Time and temperature are often the major factors when choosing a cigar. You probably won’t be smoking a 7 inch Churchill when the mercury drops below freezing. Or maybe you just don’t have an hour-and-a-half to burn on a double corona. Whatever the case, here are 14 short cigars (in no particular order) that are perfect for the connoisseur with high expectations but not a lot of time.
Enrobed in alternating Ecuadoran and Brazilian cover leaves, the 7-20-4 Hustler Dog Walker is an eye-catching barber-pole loaded with notes of almond paste, salted caramel and brown sugar. Medium-bodied and measuring only 4 1/4 by 40 inches, it's the perfect smoke for a short winter stroll—or walking your dog around the block.
How long should it take to smoke a cigar that’s only 3 1/2 inches long by 40 ring? That depends on the frequency of your puffing, but you can find out for yourself if you light up the A. Flores Gran Reserva 1975 Desflorado Half Corona. Made in the Dominican Republic, it’s a medium-bodied smoke with an Ecuadoran Connecticut-seed wrapper around a filler blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. They come in handy, five-count tins so if you smoke it too fast, you can easily light up another.
It’s the perfecto that defies current cigar trends and with good reason—the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story is a splendid little smoke that combines efficiency, flavor and style all into a little 4 inch by 49 figurado. Efficient because of its compact size. Flavorful because of its blend of Cameroon wrapper and Dominican tobacco. And stylish because of its distinct tapers and confident curves.
Cigars with slim ring gauges lean more on the wrapper for flavor, as there are fewer filler leaves in the blend. The 44 ring gauge Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Trés Mystique shows off its dark and robust Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. With six consecutive 90 point ratings, it’s a dependable, full-bodied smoke.
The Cohiba Medio Siglo is a hybrid of sorts: it’s short like a Cohiba Siglo I, but fat, like a Siglo VI. The 4 inch by 52 ring gauge cigar is one of Cuba’s newest, introduced at the 2016 Habanos Festival. It’s pricey, like all Cohibas, but the squat, dark smoke delivers quite a punch, with a medium to full body.
Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has been making cigars for more than four decades, but none have been shorter than this Interlude Rothschild Jr. A mere 3 3/4 inches long, the handmade cigar has a relatively plump 48 ring gauge. They come in handy five packs for easy travel, and retail for $16.25 a pack, or only $3.25 per cigar.
When brand-owner Dion Giolito gave his Cruzado line a complete makeover, he also introduced a new size: the Short Robusto. And we’re glad he did. Now, the line is officially called Illusione Cruzado and the all-Nicaraguan blend has a slim, understated band that won’t get in the way of smoking. It measures 4 1/4 by 48 and enchants the palate with a contrasting combination of fruity sweetness and ground red-pepper spice.
Before Last Call debuted in 2016, it was actually the personal blend of creator A.J. Fernandez. The story goes that the smoke was the final one of the night for Fernandez and friends who would watch Monday and Thursday night’s NFL games together, hence the name. This 3 1/2 by 50 ring cigar is covered in a ruddy Ecuador Habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and fillers that Fernandez grows himself.
This 4 1/2 inch by 44 ring smoke is rolled in Honduras using a four-country blend, including an oily, rosado wrapper from Ecuador. While it won’t take you long to smoke, you’ll still have time to admire the cigar’s unique band artwork, which was inspired by the works of graphic designer Paul Rand.
Short but extremely stout, this smoke is produced in Nicaragua by Oliva Cigars. While it’s only 4 inches long by 60 ring gauge, the cigar burns slower than most small cigars. That’s a good thing because it will allow you a bit more time to enjoy the combination of earth, bark and freshly dug roots before the tangy finish.
Padrón Serie 1926 No. 35 ($12.00)
So named because it takes about 35 minutes to smoke, the Padrón 1926 No. 35 is a mini box-pressed robusto measuring 4 inches by 48 ring gauge. Though short in stature, it's brimming with character and complexity: the No. 35 has never scored below 91 points in the pages of our magazine.
Don’t let the Partagás Short fool you. This feisty little perla is a Cuban firecracker that pops with personality. At 4 3/8 by 42, it’s like a condensed version of the huge Partagás Lusitania, only with more immediate spice and less time for subtlety. By Cuban cigar standards, the Short is also relatively easy to find. Because Partagás is a global brand, you’ll come across the Short in most La Casa del Habano shops.
One of Cuba’s oldest brands, Ramon Allones used to come in a variety of larger shapes such as a Churchill, Corona and 8-9-8. But Habanos S.A. has discontinued many of these over the years, and now this 4 3/8 inch by 42 ring Small Club Corona is just one of three regular-production Ramon Allones. The tiny, bold smoke offers earthy and leather notes with a bit of nutmeg and black pepper.
This limited-edition brand is now a regular-production smoke, and fans of tiny, but strong cigars couldn’t be happier. Whereas the Havana VI blend doesn’t include any ligero in it, the Verocú extension does, giving it a nice little kick. The No. 5 measures only 4 inches long by 40 ring gauge and comes in master cabinets of 50. But best of all, it only costs $4.50.