Category: Buying Guides

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When was the last time you smoked a Corona? From what I’ve observed since I’ve been in this business, it seems like the Corona has taken a back seat to other sizes, mostly larger sizes such as the Robusto at 5″ x 50 and the Toro at 6″ x 50. I have some of my own ideas about why this may be the case, which I’ll touch on later, but for this issue I thought I’d point out some of the finer aspects of these very flavorful cigars.

Interestingly enough, the Corona (Spanish for “crown”) is the only cigar shape that has the most size variations. For example, there’s the Petit Corona (5″ x 42),
the Corona Extra (5½” x 46),
the Long Corona (6″ x 42),
the Corona Grande (6½” x 46),
the Giant Corona (7½ ” x 44),
and the Double Corona (7¾” x 49).

601 Habano Oscuro Corona
A Fuente Cuban Corona
Baccarat Petit Corona
CAO Gold Maduro Corona
Famous Nic. Corojo Corona
Gran Habano 'Triple' Corona
Maxx Traditional Corona
Olor Momento
Padron Londres Maduro
RP Rosado Petit


What’s so great about Coronas?

As I noted above, Coronas don’t seem to enjoy the recognition they had before the 5″ x 50 Robusto shape took-off in popularity during the 1990′s. According to an article I read by James Suckling, former editor and Cuban cigar reporter for Cigar Aficionado, most of the cigars Cubans were smoking in the1990s were “lonsdales and coronas.” My theory is that today cigar smokers feel they are getting more cigar for their buck with a Robusto for around the same price, and the thicker shape offers arguably more flavor. Additionally, some manufacturers don’t even offer Coronas anymore in their new line extensions.

Economics aside, there are some nice advantages to Coronas. As I wrote on a couple of years ago, one of the best shapes for tasting what the ‘Master Blender’ intended is the Corona. This could be why Coronas were so popular in Cuba for so many years. Because Coronas have a smaller ring gauge, you get more flavor from the wrapper leaf. A Corona can be consumed in a relatively reasonable amount of time. Combine that with a great blend and you’ve got the makings of a wonderful experience, like the Coronas featured here.

How to properly light a cigar

The Corona is not only a good shape for trying a new brand, its smaller ring-size makes it a little easier to light. So before you light, get it right. The preferred fire of choice is the torch lighter, which has a blue pinpoint flame. The advantage torch lighters have over matches, Bics, etc., is that you can toast and light the cigar more accurately. And since it takes longer to light cigars, torch lighters not only save time, they save burned fingers, too.

  1. Hold the cigar out in front of you

  2. Position the foot of the cigar above the flame and try not to touch the flame to the tobacco

  3. Toast the foot starting at the edges, and work toward the center while slowly rotating the cigar

  4. Gently blow on the foot to make it glow

  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 as necessary until the entire foot of the cigar is glowing evenly across

  6. Puff gently to avoid tar build-up which can cause bitterness



Buyer's Guide Sampler 3

Buyer’s Guide Sampler #3: “Captivating Coronas”
Corona cigars are not only classic, their perfect proportions make them one of the most flavorful shapes ever created. This All-Star collection covers the entire range of strengths, flavors and toothsome wrappers in 10 cigars by the best premium cigar makers in the business. Order yours now!

Reg Price: $43.99 / $48.40 SRP

Buy Now


Famous Smoke Shop


The world's fastest, friendliest, and best place to buy cigars! Since 1939, Famous Smoke Shop has prided itself on offering the freshest, largest selection cigars at the most competitive prices, and customer service that can't be beat.

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By Gary Korb

I can’t remember how many times over the years I’ve told inquiring minds that there are better cigars coming out of Nicaragua than Cuba. Certainly, Cuban cigars have their place, but when you look at most of the non-Cuban cigars that are getting the high scores and word-of-mouth referrals, it’s the Nicaraguan cigars that stand out. Names like Padron, Oliva, Perdomo, and Don Pepin Garcia immediately come to mind by the mere mentioning of the words “Nicaraguan cigars.”

One of the reasons for this is Nicaragua’s climate (remarkably close to Cuba’s),
and its rich, black soil. Moreover, Nicaraguan tobacco has a character and strength so distinctive, it’s been used for years by manufacturers in The Dominican Republic, Honduras, and even Cuba, allegedly, to add more power to their blends. It’s also one of the reasons Nicaragua produces such great tasting puros, or cigars made with leaves all from one country. Likewise, the cigars chosen for the sampler below offer an outstanding representation of Nicaraguan variety.

Mi Barrio El BilleteroPuros Huerfanos 681 Robusto601 Maduro BP (Blue) ProminenteCAO Brazilia Gol!El Triunfador #4Famous 70th Anniversary by Garcia Family RobustoPadron 2000Famous 70th Anniversary by Perdomo RobustoFamous Nicaraguan 3000 RobustoOliva Serie G RobustoCarlos Torano Signature Robusto


A short course in Nicaraguan tobacco

Because Nicaragua has such a varied terrain, it is capable of producing a wide variety of tobaccos with their own unique flavor properties.

Esteli leaf is the strongest and spiciest Nicaraguan tobacco, and used primarily for filler. Esteli soil is jet black and highly rich in minerals. As a result, the tobacco is characteristically dark with plenty of body, flavor and aroma.

Condega leaf is grown in rocky soil and produces a much thinner leaf that’s also more medium in body. Used mainly for filler and binder, it is also used for wrapper. Because it is mainly sun grown, the leaf is very oily and ideal for adding complexity to the blend.

Jalapa leaf is the lightest and naturally sweetest Nicaraguan tobacco. It is grown in the northernmost part of the country near the border of Honduras, where the soil has vast red clay deposits. Due to its attractiveness, soft texture, rich-tasting character and complex aroma, it is used often for wrapper.

Ometempe leaf is grown in the volcanic soil of Ometempe Island in Lake Nicaragua. Because it is so rich in minerals, Ometempe tobacco has good strength and an earthy-sweet character that lends more depth to the blend.

Nuts and dark chocolate: the perfect complement to your cigar

Many cigar epicureans believe that eating nuts and dark, semi-sweet chocolate while smoking a cigar can enhance its flavors. Moreover, at last year’s IPCPR show, Miami Cigar & Company (La Aurora, Don Lino, Leon Jimenes) was handing out 99% pure dark chocolate with their cigars. I tried it myself at the show, and earlier this year with some almond bark I bought at a gourmet candy store – crushed almonds coated with dark chocolate, pressed into flat sheets. I can’t testify for certain that it draws more flavors from the smoke to the palate, but it sure did enhance the experience. Give it a whirl and taste for yourself. Either way, it makes a great combination.





Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

We recently published a guide to cigars for beginners that we hope will help novice cigar smokers become more knowledgeable about the world of cigars. The cigars guide is also available in downloadable PDF format –

This guide is broken down into 6 parts:

  1. History
  2. Parts of a Cigar
  3. Terminology
  4. Shapes and Sizes
  5. Etiquette
  6. Next Steps

Please share this guide with your fellow cigar smokers and friends who wish to gain a basic understanding of cigars.

Famous Smoke Shop


The world's fastest, friendliest, and best place to buy cigars! Since 1939, Famous Smoke Shop has prided itself on offering the freshest, largest selection cigars at the most competitive prices, and customer service that can't be beat.