Cigars with tapered heads

Q. I’ve got relatively little experience with torpedo-shaped cigars. Although I like the concept, I have some questions about them:
. How far down do you make your cut on the end?
2. Is a torpedoshape necessarily any stronger than the same blend in say, a Churchill configuration?
3. What was the original idea in making the torpedo shape?
4. What are the advantages/disadvantages of this shape?
– Alan inCorinth, MS

A. Good questions.

1. For figurados with tapered heads such as Torpedos, Piramides (shown), Belicosos, etc.: The head doesn’t normally need to be cut more than about three-eighths of an inch. How deep you cut also depends on how well the cigar draws. (I usually start at about one-quarter-inch, take a draw, and work my way down as needed.) If you need to cut more, try to shave-off as little as possible. Cut the head too deeply and you risk the wrapper unraveling on you.
2. Torpedo shapes aren’t so much stronger as they are more “full-flavored.”

3. By its nature, the tapered head concentrates the smoke like a funnel, which allegedly was the concept behind creating the tapered head shape. The result is a richer tobacco flavor.
4. One advantage is, you’ll get a more robust smoke; Another is size. Assuming you like big cigars, most figurados are rolled at to an average of 6½-inches x 52 ring; Better care in rolling: figurados are the most difficult cigar shape to roll, so their construction falls to the “first row” torcedors, who are usually the best rollers in the factory.

Disadvantages could possibly include: unraveling from cutting head too deep; the cigar smokes too long; shape feels uncomfortable in the mouth; smoke tastes too strong. Actually, there aren’t that many downsides to this shape. However, than they usually cost more than other shapes, because of the extra time and care it takes to roll them.