VITOLAS - CIGAR SHAPES & SIZES
Cigars have evolved from rustically shaped clumps of tobacco into beautifully crafted instruments of tactile delight. The two main categories of cigars are parejos and figurados. Parejos are the traditional premium cigar shape of a perfect cylinder with an open foot and a rounded and capped head; parejos are 'straight-sided'. Shaped cigars, or figurados, taper and bulge in a specific way to create a unique presentation and smoking effect.
Vitola is a general name for the specific size and shape of a cigar (see vitola chart in a couple of pages). A vitola can also be referred to as the cigar "format". In the United States, the length of a cigar is measured in inches while the diameter, or ring gauge (rg) of the cigar, is measured in 64ths of an inch ("). Cuba and some European and Asian countries use the metric system.
While the ring gauge (rg) of a parejo is consistent from foot to head, the rg of a figurado usually referes to the thickest part of the cigar. The specific tapering of a figurado is unique to its vitola. When two rg, such as 32/54 rg, are given for a figurado, the smaller number refers to the thinnest part of the cigar and the larger number to the thickest part. Figurados may also have a tapered head and/or foot, which involves a different rolling and wrapping technique than parejos. Only the most expert torcedores are able to roll figurado cigars. Due to the exceptional skills required to make figurados, these cigars are some of the most rare and exquisite works of craftsmanship in the world.