigar with approximately 7.5 to 8.5 inches and 49 to 62 ring gauge.
The short and thick kind of cigar. It is usually 4.3/4 to 5.5 inches and has a 48 to 52 ring gauge.
6. Short Robusto
The shorty of the robusto category varying between 4.5 to 5 inches and a ring gauge of 48 to 52.
7. Robusto Grande
This robusto variation is usually 5.5 inches and its ring gauge varies between 56 to 58.
8. Robusto Gordo
The fattest robusto that can have up to 5 inches and an incredible 60 ring gauge.
A long and thin cigar made between 6.5 to 7 inches and a ring gauge of 38 to 42.
This cigar is usually the size of a cigarette.
Within’ the recent years, cigar companies have been getting creative with the product shape and all of the shapes that don’t belong in the panejo category are called figurado. A few examples of figurado cigars are Churchill (named after Winston Churchill, a former British Prime Minister), Culebra (an exotic cigar made out of 3 panetela cigars tied together, but smoked separately), and many others.
When it comes to cigar wrappers there are 7 basic colors and wide array of shades in between them. The colors vary due to methods of processing tobacco and the variety of strains being used, plus the more exposed the wrapper is to sunlight when it is growing the darker it gets. The 7 basic shades are:
Claro wrapper has a light tan shade, its flavor is very mild allowing the tobacco to shine.
2. Double Claro
Also known as candela, the double claro wrapper is light green and the flavor even weaker than the Claro.
This wrapper has a reddish dark brown color, soft aromatic smell, and rich flavor.
4. Colorado Claro
With a mid brown color, the Colorado claro taste is found in the fine line between weak and strong, being closer to the strong side of flavors.
5. Colorado Maduro
The wrapper has a dark brown color and strong flavor.
Maduro is the wrapper of extremes, being known for having a darker brown color and the second strongest of the 7 basic kinds in flavor. Grab this Arturo Fuente Royal Salute Maduro & Make your Dad Smile on Father's Day
Oscuro wrappers are black and known for having the strongest taste of all 7 wrappers.
As a dapper man you are picky when it comes to your cigar, to make sure you only smoke top quality cigars is important to check for this red flags:
1. Tobacco packed too tight
A too tightly packed cigar not only will be hard to smoke but it will have less flavor.
2. Tobacco packed too loose
A loosely packed one will be easier to smoke, but it will taste harsh and burn hotter (and faster).
3. Uneven burn
A cigar must burn evenly from the top to the bottom, if you come across an uneven burn the cigar was rolled wrong.
4. Short Ash
Cigars must reach an at least 1-inch ash before falling if you aren’t making too many abrupt movements (which as a dapper man, you won’t be, as you are one to actually appreciate a cigar, not just smoke it).
In a box of cigars, all cigars must taste and burn the same, or they are irregular, either by taste (meaning the tobacco leaf wasn’t consistently aged) or by burn (meaning they were rolled differently).
As a dapper man, you must know where your cigars are coming from and be able to differentiate tobacco from different countries. In case you are a beginner in the wonderful world of cigars, here are tips to differentiate them:
Cuban cigars are the most talked about ones, know for its very specific taste and the high standards behind the making of it.
2. Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic’s cigars are known for having a smooth and light flavor.
Cigars from Nicaragua are known for its strong and spicy flavor.
Brazilian cigars are known for being dark and strong.
The country is known for producing creamy and soft wrappers.
One of the newest countries to integrate the cigar world, their flavor is known for being spicy and tasty.
The country of Jamaica is known for producing the sweetest and softest cigar in the scene.
Honduras’ cigars are known for its distinct earthy flavor.
Cameroon’s cigars are known for being the hardest one to obtain. The nation may be small but the cigar grown there is the biggest desire of every cigar aficionado.
There are etiquette rules when it comes to smoking cigars and as a dapper man, you must follow them strictly.
1. Remove the cigar band.
Once the cigar is warm it becomes easy to remove the band and it is something that must be done.
2. Warm the bottom
Place your finger in the bottom of the cigar for a few seconds before lighting it.
3. Take your time
A cigar must be enjoyed not just smoked, take your time while you are smoking it to appreciate its flavor.
4. Hold it right
A cigar is not a cigarette, it must be held appropriately between your thumb and index finger.
5. Know when to stop
Cigars weren’t made to be smoked until the bottom. The right time to stop is around the middle as more than that will result in a harsher smoke.
6. No teeth clenching
It is not polite to clench your cigar between your teeth, smoking it is a beautifully elegante exhibition, don’t ruin it!
7. Use your hand to relight
Always hold the cigar in your hand when relighting it, don’t ever hold it in your mouth, there’s a reason only the bad guys in movies do that, it has a negative connotative and is simply rude.
8. Don’t use a cigar holder
You are not an Audrey Hepburn character, it doesn’t matter how much you enjoy gadgets, it is not ok to do so!
If you are looking to buy cigars with a fair price, we recommend Stogie Boys.
Share some cigar knowledge with us by leaving a comment below!