Ravioli, pierogi and Chinese dumplings are all similar- dough filled with meat, cheese and or vegetables. We don’t often confuse them, though, because they look different. Cigars may look different from each other, but the variations can be much more confusing, so here’s a guide to cigar sizes and shapes.
Part one- Figurados
Figurados- These are cigars with a pointed head. There are quite a few types in this category, and these are some of the others:
Torpedo- A straight-sided cigar with a typical length of 6 inches or longer, and a (usually) sharply pointed head. If the torpedo is shorter than 6 inches, it may be called a belicoso, and less than 5 inches can be called a mini belicoso.
Pyramid- A cigar with a pointed head that is thinner at the head than the foot, normally with a gradual taper. This type of cigar is also called a trompette or a triangulare.
Perfecto- These have a pointed head, but may be slightly more round than a torpedo, and in addition, the cigar will widen gradually and then tapering back down, often having a shape similar an American football, and may or may not have a sealed foot. When a perfecto is 8 inches or longer and tapers outward until just before the foot and then tapers back down, it may also be referred to as a diadema or a salamone.
Cheroot- These cigars are usually thinner, very rough in appearance, vary in length from around 3.5 to about 6 inches and usually taper down at the head end. Both ends are usually open, and were popularized by Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns he starred in during the seventies. They are often Italian or Italian-American in origin, and are also called toscani.
Part two- Parejos
Parejo- Any cigar with parallel sides and a rounded or flattened cap. Parejo is a category rather than a particular shape. All of the following are considered parejos.
Panatela- A thin cigar, usually around 38 ring gauge and around 6 inches in length; a very popular size during the late fifties through the sixties. If it’s a little shorter, and possibly a little thinner, it may be called a petit panatela. A long panatela (over 6.5 inches) is often called a lancero.
Corona- These cigars are typically 5 to 5.5 inches long and are 42 to 44 in ring gauge. From around 4.5 to 4.75 inches, they’re called petit coronas. Longer coronas in the 6 to 6.25 inch range are sometimes called coronas grande, and at 6.5 inches, it becomes a Lonsdale.
Robusto- Arguably the most popular size in the premium cigar market today. These thick and stubby smokes are usually 5 inches to 5.5 inches long with a 50 ring gauge, but some companies make one as wide as 54. A robusto of 56 or thicker can be called a double robusto. When they’re about 4.5 inches and 48 to 50 ring, they can be called Rothschilds.
Toro- The toro is almost always 6 inches long by 50 ring gauge, although some makers go as high as 56 ring. When they’re 60 ring gauge by 6 inches, they can be variably referred to as Gran toros or gordos.
Churchill- This classic shape is usually 7 inches long and range from 47 to 50 ring gauge. By the way, ring gauge is the term for the diameter of the cigar at its widest point, measured in 64ths of an inch.
Double Corona- A cigar that’s 7.625 ( 7 5/8) inches by a 49 gauge or a bit wider.
Presidente- Usually 8 by 50.
Gran Corona- These monsters are 9 inches or slightly more, and have a ring of 47 or larger. They are also called an A, because of the name given to Cuban cigars of this size.
A couple of notes
Wider ring gauge cigars usually smoke a bit cooler, so if you’re having heat problems, try going thicker. One thing, though. Don’t use a punch cutter with wide cigars, as this will funnel the heat and cause it to become a furnace.
Also, if you have a problem cutting a parejo to the proper opening size, try a figurado. You might find them easier to cut properly.