Cigar Glossary

Here is a comprehensive list of Cigar Terms we use, you use, you may have heard, or might have never known!

Feel free to email us any recommendations, or ask us about words you are unsure of.

Check out the helpful image at the bottom of the list to visually explain ring gauges, lengths and smoke times.

CABINET SELECTION
Wood box with a sliding top, designed to hold 25 or 50 cigars.
8-9-8
A round-sided box designed to hold three rows of cigars with eight on the top, nine in the middle and eight on the bottom.
Flat Top or 13-topper
Flat rectangular box which is the most common container used today. This package holds 13 cigars on the top and 12 on the bottom.
AROMA
The smell of a burning cigar.
BAND
Paper placed around the cigar, usually near the head, originally used to protect white gloves from tobacco stains. Merchants quickly seized the idea and began using it as a place to put their brand name. Allowing them to differentiate their cigars from their competitors.
BARREL
The body of the cigar.
BINDER
A single leaf of tobacco wrapped around the filler to hold it together.
BLEND
The mixture of tobaccos used in the cigar that provides each cigar with its unique character.
BLOOM
A harmless white film or spots on the wrapper caused by oils in the tobacco rising to the surface. This also indicates a stronger smoke. Also, called Plume.
BODY
The main or middle part of the cigar.
BOUQUET
The smell of an unlit cigar.
BOX
The container used to package cigars. Traditional styles include:
BULK
The large piles of tobacco leaves as they undergo fermentation.
BUNCH
Refers to the cigar when it consists of the filler and the binder, before the application of the wrapper leaf.
BUNDLE
Packaging method which uses cellophane overwrap on 25 or 50 cigars traditionally without bands. Bundles are usually cheaper than boxed cigars, and contain seconds of premium cigars.
CAP
The circular piece of wrapper leaf placed at the head of the cigar to secure the wrapper.
CATADOR
Professional cigar taster who determines a cigar's qualities of aroma, taste and texture.
CHAVETA
The knife used in a cigar factory for cutting the wrapper leaf.
CHURCHILL
A large corona format cigar, usually 7 inches long with a 48 ring gauge named after Winston Churchill who liked large cigars.
CORONA
A traditionally-proportioned cigar measuring 5 1/2 to 6 inches by 42 to 44 ring gauge.
CORONA GORDA
A long robusto format 5 1/2 inches with a 46 ring gauge.
CULEBRA
An exotic cigar consisting of three panatelas that are braided together to form one cigar.
CURING
The process of removing moisture from freshly harvested tobacco.
CUT FILLER
Filler tobacco consisting of chopped pieces most common in machine-made cigars.
CUTTER
A device for clipping the end off a cigar. Some resemble scissors with curved blades; others look like small guillotines for making a straight or V-shaped notch. In addition one variety looks like a .44 magnum bullet and another a fountain pen, they pull apart to reveal a punch that cuts a round hole in the end of the cigar.
DEMITASSE
A small cigar around 4 inches by a 30 ring gauge.
DOUBLE CORONA
Cigar with dimensions of 7 1/2 to 8 inches by a large gauge of 49 to 52.
DRAW
The flow of smoke from a cigar. It can be too easy (hot) or too tight (plugged)
FILLER
The tobacco that makes up the center of the cigar. There are two main types of filler, short and long.
FIGURADO
A Spanish term that refers to cigars with exotic sizes, such as torpedos, pyramids, perfectos and culebras.
FLAG
An alternative to a cap. The flag method of finishing a cigar involves shaping the wrapper leaf at the head of the cigar so that it secures the wrapper. Sometimes, it is tied off in a pigtail or curly head.
Also called the "tuck," it's the part of the cigar that is lit.
GALERA
The room in which cigars are rolled at the factory.
GUM
A vegetable adhesive used to secure the head of the wrapper leaf around the finished bunch.
HAND
Individual leaves of tobacco that are hung together after harvest and tied at the top. These hands are piled together to make a bulk for fermentation.
HANDMADE
A cigar that is bunched, bound and wrapped entirely by hand.
HAND-ROLLED
A cigar made entirely by hand with high quality wrapper and long filler.
The end of the cigar that is placed in the mouth.
HOT
A cigar which has a quick, loose draw. This is caused by the cigar being underfilled. It is usually accompanied by harsh flavors.
HUMIDOR
A box (but actually an environment) used to store or age cigars. Like a wine cellar, the box is fitted with devices to control temperature and humidity. The ideal environment should be 21C and 70% relative humidity.
LIGERO
One of three types of filler tobacco. This aromatic tobacco adds body to a cigar blend. Ligero means light in Spanish.
LONG FILLER
Whole leaves selected and rolled by hand to create a looser and easier draw of smoke.
LONSDALE
A cigar typically 6 1/4 inches by a 42 or 44 ring gauge.
MACHINE MADE
Cigars made entirely by machine. Heavier weight binders and wrappers are generally used and cut filler is used in place of long filler.
MOLD
The device used in making cigars that gives shape to a finished bunch. Also, a fungis, which is potentially damaging, that forms on cigars when they are stored at too high a temperature.
OLEORESINS
Oils and resins found in tobacco that give it its smoking qualities.
PANATELA
A widely-varying cigar format ranging from 5 to 7 inches with a gauge from 34 to 38.
PERFECTO
A cigar with a rounded head and a closed foot.
PETIT CORONA
A short corona format usually 4 1/2 inches by a 40 ring gauge.
PLUG
A tight spot in a cigar that prevents a proper draw.
PREMIUM CIGAR
A high grade cigar made by hand from 100% tobacco long leaf filler. Like the type we sell on our www.cigarshop.co.nz website here..
PURO
A cigar whose filler, binder and wrapper come from the same country.
PYRAMID
A cigar with an open foot and a tapered head.
RING GAUGE
The diameter of a cigar is referred to as the ring gauge. It is a measurement equal to 1/64 of an inch. A 64 ring gauge would be one inch in thickness and a 32 ring gauge would be 1/2 inch thick.
check out the Ring Gauges explained blog post here
ROBUSTO
A short churchill format typically 5 to 5 1/2 inches by a ring gauge of 50.
ROLLER
Highly skilled artisans who apply the wrapper to the bunch.
SECO
Spanish meaning "dry". This filler contributes aroma and is of medium-body.
SHADE GROWN
Tobacco, usually the wrapper leaf of a cigar. For mildness, the wrapper is grown under tents and is not exposed to sunlight.
SHADE LEAF
Tobacco grown under a canopy or tent producing a thinner, more elastic leaf used in the wrapper.
SHORT FILLER
Chopped scraps of leaves hand-rolled, but more likely machine-rolled, to create a tight hard draw of smoke.
SMOKING TIME
A 5-inch cigar with a 50 ring gauge, such as a robusto, should provide anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of smoking pleasure. A double corona, a 7 1/2-inch cigar with a 50 ring gauge, may give over an hour's worth of smoking time. A thinner cigar, such as a lonsdale, smokes in less time than a cigar with a 50 ring gauge.
SUN GROWN
Tobacco which is grown in direct sunlight. This creates thicker veins and a thicker leaf.
TOOTH
Small bumps which texture the wrapper on a cigar.
TORCEDOR
Title earned by the master cigar rollers.
TORPEDO
A cigar with a closed head and a closed foot.
TUBO
A cigar that is placed in a tube. Most tubes are aluminum while some are glass.
TUBIDOR
A sturdy plastic cigar tube that will screw closed and safely hold your cigar when heading out for the night or weekend. Sold online.
VEINED
The rib of the tobacco leaf. A quality cigar should not be too veined.
VOLADO
A type of filler tobacco chosen for its burning qualities.
WRAPPER
The outermost tobacco leaf of the cigar.

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If you feel we have missed anything, or need more help give a call.

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