Cigars 101


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Trick or treat you say? We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve, for sure. No, we don’t mean smashing the jack-o’-lantern your neighbor worked so hard on…or toilet-papering his tree – we mean cigar tips, tricks, and info that’ll help you get the most out of the treats in your humidor. In part 46 of our Cigar Advisor Fan Mail Series, Paul proposes the best way to choose the best cigars size for you, Gary defines ‘front loaded’ cigars, and Jared talks about the differences between Sun Grown and Shade Grown tobaccos. Check out their video responses to these questions below and leave us a comment with your questions – we just might answer it next!


Cigar Question #1: What’s the difference between Sun Grown and Shade Grown tobacco?

By Jared Gulick

Nick in Reading, PA sent me a great question this month. He asked, “Can you explain what Sun Grown tobacco is? Aren’t all plants grown in the sun?” Absolutely, Nick. All plants – including tobacco – are grown in the sun, but not all tobaccos get the same amount of sunlight. Sometimes, the sunlight is limited artificially. Sometimes, the climate naturally reduces the amount of sun, too. We’ll get into all of that in the video, so make sure you check it out to see my full answer!


Cigar Question #2: What is meant by a frontloaded cigar?

By Gary Korb

Have you ever heard the term “a frontloaded cigar?” Gregg in Sparks, Nevada has and wanted to know what it means. Gary not only answered Gregg’s question, but with some off-camera help from one of the industry’s top cigar makers, he also showed him how frontloading a cigar is done and why. Watch now.


Cigar Question #3: What is the best cigar shape?

By Paul Lukens

Today’s question comes from Glenn from Phillipsburg, NJ who asks, “What is the best shape of cigar?” This is a great question, and the simple answer is, it depends.

When we talk shape, we’re usually speaking of box-pressed, Parejo—which are standard round tube shaped, Torpedoes/Belicosos, and Perfectos.

For a newcomer, I’d suggest getting your feet wet with the standard Parejo/rounded shape and then branch out from there.

Now, when some enthusiasts mention shape—they are indirectly referencing the size. Also, for newcomers, I would suggest trying a Robusto. They’re the best-selling size in the US., and from there, you can step up in size to a Toro or Churchill—which are longer and sometimes thinner in diameter, and provide a longer, cooler smoke.

Moving in the opposite direction, you can also try a few smaller ring gauge sizes like the Corona and the Lancero. These vitolas have a greater wrapper to long filler ratio and provide a stronger and more intense experience. A shorter cigar like a corona will also allow for full cigar enjoyment when you’re time crunched. Thanks for your question, Glenn.

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Cigar Advisor Staff

Cigar Advisor Staff


The Cigar Advisor Staff is comprised of three good-humored, yet dangerously unpredictable writers who share over 60 years of premium cigar smoking experience. Traversing the tobacco landscape like smoke-shrouded Avengers, they wander (mostly because the fat one ate the map) in search of new leaf adventures armed with nothing but torch lighters and runcible spoons as their weapons. Each is equally knowledgeable on the matters and pursuits of the cigar lifestyle, with his own unique and capricious insights on various luxury, sports, automobiles and entertainment affairs - all served with good counsel for your reading pleasure.

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