Cigar Shapes, Sizes, And Colors: The Ultimate Guide

Cigar Shapes, Sizes, And Colors: The Ultimate Guide

Cigars come in a diverse array of shapes, sizes, and colors, each contributing to a unique smoking experience. Understanding these differences can enhance your appreciation and enjoyment of cigars, whether you're a novice or a seasoned aficionado. This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of cigar shapes, sizes, and colors, providing you with all the information you need to choose the perfect cigar for any occasion.

Cigar Shapes

Cigar shapes, also known as vitolas, are broadly categorized into two main types: Parejos and Figurados. Each shape affects the smoking experience differently, influencing the draw, burn rate, and flavor profile. Knowing these shapes can help you select a cigar that suits your preferences.

Parejo Cigars

Parejos are the most common cigar shapes, characterized by their straight sides and typically rounded heads. They include some of the most popular cigar sizes such as Robusto, Corona, and Churchill. These shapes are straightforward and provide a consistent smoking experience, making them ideal for beginners.


The Robusto cigar size is one of the most popular in the United States. Typically measuring 4.75 to 5.5 inches in length with a ring gauge of 48 to 52, Robusto cigars offer a balanced smoking time and a rich, full-bodied flavor. This size is ideal for those looking for a shorter, yet satisfying smoking experience. The Robusto’s thickness ensures a slow, even burn, allowing smokers to fully enjoy the cigar’s blend of tobaccos.


The Corona is often considered the benchmark for all cigar sizes. Measuring around 5.25 to 6 inches in length with a ring gauge of 42 to 44, Coronas provide a medium-length smoking session with a hotter burn and lighter flavor compared to larger cigars. This classic size is perfect for a balanced smoke that isn’t too short or too long, making it a favorite among traditional cigar enthusiasts.


Named after the famous British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Churchill cigar size is larger, typically 7 inches long with a ring gauge of 47 to 50. This size offers an extended smoking experience, perfect for relaxed, leisurely settings. The larger size allows for a complex development of flavors throughout the smoking session, making it a luxurious choice for those who enjoy spending time savoring their cigars.

Figurado Cigars

Figurados are cigars with irregular shapes, offering a more complex smoking experience. They include shapes like Torpedo, Pyramid, and Perfecto, each providing a unique flavor concentration and draw. Figurados are often more challenging to smoke due to their varied shapes, but they reward the smoker with nuanced and evolving flavors.


The Torpedo has a pointed head, which can concentrate the flavors and offer a more intense smoking session. This shape is favored by enthusiasts seeking a more challenging and flavorful experience. The tapered end of the Torpedo allows for a controlled draw, enhancing the intensity of the flavors as the smoke travels through the narrower opening.


The Pyramid is similar to the Torpedo but features a broader foot that narrows to a pointed head. This design allows for a larger initial draw that mellows out as you smoke, offering a varied flavor profile throughout the session. Pyramids are known for their excellent construction, providing an even burn and a complex smoking experience that changes from start to finish.


The Perfecto is tapered at both ends, with a bulge in the middle. This unique shape provides a diverse smoking experience, with changing flavors as the cigar burns through its different widths. Perfectos are often considered a testament to the roller’s skill, as their unusual shape requires precise craftsmanship to ensure a consistent and enjoyable smoke.


The Culebra is one of the most unique and visually striking cigar shapes. It consists of three Panatela cigars braided together, typically measuring around 5 to 6 inches in length with a ring gauge of approximately 38 each. This distinctive shape originated as a way for cigar factory workers to take their daily allowance of three cigars home, making it easier to distinguish from regular production cigars.

When smoking a Culebra, the three braided cigars are typically unbraided and smoked separately. Each individual cigar provides a quick, enjoyable smoke, while the novelty of the Culebra adds an element of fun and tradition. The braiding process does not significantly alter the flavor of the cigars, but the unique shape can make for an interesting conversation piece and a memorable smoking experience. The Culebra is perfect for sharing with friends or as a special treat for yourself.

Cigar Sizes

Cigar sizes are described by their length and ring gauge (diameter). Understanding these dimensions can help you select the right cigar for your preferences and the amount of time you have available for smoking. The size of a cigar not only affects the smoking duration but also the intensity and development of its flavors. Although we have gone over some of these in the shape category already, this will help you deeper understand what defines the different types of cigars.

Measuring Cigar Sizes

Cigars are measured in inches for length and in 64ths of an inch for ring gauge. For example, a cigar with a ring gauge of 64 has a diameter of one inch. Common cigar sizes include Robusto, Toro, and Churchill, each offering a different smoking duration and flavor intensity. The length and ring gauge can influence how the tobacco burns, how the flavors are released, and how long the smoking session lasts.


The Toro cigar size is typically 6 inches long with a ring gauge of 50 to 55. This size provides a longer smoking experience than a Robusto, often preferred for its balanced flavor and extended duration. Toros are a popular choice for those who want a smoke that lasts a bit longer without being overwhelming, offering a rich and satisfying experience.

Double Corona

The Double Corona is larger, usually measuring 7.5 to 8.5 inches in length with a ring gauge of 49 to 52. This size offers a long-lasting smoke, ideal for those who enjoy a prolonged, full-flavored experience. Double Coronas provide ample time to savor the complexities of the cigar’s blend, making them perfect for special occasions or relaxed evenings.

Petit Corona

The Petit Corona is a smaller version of the Corona, measuring around 4.5 inches in length with a ring gauge of 40 to 42. It is perfect for a quick smoke, delivering a concentrated flavor in a shorter time. Petit Coronas are ideal for situations where you want to enjoy a cigar but don’t have the time for a longer smoke, offering a quick yet satisfying experience.


The Lancero is a slender and elegant cigar, typically measuring 7 to 7.5 inches in length with a ring gauge of 38 to 40. This size emphasizes the wrapper's flavors, providing a concentrated and intense smoking experience. Lanceros are often appreciated by experienced smokers who enjoy a cigar that highlights the nuances of the tobacco blend.


The Lonsdale cigar is a longer and slightly more robust version of the Corona. It typically measures around 6.5 inches in length with a ring gauge of 42 to 44. This size offers a balanced smoking experience with a duration that falls between the shorter Robusto and the longer Churchill. The Lonsdale is ideal for smokers who prefer a longer smoke without the full commitment of larger cigars. Its slender shape allows for a smooth draw and even burn, making it a favorite among traditional cigar enthusiasts.


The Panatela is a long and thin cigar, often regarded for its elegance and refined smoking experience. Typically measuring between 5 to 7.5 inches in length with a ring gauge of 34 to 38, Panatelas provide a lighter, quicker smoke compared to bulkier cigars. This size emphasizes the flavors of the wrapper and filler, offering a more delicate and nuanced profile. Panatelas are perfect for smokers who appreciate a stylish and sophisticated cigar with a clean and focused taste.


The Presidente cigar size, also known as Gran Corona, is an impressive and substantial smoke. It usually measures around 8 to 10 inches in length with a ring gauge of 47 to 52. This large size offers an extended smoking session, ideal for long, relaxed evenings. The Presidente provides a rich and complex flavor profile that develops gradually over time, making it a favorite for those who enjoy a prolonged, immersive experience.

Cigar Size Chart

Name Length (in inches) Ring Gauge (in 64ths of an inch)
Petit Corona 4 1/2 40 to 42
Corona 5 1/2 to 6 42 to 44
Panatela 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 34 to 38
Lonsdale 6 1/2 40 to 42
Lancero 7 to 7 1/2 38 to 40
Churchill 6 1/2 to 7 46 to 48
Robusto 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 48 to 52
Toro 6 to 6 1/2 48 to 50
Presidente 7 to 8 1/2 52 to 60
Gigante >6 >60

Cigar Colors

Cigar colors, determined by the wrapper, can greatly influence the flavor and strength of the cigar. The color of the wrapper is a result of the fermentation and aging process of the tobacco leaves. Different colors indicate different flavor profiles and smoking experiences, making the choice of wrapper an important factor in selecting a cigar.

Wrapper Colors and Their Characteristics

Cigar wrappers range from light to dark, each offering a distinct flavor profile. Common wrapper colors include Claro, Colorado, and Maduro. The fermentation process affects the wrapper’s color and taste, with lighter wrappers generally providing milder flavors and darker wrappers offering richer, more robust tastes.


Candela wrappers, also known as "Double Claro," are distinguished by their bright green color. This unique hue results from a rapid drying process that locks in the chlorophyll, giving the wrapper its vibrant green appearance. Candelas are typically mild in flavor, offering a fresh, grassy, and sometimes slightly sweet taste, making them an excellent choice for beginners or those who prefer a lighter smoking experience.


Claro wrappers are light tan or greenish in color, providing a mild and delicate flavor. They are ideal for beginners due to their subtle taste and smooth smoking experience. Claro wrappers are often associated with a clean, crisp taste, making them perfect for those new to cigars or those who prefer a lighter smoke.


Colorado wrappers are reddish-brown and offer a medium-bodied flavor. They strike a balance between the mildness of Claro and the boldness of Maduro wrappers. Colorado wrappers are known for their smooth, balanced flavor, making them a versatile choice for a wide range of smokers.


Maduro wrappers are dark brown or black, providing a strong, full-bodied flavor. These wrappers are often associated with a richer, sweeter taste due to the extended fermentation process. Maduro cigars are favored by those who enjoy a robust, flavorful smoke with complex undertones of sweetness and spice.


Oscuro wrappers are the darkest, nearly black in color, and offer the most intense flavor. They are favored by seasoned smokers who enjoy bold, robust cigars. Oscuro wrappers undergo extensive fermentation and aging, resulting in a deep, rich flavor that is both powerful and nuanced.

Choosing the Right Cigar

When selecting a cigar, consider the shape, size, and color that best suits your preferences and the occasion. Here are some tips to help you make an informed choice. Understanding these factors can help you choose a cigar that fits your taste and the time you have available for smoking.

  • Time Available: Choose a smaller cigar like a Petit Corona for a short smoke, or a larger cigar like a Double Corona for a longer session. The size of the cigar will determine how long you can enjoy it, so consider your available time when making a selection.
  • Flavor Intensity: Opt for lighter wrappers like Claro for a mild flavor, or darker wrappers like Maduro for a stronger taste. The wrapper color will influence the cigar’s flavor profile, so choose based on your preferred intensity.
  • Experience Level: Beginners may prefer the uniform draw of Parejos, while experienced smokers might enjoy the complexity of Figurados. Different shapes offer different smoking experiences, so select a shape that matches your comfort level and desire for flavor complexity.

Understanding cigar shapes, sizes, and colors can greatly enhance your smoking experience. By selecting the right combination, you can enjoy the unique flavors and aromas that each cigar offers. Whether you're new to cigars or a seasoned aficionado, this guide provides the knowledge you need to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into every cigar.

Back to blog