Cigar Shapes, Sizes and Colors
A primer on cigar shapes, sizes and colors.
From the Print Edition:
Kevin Costner, Nov/Dec 00
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Like the torpedo, the perfecto has a closed foot and a bulge in the middle. Unlike torpedos, though, the head of a perfecto is rounded like the head of a parejo. Perfectos very greatly in length, from a diminutive 4 1/2 inches to unwieldy 9-inch cigars, with ring gauges from 38 to 48. Example: Partagas Presidente
More popular in the past than it is today, the culebra is perhaps the most exotic shape of cigar made. It consists of three panetelas braided together and tied with string, sold as one cigar. The three parts are then unbraided and smoked separately. Usually 5 to 6 inches long, culebras most often have a 38 ring gauge. Since they are difficult to come by today, you might consider sharing the other two braids of the cigar with two friends, turning the smoking of a culebra into a special occasion. Example: Partagas Culebra
Diademas are enormous, 8 1/2 inches or longer. The head is tapered, though often not to a complete point, usually with a 40 ring gauge. The cigar then tapers down to a foot that can be open like a parejo or closed like a perfecto, usually with a ring gauge of 52 or greater. This is a cigar to be enjoyed when time is no object. Example: Hoyo de Monterrey Diadema
Cigar wrappers come in a wide array of colors, from the palest of greens and yellows to dark black. Just as there are seven basic colors that make up the rainbow, there are seven basic color distinctions among wrappers, with an infinite number of shades between each color. A simple way to begin understanding the color designations is to remember that, just as the state of Colorado is in the middle of the United States, the color "colorado" comes in the center of the color range. Wrapper leaves vary in color due to the many methods for processing tobacco and the variety of tobacco strains used. Additionally, sunlight can play a factor: a wrapper grown in sunlight is typically darker than a shade-grown wrapper of an equivalent seed strain. From light to dark, the seven commonly used wrapper color descriptions are:
15 Double Claro (also called Candela) This wrapper is light green, a hue created by a quick-drying process using heat that locks in the green chlorophyll of the tobacco. Years ago, this wrapper was tremendously popular in the United States, and it was a point of amusement for Europeans.