Cigars 101

Cigars, Vitolas, and…Body Type?

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.

Lou Tenney

Lou 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?).

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