Tagged: cigar shapes

torpdedo cigars
601 Blue Label Maduro Torpedo
777 By Jesus Fuego Belicoso MaduroAlec Bradley Family Blend T11 Natural
Alec Bradley MAXX The Curve Natural
CAO MX2 Beli Maduro
Gispert Belicoso Natural
La Aurora Preferidos Connecticut #1
Mi Barrio El Billetero Dark Natural
Montecristo White #2
Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Torpedo MaduroOliva Cain 654T MaduroOliva Serie O Torpedo MaduroOnyx Reserve Belicoso # 2 MaduroRomeo y Julieta Reserva Real #2St Luis Rey Serie G Belicoso Dark Natural*Price is a sale price, and subject to change.

Tapered Head Heaven

By Gary Korb

In case you haven’t noticed, the cigars in this month’s Buying Guide sampler are all tapered head cigars, also referred to as “Figurados.” A figurado is also identified by its non-straight-sided shape, which is why they are given names like Torpedo, Belicoso, Pyramid, Diademas, Perfecto, and Double Perfecto (tapered at both ends). Not surprisingly, the names of these frontmarks originated in Cuba. Since figurados are commonly rolled to wider ring gauges, they naturally offer more flavor and complexity. Moreover, by design, the atypical tapered head is intended to concentrate the smoke as it passes through the head’s narrow pathway. The narrower you make the cut, the more concentrated the smoke, whereas the wider you make the cut, the thicker the smoke.

To the novice, Torpedo cigars, Belicosos, and Pyramids look identical, but there is a difference. Torpedoes have a rounder tapered head with a body that’s a little thicker in the middle (traditionally bulged),
a flat foot, and are normally about 6 to 6? inches in length. Belicosos are generally about the same length as Torpedoes, but have a much sharper head. Pyramids share the same pointed head as Belicosos, but the body tends to flare out to a wider ring at the foot. Of course, frontmarks are named at the discretion of the manufacturer. For example, the Mi Barrio “El Billetero” is a Belicoso with a fancy name. Most Pyramids (or Piramides), are labeled as a “No.2,” like the legendary Montecristo No.2.

Figurados are often higher in price, too. One reason is the extra tobacco used in the cigar. But it has more to do with the skill required to roll them properly, which is why figurados are only assigned to the factory’s most experienced tabaqueros. If you’re a regular cigar smoker and have never smoked a figurado, you’re really missing out on some marvelous cigars.


How to clip a figurado

V-cutters tend to be the most effective way to clip tapered head cigars. Here’s why: For one, the V-cutter clips the head of the cigar leaving a cleft-shaped cut. It should be deep enough to give you a good draw, too. A standard double or single blade cutter will also do the trick, but if you cut the head too far down, the wrapper could unfurl, and there’s little hope for repairing it. Cut it too short and you may have a draw problem. That said, if you prefer using a double blade cutter, here’s a fool-proof way to get a good cut: Open the cutter and lay it flat on a table. Place the head in the middle of the cutter, clip it, and test the draw. The first clip will probably be too short. If so, repeat the process, take another draw, and see if it improved. It usually takes about two or three cuts to get the cigar to draw well, plus, you’ll keep the wrapper intact. This also allows you to customize the amount of smoke you want to draw through the head.

Xikar VX Cutter



Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com 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.

Hayward TenneyI recently overheard a dubious piece of advice to a budding cigar smoker: “Pick a cigar that matches your body type,” the would-be advisor pontificated, “this way you won’t look silly. Big people should smoke big cigars, and small people should smoke small cigars.”

Yeah, no.

This is terrible advice. It’s nearly impossible to make every shape taste exactly alike, not that this would even be a good thing. Different shapes have different flavors; they feel different in your hand; they can even vary in strength. Don’t believe me? Head over to our Test Flights cigar samplers page and see for yourself!

If I heeded the aforementioned advice, I’d be stuck smoking Flor de Oliva Super Giants. But I LIKE that a Lancero generally produces more of the wrapper’s flavor in a stronger-tasting smoke, while a fat 60 ring Toro will burn cool with a more balanced, milder flavor. There’s a time and a place for every vitola available today.

As you buy more cigars, you’ll probably find yourself gravitating to a particular vitola, regardless the brand. For me, it’s Corona and Corona Gorda. Others appreciate the way a torpedo concentrates the flavor. Still others prefer the myraid transitions of a Double Perfecto.

Whatever your preference, it’s important to remember that each vitola has its own merits. Short on time? Try a Petite Corona. REALLY short on time? Go for something even smaller! Need an all-day burner for the golf course? Reach for a Double Corona or Presidente. After dinner drinks? A Churchill offers exceptional balance in hand and an inimitable elegance. Just closed a big deal? Try a fancy figurado like a Pyramid, Salomon, or Diadema.

Robustos have somehow come to dominate the American cigar-scape. And I know many a cigar smoker who will stick to Robusto, because they’re the default. But if you’re serious about enjoy cigars…and let’s be honest, you wouldn’t still be reading if that weren’t the case…branch out and try a new vitola or two – even in a blend you’re already familiar with. Odds are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Hayward Tenney


When he's not busy writing, editing, smoking cigars, or raising his many, many children, Hayward "It's Lou, not Hayward" Tenney spends his days combating confusion about his real name (it's Hayward, but please - call him "Lou") and mourning the matrimonially-induced loss of his moustache (what's he gonna do with all that moustache wax he made?).

Cigar smokers are a funny lot. Although a big part of becoming a “cigar aficionado” is trying a variety of blends and shapes, for the most part, cigar smokers know what they like and tend to stick with it. This includes a preference for how their cigars are rolled, which can be either round or box-pressed, also referred to as “square-pressed.”

Also referred to as parejos, it’s safe to say that most cigar smokers prefer the round variety. Of course, the more traditional, round handmade premium cigars are produced in greater number, too. Although box-pressed cigars have grown in popularity over the years, there are many cigar smokers who simply refuse to smoke them. To my chagrin, Customer Service has told me on several occasions that a customer returned a box of cigars because I neglected to include that they were box-pressed in the copy. (Sorry.) The main reason for this is, that to many cigar smokers, a square shaped cigar just isn’t comfortable.

That said, if a box-pressed cigar gets glowing reviews, most cigar smokers will gladly reach for it and give it a try, even if they usually prefer round cigars.

So how did the box-pressed cigar come into being? According to CigarAdvisor.com, “Box-pressed” or “square-pressed” cigars are literally “pressed” into the factory box, whereby the pressure from the box creates a square shape. Originating in Cuba, this was done to save shipping space. As a result, the process causes the cigars to burn longer and with a more consistent flavor, giving the smoker a more enjoyable smoke.

If you smoke Rocky Patel cigars, you’ll notice that some of his more upscale cigars are box-pressed, such as the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 & 1992, Decade, Olde Worlde Reserve, and Honduran Classic. This is mainly because Rocky personally prefers the box-pressed shape.

CAO is another company that produces a couple of box-pressed selections, such as the CAO Maduro and CAO Italia. They even make a “Cuban Press” sampler that includes cigars made with an authentic Cuban “trunk-press” method. Moreover, CAO regional sales manager, Paul Spence, once told me at a CAO in-store event that he loves box-pressed cigars because they smoke longer, and every puff is as flavorful as the one that preceded it.

Arguably, the most famous box-pressed cigars are the Padron Anniversary selections. Most of their mainline cigars offer pressed shapes, too, but the sharp, trademark edges of the Anniversary seem to be as distinctive as the wonderful flavors they produce as well.

Some other fine box pressed cigars include the Perdomo2 selections, Alec Bradley Prensado, 601 (Blue) Maduro, and Flor de Gonzalez Selection to name a few.

As noted earlier, there are many more round-shaped cigars from which to choose, and they will probably remain the standard for the industry moving forward. If you only smoke round cigars, no problemo amigo, but if you insist on being a stickler about it, you’re missing out on some superb experiences.

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.