Nothing goes better with a glass of scotch than a perfectly crafted Cuban cigar. Celebrating an important win or business deal, bachelor parties, or just a day on the golf links or boat are all great reasons to light up a quality Cuban. While the trade situation with Cuba has made Cuban cigars illegal in the United States, there is no doubt that they are the best on the market; perfectly rolled and the highest grade of tobacco. Whatever the reason or no reason might be, here are some tips on how to pick out the right Cuban cigar for you!


The size of a cigar is called the ring size and it is measured in 64ths of an inch. Cigars, including Cubans, come in sizes all the way up to 64/64ths (inch in diameter). However, most are between 32 and 52 (32/64ths-52/64ths) ring size. The length of the cigar is a good indication of the burn time required to enjoy the cigar and some cigars can be upwards of nine inches. Cigars are quoted by size in the following manor – “8×48” meaning 8inches long with a 48/64ths ring size.


Cigars are divided into two categories when it comes to their shape – Parejos and Figurados. Parejos have straight sides and tend to be more common on the market coming in the recognizable sizes – Corona, Churchills, Robustos, Double Coronas, Pantatelas. Figurados are cigars with irregular shapes and come in Pyramid (pointed head and open foot), Torpedo (pointed head and closed foot), Culebra (three panatelas twisted together), Perfecto (both ends pointed), and Diademas (with one or both ends pointed like a perfecto).

How to choose the right Cuban cigar

With the sizes and shapes defined, here are some tips on picking out a good Cuban cigar!

  • Examine the wrapper (outermost layer). Look for gaps, tears, bumps or anything wrong in the construction, as it will cause issues while trying to enjoy the cigar.
  • Also, the shape should be consistent and even. The cigar should be firm all over meaning it is well filled with tobacco.
  • The cigar should have uniform color with no signs of mottled or spots, which can indicated spoiled tobacco or improper storage.
  • Stay away from cigars that feel dry or brittle that is caused from improper humidor storage.
  • Finally, smell the cigar. A lot of the taste can be previewed by the smell. So find one that smells appealing to you.

With these tips in mind, you’ll have a good starting point for when you go to the cigar shop to pick out one. However, it is always a good idea to ask for help if you have questions because the people working in a cigar shop will have a lot of knowledge of the cigars they are selling.