Cigar Buying Guides

10 Top Longest Slow Burning Smoking Cigars

10 Best Cigars That Take a Long Time to Smoke

The conventional wisdom is, “choose the cigar to fill the amount of time you have to smoke.” So what if you have a couple of hours to kill? Well, you could smoke two cigars. Or, you fill your afternoon with one big, slow burning cigar. Decisions, decisions…

This is a relatively new problem to have, as really big and really long cigars are a more recent addition to the classic cigar size lineup. I don’t even think Cuba, where it seems they make cigars in about 840 sizes, has cigars that are regularly rolled this wide. Some brands there make a Presidente, which is 8-ish inches long, and a reasonable 50RG (or so). But 80 or 90RG (almost 1 ½”) wide?

Well, they don’t roll those at Partágas in Havana.

The Big Smoke Trend Setters

Initially, these super sized smokers were treated as a flash in the pan. But a few cigar makers took a chance (and a LOT of tobacco) and jumped right on it. Perdomo plumped up his Robustos and Toros to 54 and 56 ring gauges. Rafael Nodal had Oliveros XLforMen. Ernesto Perez-Carrillo shocked when he upsized La Gloria Serie R; he did it again with the humidor-busting INCH. Fuente was in on it even earlier with the Canones, a golf cigar staple that still lasts you the entire front 9.

But it was a while before more cigar makers (and especially the magazines and blogs) bought in.

Then suddenly, everyone had one of these long smoking cigars in their lineup. And even though the “end of the giant vitola” had been predicted countless times, the fad never faded.

Now, bigger and more time-consuming smokes are expected from cigar factories; when a new blend hits the market, a fat 6×60 is almost always a part of the lineup. But enterprising cigar makers have taken the big ring ball and really run with it, conceiving of blends that are specifically designed to be these huge cigars that smoke for hours.

It’s more of a love/hate thing, really. If you’re not a fan, no amount of arm twisting is going to make you one. But if you like them, you probably love them. And that’s because of a few things…

These Cigars Take Longer to Burn

Though I’m equally terrible at geometry and physics, I know it’s possible to calculate the combustion rate of a cylinder that’s 8 inches long and roughly 1 5/8” in diameter. I also know that the nature of the combustibles (e.g., thicker, oiler leaves burn slower) as well as the conditions under which you’re smoking them (such as, it’s windy outside) can cause that rate to vary. There’s also an accounting that needs to be made for rate of airflow through that cylinder, and that the cigar is burning at an even rate inside and out. So I can make all those calculations…better yet, I can extrapolate from prior experience that a 60 RG Gordo will last me about 2 hours, and a “Really Gordo” like an Asylum 880 will last me closer to 3.

More Cigar, More Mellow

We’ve talked before about the overall influence that the wrapper leaf has on the flavor of a cigar (it’s quite a bit). Now – because that cigar is rolled so big, it’s packed with a LOT of long filler tobaccos. There’s also a generous amount of binder leaf, which comes from a lower priming. That lower stalk position produces a less flavorful tobacco…but the tradeoff is that that leaf burns easier. And that keeps the fillers and the wrapper burning in harmony.

Top 7x70 Cigars 70 Ring Gauge cigars largest cigar most expensive cigar Gran Habano Corojo #5 El gigante

So what is providing the flavors you’re tasting? Mostly the long fillers: they’re often thinner and less oily, which keeps the cigar burning. But that also means they’re usually not as strong (though a few powerhouses do exist). Which is fine by me, because smoking a really full-bodied cigar for hours becomes more of a test of the smoker’s endurance.

A Big Cigar Smokes Cooler

Think of these big cigars to be the counterbalance of the small ring smoke. As you know, Coronas and Lanceros are especially notorious for burning hot and bitter if you oversmoke them. That is, puffing too deep and too often. These long smoking cigars are the opposite, literally staring back at you from your humidor as if to ask, what’s the rush? And even if you do keep a brisk and quick smoking pace, these Louisville Slugger-sized smokes are hard to overheat. They may burn a little funny, but they’re still going to last you 2+ hours.

Big Smoke = Big Value

golfer with long cigar

image via 24/

A cigar that smokes for an extra long time is a cigar that makes you feel you’re getting your money’s worth. They cost more than your average cigar, but it’s not a lot more. An extra 3 or 4 bucks for a cigar that smokes like two $8 sticks? If it were roast beef at the deli counter, you’d say “load me up” – because that’s a pretty good deal. The only catch? You better really like the blend – because once you light it, you’re committed.

The Attention

Let’s also face it: a big cigar attracts attention, for better or worse. Or both, such as when I watched Delicia the Cigar Vixen being a tremendous sport as she reviews some comically cigar (or as she calls it, “the largest cigar I have ever smoked!”) – no wonder why these ginormous smokes become a punchline (or how things get so quickly out of hand in the comments section).

delicia the cigar vixen smoking largest cigar
Screen grab via CIGARVIXEN on YouTube

Those old Cuban ladies with the giant cigars? Like the woman above, they’re very popular with tourists to Havana; the cigar senoras will also pose for a picture with you for a modest tip.

A massive cigar has served as a status symbol, too. Coronas and Perfectos may have been the go-to sizes back in the day, but that air of success was why so many old timey photos featured some big fat cat banker sitting at a desk piled high with cash, smoking a ridiculously oversized cigar.

Maybe…you don’t need a reason to smoke a 3-hour smoke. Just do it because you can, no excuses necessary. Because if a cigar that lasts you half the evening is the kind of smoke you wanna have, don’t you let anyone talk you out of it.

Romeo y Julieta 1875 Exhibicion #1 – 8 ½ x 52

Not normally known for their excessive sizes (6×60 was a relatively recent addition), this Romeo y Julieta doubles down on everything you appreciate about the classic taste of the smaller-sized 1875s…because it is actually two of them. There’s plenty of mellow, cedar-tinged smoke to go around; if you’ve been looking for a place to move upward from your RyJ Churchills, this would be the next logical step.

Asylum 13 Corojo 880 – 8 x 80

Once 6x60s came, 7x70s followed closely behind. Then Asylum pretty much took huge and ran away with it, hitting 8×80. That’s some wicked big handfuls of the Eiroa family’s Authentic Corojo (grown on a Bayer Cropscience certified farm, you should know). Some nice complexity presented itself when we smoked it, with creamy and sweet flavors from the Honduran-grown Corojo transitioning to earth and spice. Very beefy, and very enjoyable.

Flor de Oliva Super Giant – 10 x 66

There are plenty of more modest sizes of this blend, presented in 20-count bundles. But that’s not what you came here for; these Oliva Super Giants arrive in herds of eight. There’s a sweet cap on this all-day smoke – and while the sugary taste won’t last for the duration, the Nicaraguan long fillers sure do…there’s plenty of earthy and woody taste, helping amplify the Sumatra wrapper’s peppery finish. Long considered one of our “best value” bundle cigars, Flor de Oliva rightly checks the box once again.

JFR Lunatic Habano Lunatic – 8 x 80

There are a number of suggestions as to how the JFR Lunatic got its name; suffice it to say, size was one of them. The top end of the Lunatic range is this humidor-shattering 8×80 “Massivo”: brimming with thick n’ chewy smoke, you’ll be settling in for an extended stay with tastes of leather, spice, dried fruit, cedar and a crisp sensation of herbs. Taken all together, it’s Aganorsa Leaf’s Nicaraguan profile that people go crazy for, and proof you don’t have to pay nutty prices for a long smoking cigar.

Exactus Super Coloso Maduro – 11 x 90

It’s like when the Road Runner sticks an air hose in Wile E. Coyote’s mouth and he inflates and floats away, except someone did it to a Toro. You like Maduro? Good, because you’re invested in a long-burning smoke that will probably fill the span between lunch and dinner. Or at least well into happy hour. The Super Coloso is really 4 foot-long Coronas in a Maduro trench coat, and they’re very mellow and slightly sweet as great Dominican cigars should be. An epic journey indeed.

MAXX Super Freak – 8 ½ x 60

We revisit another old school big burn, the Alec Bradley Maxx. Listen to Alan Rubin give the oral history of the Super Freak in his “5 Cigars” interview, then follow it with a taste of this wildly diverse, 5-nation blend capped in an oily Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. The Super Freak releases plenty of rich smoke: we sensed earth, sweet spice and espresso-type flavors, but in a more medium strength frame. A couple of hours well spent.

Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label Exclusivos – 9 ¼ x 48

If some Pepin is good, then more is better, right? The smallest of our long-burning bunch at 48 ring gauge, this Pepin Blue Exclusivo is probably the closest we’re getting to the Cuban Presidente size we discussed earlier. A thinner cigar means more of the wrapper’s taste coming to the surface: you‘re in for 2 ½ hours of that classic Corojo taste, laced with Garcia’s trademark Nicaraguan spice. One of the best here for flirting with full body, flavor and strength.

EPC The INCH Colorado 58 – 8×58

I briefly touched on the INCH before, but even Ernesto’s 64RG monsters have a hard time standing up to the long-lasting burn of this 8-inch smoke. Not that this one is a skinny: this INCH runs just shy of the 60 ring mark. EPC has thrown the kitchen sink into this blend (because there’s room for it all): Ecuador Habano, Piloto Cubano, Corojo, Criollo ’98, Nicaraguan Viso…the list goes on. Full flavored and still moderately potent, I bet you’ll find hints of dark chocolate, coffee and sweet spice atop a layer of spice and rich cedar.

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Masterpiece – 9 x 52

The irony here is that Hemingway was very much a “less is more” storyteller; his writing style was called the “iceberg theory,” because it left so much unseen or omitted. So it was up to your imagination to fill in the blanks. Fuente’s Hemingway Masterpiece (aptly titled, btw) is anything but brief: clocking in at a full 9 inches and fatter than most Toros. Meerapfel’s peerless Cameroon wrapper holds medium-bodied Dominican tobaccos in an oversized Perfecto shape, burning woody, earthy, smooth and the slightest bit sweet.

Padron Magnum Maduro – 9 x 50

Over the course of researching my cigar sizes, I’m learning that the A is the largest “standard” size; Padron sticks the landing with this long-smoking specimen, though they call it a Magnum (there is a shorter 1964 Anniversary A, though). Two Rothschilds’ worth of all-Nicaraguan tobacco, it’s presented in a more manageable diameter than the rest of the list – which means you’ll taste plenty of Padron’s coveted coffee-and-cocoa profile, along with pepper, wood and earth. If that’s your sweet spot – and for a lot of us, it really is – this Magnum is a top-quality way to run out the clock on your evening.