Sizing Up Cigars

In cigar parlance, size refers to both the length and width of the cigar. Both have an impact on the burn of the cigar as well as the coolness to the smoker’s mouth. One other factor that is no small consideration is the fit or look of the cigar and the smoker. Which cigar looks best on you – the classic thinner corona, the shorter, thicker robusto, or something in between?

For a relatively inexperienced cigar buyer, especially a best man preparing for a bachelor party, it might be a good idea to pick up a few samples. Your tobacconist can help you select if you’re unsure. Many upscale lounges and cigar bars also host special evenings to showcase new offerings. Talking to the more experienced cigar lovers at these events can give you plenty of gift ideas.

Cigar width is measured in ring gauge. There are 64 rings to an inch, so a 64-ring cigar would be one inch thick, too thick for the average man to handle. Cigars generally fall in between 38 (thin) and 50 (thick) rings. Anything above or below that range would fall into a special category.

Besides thickness, a cigar’s ring size also affects its burn. A fat cigar exposes more filler to the air, making it burn a little slower, which feels cooler to the mouth. One might be inclined to think the length affects the coolness because of the distance, but it really has more to do with the width. So, if you prefer a cooler feel, choose a thicker cigar.

Another issue involved in the selection is the feel between your fingers. The height, weight, and ring size all play a part. A woman, for example, might like the feel and look of the thinner ring size, but prefer the coolness of the larger ring size.

Despite what some people think, there is little merit to the idea of large cigars for large people and small cigars for small people. What feels most comfortable to your fingers, mouth, and coolness should really be the determining factors rather than its look on you.

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