Variety is the spice of life – and the world of cigars is overflowing with variety. The different cigar types available can make it intimidating for rising aficionados to explore and enjoy cigars while they hunt for their new favorites.
If you’re new to smoking cigars, read on to learn about some of the most common types of cigars and how they’re classified.
Most Common Types of Cigar Wrappers
There are dozens of wrappers for different cigar types out there. Colors for cigars most often range from light tan to dark brown, though some unique cigars can be found with a leafy green appearance.
Here are some of the most common types of cigar wrappers you’ll encounter. In order from lightest to darkest leaves:
The Connecticut cigar wrapper is one of the most notable wrappers and is well-known as being the most significant American-sourced wrapper for cigars. Several iconic cigars are rolled with these wrappers, such as Ashton, Arturo Fuente and Macanudo.
Unsurprisingly, Connecticut wrapper leaves are sourced from the Connecticut River Valley. This region is a core part of America’s tobacco-growing industry.
You’ll recognize these wrappers from their lighter shade, often a golden-brown color. However, there are different types of wrappers that fall under the Connecticut name, such as the Broadleaf or the Shade.
The Corojo is a slightly darker wrapper than the Connecticut. Known for its pepper and spice, it was actually originally grown in Cuba. Following the embargo, it was moved to be primarily grown in Honduras. Varieties of Corojo are also grown in other Central American nations using hybrid seeds, to help grow in environments that are less ideal their original Cuban source.
Its flavor is a common favorite among cigar aficionados. Corojo cigars typically have a robust flavor and can produce a unique, zesty aroma.
For newer cigar smokers, it’s important to know that Corojo leaves are often tougher than other wrappers and don’t smoke quite as easily!
Another one of the most popular cigar types are those wrapped in Habano wrappers. Like Corojo wrappers, Habano wrappers originate from Cuba but are also grown in countries like Nicaragua and Ecuador.
Notably darker, Habano wrappers also produce a stronger aroma and intense flavor. Its profile is described as a blend of earthy spices, leather, wood and coffee beans.
While Connecticut wrappers are popular for those who want a mild flavor, Habano wrappers are often part of cigars with more complex tastes. That’s not to say they’re bad for beginners, though! It all comes down to your personal preference!
Unlike other popular wrappers, Maduro wrappers aren’t necessarily based on their country of origin or even the specific type of leaf used. Maduro means “ripened” or “matured.” Therefore, Maduro wrappers are those using aged leaves that undergo a natural fermentation process that results in a stunning dark brown leaf.
Because of their aging, Maduro wrappers tend to carry richer and more complex flavors. The specific type of leaf used dictates the final product, though not any leaf can be a Madurdo wrapper. Only those which have the rigor to sustain through years of the aging process qualify.
The variety of Maduro wrappers allows you to find those which suit your tastes. They’re easy to spot from their darker color, but remember that they vary based on the original leaves used. Maduro Connecticut wrappers, for instance, are darker than standard Connecticut wrappers, but won’t necessarily be the darkest wrappers on the spectrum.
Machine vs Hand-Rolled
Another classification you may discover when looking at different cigar types is hand-rolled versus machine-rolled. The core difference is in the name: one is rolled by hand, while the other is done through a machine that simplifies the process.
But the real differences are much more significant. Machine-rolled cigars use a different type of filler and binder. The exact fillers differ, but they tend to use short fillers made from scrapped leaves and tobacco. This causes them to burn hotter and faster than hand-rolled cigars.
Similarly, the binders used to hold the cigar together in a machine-rolled cigar are typically natural glue and grounded tobacco.
On the other hand, hand-rolled cigars use long fillers that burn more slowly, primarily through tobacco leaves. As for binders, hand-rolled cigars use coarse tobacco.
Like any cigars, what you prefer will come with experience. Machine-rolled cigars are less expensive and can be easy to find when you travel – leaving hand-rolled cigars to be enjoyed at establishments like Chaloner’s Cigar House, where you have a large selection of fine cigars to choose from.
What Sizes Do Cigars Come In?
Size is the last major factor that can be used to differentiate cigar types. The size of a cigar is essentially the combination of two things: its length and ring gauge.
Length is, of course, the end-to-end distance for the cigar. The ring gauge, however, is defined by 64ths of an inch. You will find cigars defined by length and then ring gauge. For example, a classic Robusto cigar is “5 x 50.” That means it’s five inches long with an average diameter of 50/64ths of an inch.
There are cigar types that ranging from as short as four inches and up to nine inches! Likewise, ring gauges vary dramatically: from those around 50 to those below 30. You can find them in all types of combinations – don’t be afraid to experiment with new cigars until you find one that’s perfect for you!
The Most Common Cigar Size
If there were a single most common type of cigar when it comes to size, the Corona would be it. A traditional Corona is “5.5 x 42” and has historically been the standard by which most cigars are compared.
When referring to other cigars, it’s not uncommon to hear them described as “slightly longer than a Corona” or “thinner than a traditional Corona.” It’s a great reference point – particularly because a Corona cigar is so easy to find anywhere cigars are sold!
Why Are Cigars Different Shapes?
Those new to cigars often ask what the significance is of a cigar’s shape. In reality, the shape of a cigar doesn’t have much effect! The only consistent impact of shape is how quickly it burns: thinner cigars tend to burn faster than thicker ones.
Other than that, the flavor, strength and aroma of a cigar is dictated by everything else: its wrapper, its tobacco and filler. The shapes are just a way for cigar producers to create a unique look and experience for their customers.
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108 W Maumee St, Adrian, MI 49221
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