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Stogie Commentary: Matters of Size

22 Jun 2009

When I started smoking cigars, the biggest factor in deciding what to buy usually was the size of the stick compared to the price. As you can probably guess, I smoked a lot of poor and mediocre Churchills.

Cigars for SaleI don’t think my “more tobacco means more for the money” approach is all that uncommon for new smokers. I’m also not so sure it’s a bad idea in the beginning. It helps provide exposure to a lot of brands, not to mention a lot of tobacco.

These days, when I’m making a purchase, I still take size into consideration. But now I’m much more apt to focus on how much time I want to devote to the cigar. And even with a lot of time, I’ve found through the years that I usually enjoy a relatively smaller size.

Consequently, I probably smoke more robustos than any other, though I’d have to say I enjoy petit coronas and the occasional lancero a lot, too.

Sometimes I’ll smoke my way through all the vitolas of a cigar brand, especially if it’s one I really like. Generally, though, I tend to concentrate on a couple of sizes at most.

Of course, there are also occasions that call for a large cigar. I’ve noted before, for instance, my affection for the Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Madrid. This large stick (6.1 x 54) is bigger than any other cigar I regularly smoke. But I’ve tried other sizes in the line and, for my taste, none of them has that little lagniappe that makes the cigar special.

One thing I’ve wondered for a long time is what sizes are the top sellers. It would be tough to determine, since there’s no standardization for dimensions or designations. But wouldn’t it be interesting to know?

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

8 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Matters of Size”

  1. CWS Monday, June 22, 2009 at 5:23 am #

    Just about everything I smoke is Robusto or smaller. My affinity for Robustos is partly based on time – I wish I had the time to smoke a churchill. Most of it is shape and size – it just feels right in my hand and as I’m smoking. It’s also easier to store a consistent size in my humidors.

  2. Yabbadabbadoo Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Variety is the spice of life, my friends. Different moods, situations, etc. call for different vitolas.

    One size I'm really looking forward to, though, is the new 20 Aniversario "Ruky" from Nestor Miranda. I tried both blends in the "Danno" based on reviews from this website and loved them–I just wanted a smaller format. now I've got my wish!

  3. Craig Monday, June 22, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    I'm a Corona Gorda to Churchill guy and of course I enjoy a nice Torpedo as well. I enjoy a cigar at the end of nearly everyday after dinner. It's my time to relax and reflect on the day while recharging for tomorrow. I need about 1 to 2 hours to feel like I've really had my recharge time so these sticks fit the bill. I like a good cigar in any size, but like we have all discovered, it really does just boil down to what kind of time slot you're working with.

  4. Joel Monday, June 22, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    I too am an ~85% robusto smoker but my affinity for this size/shape has more to do with the fact that I rarely come across a robusto that is rolled too tightly. I have to say my favorite size, if done right, is the corona but, it is impossible to enjoy a great cigar if it doesn’t burn well or, worse yet, have any draw. I wish more corona gordas were rolled though…

  5. Ahmed Monday, June 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    i love all cigars. After long time smoking i prefare curchills to spend long time with buddies. I 100% agree that in some brand u prefare one size.

  6. Beringer Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    I've heard several cigar manufacturers (i.e. Camacho) say that the initial development of all their blends occurs by first perfecting the Robusto size. From that size, there will be variations that naturally occur with other vitolas. But, if you want to get the best representation of what is trying to be accomplished with a cigar, your best bet is to start with the Robusto.

  7. Ted Newkirk Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    As someone who lives in a warm climate and has no other restrictions (wife/girlfriend or anyone else wanting to cut my relaxation short for need of attention), I enjoy Toros and Churchills.

    1. You get complexity. During the 45 – 90 minutes (depending on the stick), you get a nice ride through the many variations of flavor that the blend offers.

    2. You really get top find out more about the stick and the blend. Spending some serious time with a leaf blend lets you understand it much better.

    3. The bigger vitolas give you the choice to put the stick down when YOU want to, not when it burns out. AND… the bigger vitolas cost very little more than the small ones.

    Hence… if I light up a Churchill and absolutely must let it go out after 40 minutes… so be it. I still feel like I've had my enjoyment. Even if I was only half way through it, I got much more time than a Robusto for a small increase in purchase price.

    OK, OK… I know many will say that a Robusto hits them right away. Light it up and you are directly into the most full flavors. But I don't live for one quick shot of anything. I enjoy the ride. The experience.

    Sure… when in a hurry at the airport, I'll have a quick shot of a decent Scotch. But… I'd rather pour it over ice… spend some time, and see how the complexity develops from the first sip (before the ice has started to melt) until that final sip that is mostly chilled water… with just a wonderful scent left from the Scotch.

    Slower is better.

  8. Sascha Illyvich Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    I definitely understand about that. The huge price jump in padrons for example between the 3000 and 4000 kinda throws me.

    Still I like the bigger ring gauge cigars as I need to be forced to take time off and relax more.