"I am the smoker of the fine Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne Torpedo cigar, they are a medium to mild smoke. I buy them at Doc James Cigar & Golf in Shrub Oaks NY...." Ira

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Basic Details About Cigars

Cigars are commonly used for celebrations, special events or personal enjoyment, but many people do not understand the basics of the cigar. By learning about the basic facts and details, it is possible to find the best cigars for personal tastes, preferences and occasions.

Shape Basics

The shape of a cigar has some common features that are well-known to people looking at the options in a store. A cigar is commonly a long and cylindrical shape though the exact look might vary slightly based on the specific brand and the way it was rolled.

The term to describe the most common shape is parejo. Although most cigars are still a parejo, it is possible to find alternative shapes that are called figurados. Those shapes are similar, but they have a slightly different cut and look that sets it apart from the traditional cylinder shape.

Although the basic shape is usually a cylinder, the actual method of determining the shape is based on the length of the cigar and the diameter, which is called the gauge. The gauge is usually measured by 1/64th of an inch while the length of the cigar is measured by the inch. The number for the gauge on the cigar is written based on the diameter. For example, a cigar with a gauge measurement of 48/64 of an inch is actually 3/4 of an inch around.

Parts of a Cigar

The shape of the cigar is broken down into four main parts. The four parts are called the cap, the head, the body and the foot. The cap is the very tip of the cigar and the foot is the end of the cigar that is lighted for smoking.

Inner Workings of a Cigar

The main inner parts of the cigar are the filler, the binder and the wrapping, the last of which gives the cigar its uniqueness.

The filler is the tobacco used in the cigar. Depending on the cigar, it might have two or more types of tobacco blended to make the inside part of the cigar. In most cases, filler is described as either long or short filler. The long filler refers to whole tobacco leaves while the short filler is the term used to describe the left-over tobacco that is put into a cigar. Short filler is a lower-end and is commonly used in poor quality cigars.

The binder is the coarse leaves of tobacco that are designed to hold the filler together and keep it in place. This type of leaf is usually elastic and is wrapped around the filler for better holding capabilities.

After the binder holds the filler in place and forms the basic shape of the cigar, a wrapper is placed around it. The wrapper is the part of the cigar that provides flavor and smell.

Selecting a cigar requires a basic understanding of different elements in the cigar. By knowing the basics about the filler, binder and wrapper, it is easier to select a cigar that appeals to personal tastes and preferences. Which cigar one smokes is a personal choice and the reputation of the cigar is only one element of making that choice.