Learning the basics of cigars will make your cigar experience even more enjoyable. The best way to enjoy gameday is with a good cigar!
Cigars come in many different shapes and sizes. A cigar shape can vary greatly in size from brand to brand, so describing a cigar by its size as well as shape is important. Cigars are measured by two factors: length, which is given in inches, and “ring gauge,” a designation of a cigar’s diameter broken into 64ths of an inch. A cigar with a 42-ring gauge, for example, is 42/64 of an inch in diameter.
There are three basic shapes of cigars: Parejo, Figurado or box press. Parejos are straight-sided cigars; most have an open foot for lighting and need to be cut before smoking. Examples of Parejo cigars include Corona, Churchill and Robusto.
More creatively shaped cigars are called figurados, and they include any cigar that is not a straight-sided cylinder. Although cigarmakers’ make a variety of cigars in this family, a few of the common types of figurados include Belicoso, Torpedo and Perfecto.
The third shape is called box pressed. A box-pressed cigar is a cigar that has been pressed into a square shape during the manufacturing process. The process involves placing the cigars in a wooden mold and applying pressure to shape them into a square.
Cigar wrappers come in a variety of colors, from pale greens and yellows to dark black. There are seven basic color distinctions among wrappers, with an infinite number of shades between each color. 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.
Lastly, cigars can also be classified by strength into three main categories: mellow, medium, and full. Cigars can be classified by strength into three main categories: mellow, medium, and full. Mellow cigars are mild and have a smooth taste. Medium cigars are stronger than mellow cigars and have a more complex flavor profile. Full cigars are the strongest and have the most complex flavor profile.
When choosing a cigar, you can filter your choices based on your broad preferences in a few categories: body, size, and shape. Once you find a cigar that meets those parameters, you’ll next want to make sure it’s a good quality smoke. Look for cigars with a luster or sheen which indicates that they are high quality. Good cigars should not have any weak spots. Make sure the cigar is well-filled with tobacco and has a consistently firm feel throughout, without any weak spots. The flavor is also very important.
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