Habanos are known for their variety. There are 33 brands that produce over 240 different types of cigars. De Kelle Cigars takes a closer look at the 12 most famous Habano cigar types.
The first thing you notice about a cigar is the colour. Wrappers come in many different shades so it is important that all cigars in a box have the same shade. The colour of Habano wrappers is completely natural. The leaves from the top layers of the plant are naturally darkest and darken even more during fermentation.
As to the shape, Habanos can be divided into two groups. First there is the parejo which is a cigar with straight ends. Then there is the figurado with a pointed end or another special shape.
Finally, Habanos exist in different sizes or vitolas, the lengths varying from less than 100 mm to more than 230 mm. The cigar diameter is known as “ring gauge” and is expressed in 64ths of an inch. The ring gauges vary from 23 (23/64 of an inch or 9.1 mm) to 52 (52/64 of an inch or 20.6 mm).
Habanos are often known by different names. The vitola de galera is the name used by factories. The vitola de salida is the market name you find on the box. The market name and the factory name are swapped regularly which can cause confusion. Fortunately, the different types are clearly presented below.
Popular name: Petit Corona
Dimensions: 5 1/8 ins x 42 ring gauge, or 129 mm x 16.67 mm diameter
The Mareva is by far the most popular ‘standard model’. Its 42 ring gauge allows three filler leaves to be used to their full in the blend and it is as near as you get to a ‘standard’ girth for Habanos. The Mareva or Petit Corona offers around 30 minutes of smoking pleasure.
Popular name: Corona
Dimensions: 5 5/8 ins x 42 ring gauge, or 142 mm x 16.67 mm diameter
A Corona is the ideal size to crown a memorable dinner, or perhaps to give you time for contemplation on a busy day. This cigar offers over half an hour of essential relaxation.
Popular name: Lonsdale
Dimensions: 6 1/2 ins x 42 ring gauge, or 165 mm x 16.67 mm diameter
The third in the trilogy of ‘42 ring gauge vitolas’ is the Cervantes – named after Lord Lonsdale, a famous English sportsman from the ’30s. He gave preference to the extra elegance of a long cigar. Take your time with the good 50 minutes of enjoyment it takes to savour this cigar.
Popular name: Lancero
Dimensions: 7 1/2 ins x 38 ring gauge, or 192 mm x 15.08 mm diameter
When elegance is the order of the day, the slender length of the Lancero is hard to beat. This one will take the best part of one hour to smoke. There is a shorter version too, the Coronas Especiales, which is 152 mm long. Both originated at Havana’s El Laguito factory and are beautifully finished with a twist of leaf on the cap.
Popular name: Double Corona
Dimensions: 7 5/8 ins x 49 ring gauge, or 194 mm x 19.45 mm diameter
There are few experiences that can match the pure pleasure of a Double Corona. Its colossal leaves may surprise you at first with their delicacy before they build to a crescendo of flavour. A good hour and a quarter is needed to smoke one.
Popular name: Churchill
Dimensions: 7 ins x 47 ring gauge, or 178 mm x 18.65 mm diameter
It is said that Winston Churchill smoked some 300,000 Habanos during his long life. Not all matched these dimensions but this was his size of choice. Another feast for the palate to be enjoyed for over an hour.
Popular name: 8-9-8
Dimensions: 6 3/4 ins x 47 ring gauge, or 170 mm x 17.07 mm diameter
The popular name of the Dalia is derived from the special chest in which the cigar is placed in three rows of 8, 9 and 8. This cigar will last you almost an hour.
Popular name: Robusto
Dimensions: 4 7/8 ins x 50 ring gauge, or 124 mm x 19.84 mm diameter
Modern, busy times have made this short and robust cigar the first choice of many experienced smokers. The cigar burns slowly and offers almost all the pleasures of a large cigar within the relatively short time of 30 to 40 minutes.
Popular name: Torpedo
Dimensions: 6 1/8 ins x 52 ring gauge, or 156 mm x 20.64 mm diameter
The sizes shown so far are what is called parejo or straight-sided. The Pirámide is one of the figurados. Many believe that the tapered head and shoulders have special advantages when it comes to combustibility during the hour or so it takes to smoke.
Popular name: Double Figurado
Dimensions: 5 3/4 ins x 46 ring gauge, or 145 mm x 18.26 mm diameter
Pointed at both ends, the Double Figurado is perhaps a better candidate for the title of ‘torpedo’. A century ago most Habanos looked like this but today the shape is rare except in one brand – Cuaba, where every size is a Double Figurado.
Popular name: Tres Petit Corona (TPC)
Dimensions: 4 ins x 40 ring gauge, or 102 mm x 15.87 mm diameter
The Perla is part of the smaller vitolas, some a little longer, others a little fatter than this one. They share the ability to deliver the true taste of a Habano in 20 minutes or so.
Popular name: Panetela
Dimensions: 4 1/2 ins x 26 ring gauge, or 115 mm x 10.32 mm diameter
It takes about fifteen minutes to smoke this piece of art. Perfect, for instance, to enjoy during an interval at the theatre. In fact, there is a similar vitola called the Entreacto, literally ‘between acts’.