The Manual’s Guide to Cigar Varietals

Even if you’re not a cigar aficionado, you should know you way around the different types. That way, next time you stumble into a cigar shop, you can make a more informed decision about the stogies you’re about to smoke. To help get you up to speed on all the different varieties out there, we put together this quick reference guide.


Robusto’s are one of the more common cigar types around, and are typically known as the shortest members of the cigar family. Your average Robusto measures about five inches long, and has a fairly high ring gauge, generally between 40 to 50. This means they take roughly 45 minutes to an hour to smoke. Ring gauge, by the way, is a measurement that refers to the diameter of a cigar, measured in 64ths of an inch. To help you picture these measurements more effectively, a cigar with a ring gague of 32 would be half an inch in diameter.


The Belicoso (Spanish for “warlike”) is the most beefy of the bunch. They boast a ring gauge somewhere between 54 and 50, and are usually about five and a half inches long. With their conical shape, Bellicosos are the quintessential mobster cigar – which is fitting since they tend to smoke fast and hard. For this reason they’re not recommended for novice smokers, and you’ll want to commit about an hour to smoking one.


Corona cigars are popular because of the wide range of flavors they come in. They typically measure about five and a half or six inches long, and have a 42 ring gauge. In addition to their great flavor, Coronas tend to have a very light smoke, making them preferable for anyone who finds other cigars too harsh.


Similar to Coronas, Lonsdale cigars are known for having a light, flavorful smoke. Depending on the brand you buy, they’re roughly the same diameter as Coronas, but also a bit longer. These badboys range from about six to six and a half inches long, and will therefore take about an hour to smoke in one sitting.


These cigars are known for being a bit longer, but also much slimmer (~38 ring gague) than other varietals. Due to their length, they generally take longer to smoke (sometimes as long as two hours), and are said to have different “phases” of smoke, meaning the flavor, texture, and aroma may fluctuate as you burn it down.


Bet you can’t guess which UK prime minister these are named after! Churchills are serious cigars. They’re generally around seven inches long, have a ring gauge of 47, and give off a thick, heavy smoke.