Cigars come in a surprising variety of shapes and sizes. There are dozens of different ‘types’ of cigars and each adhere to a prescribed length, ring gauge (diameter) and shape. Do keep in mind though cigars of the same type can still vary quite significantly from brand to brand the same way if you’re a wine connoisseur no two Rieslings will taste the same.

Which type of cigar is best?

It all comes down to personal preference as there’s no correlation between the size or length of a cigar and its strength and taste.A thin, short cigar that has been rolled with more powerful tobaccos will taste more full bodied and intense than a long thick gauge cigar made with mild tobaccos, which can be quite mellow.

What is a cigar ring gauge or ring size?

Generally speaking, cigars fall roughly into three categories and again, a lot of it simply comes down to personal preference:

Thick gauge: Ring size of up to 64, which is 1 inch in diameter. Thick gauge cigars were designed for those with a hearty draw who want to savour the flavour and aroma.

Examples: Prominente (7 5/8" x 49 ring) or Julieta (7" x 47 ring)

Medium gauge: Ring size of less than 48, which is ¾ inch in diameter

Examples: Cervantes (6 1/2" x 42 ring) or Nacionales (5 1/2" x 40 ring)

Thin gauge: Ring size of around 32, which is ½ inch in diameter. Slender cigars burn at a slightly higher temperature, sometimes resulting in a harsher less nuanced flavour, but this is not always the case.

Examples: Ninfas (7" x 33 ring) or Carolina (4 3/4" x 26)

If you’re not familiar with ring sizes, it’s the cigar’s diameter broken down into 64ths of an inch. So to translate ring size into a measurement of the diameter, simply divide the ring size by 64 and the answer is the diameter of the cigar in inches. For instance, a ring size of 64 is 64/64 of an inch, or 1 inch, which makes it a thick gauge. If a cigar has a ring size of 32, it’s 32/64 inches, or .5 inches in diameter and it’s a thin gauge.