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About Our Handmade Cigar Vitolas

About Our Handmade Cigar Vitolas

One of the terms commonly thrown about (but not so commonly understood) in the world of fine tobacco is “vitola.”

But what is a cigar vitola, how does it impact the smoking experience associated with fine handmade cigars, and why should you consider the vitola before buying?

We’ll break it all down here.


What Is a Cigar Vitola?

Before we can run, we must first learn to walk. With that let us begin an explanation of cigar vitolas.

Roughly speaking, vitola refers to a cigar’s size and shape. While some manufacturers produce their own vitolas, there are others that are norms in the industry.

Most vitolas can be broken down into one of two broad categories: parejos and figurados. A parejo is the most common type; cylindrical, with straight sides and an open foot. Figurados, by contrast, are irregularly shaped.

Beneath this subcategorization, there are many different vitolas (shapes) that correspond to a specific size in terms of length and ring gauge (thickness).

The first number is the length (in inches) and the second number is the width in 64ths of an inch. So, for instance, a 7×50 Churchill cigar would be 7 inches long and 50/64th of an inch wide.

All of the handmade cigars we sell here are parejos, and we offer them in three vitolas: a gordo, a robusto, and a toro.


How Vitola Impacts the Smoking Experience

With cigar sizes, there’s always a bit of a trade off. Thin cigars tend to burn hotter and faster than thicker cigars, so vitolas with a thicker ring gauge typically burn cooler and longer.

Cigar length also matters, though, as, two cigars of equal ring gauge will burn at the same rate, all things considered, giving the longer one a cooler smoke and longer overall duration, if you don’t rush it (and you shouldn’t).

If you prefer a cool smoke and a long one, opt for a cigar with a thicker ring gauge (and one that is longer). If you prefer a quicker smoke, look for a shorter cigar with a thinner ring gauge.


The Bongani Gordo

The Bongani 458 Gordo is the smallest vitola of our handmade cigars. These are 100mm (3.93” or so) with a ring gauge of 58.

True to its name, Gordo means “fat” in Spanish, and is a fitting name for this scrappy little cigars.

These compact cigars are easy to carry and easy to smoke, and produce a wonderful smoking experience.


Who Should Grab a Gordo?

Anyone who loves a cool smoke and a relaxing smoking experience. Thanks to a combination of thick ring gauge and short size, you can get either a long or a fairly short smoke out of one.

The thicker size helps control the burn rate of the tobacco, keeping the smoke relatively cool unless you rush it.

If you smoke on the go or enjoy a quick smoke that’s still cool and complex, reach for a pack of Bongani Gordo cigars.


The Bongani Toro

The Bongani Toro has the same ring gauge as the Gordo – 58 – with a length of 145mm, or about 5.7”.

In this case, “Toro” is Spanish for “bull.” Another good name for a large, thick cigar like this.

They’re a bit bigger than our Gordo which makes them a little tougher to take on the go – get a quality leather cigar case or a travel humidor if you do so – but they’re excellent cigars nonetheless.


Who Should Savor a Toro?

Do you love the cool smoke of a thicker ring gauge, but prefer a longer smoke? Then a Bongani Toro is for you.

Keep in mind also that as the cigar’s length increases, the smoke is usually cooler as it has to filter through a longer cigar before it reaches your mouth.

When smoked at a relaxed pace, one of our Toro cigars can produce even cooler, smoother smoke than one of our Gordos, especially through the first third.


The Bongani Robusto

Last but not least we have the Bongani Robusto, a vitola that offers a slightly thinner ring gauge and sits between the Toro and Gordo in terms of length.

Unsurprisingly, Robusto means “robust” in Spanish – another suitable name for these cigars, which offer a powerful but metered smoke.


Who’ll Favor a Robusto?

This is the cigar for you if you like to control the duration of the smoke. This cigar is thinner than our other two while being on the longer end.

You can smoke a robusto cigar faster without it burning too hot, or you can let it mellow and enjoy it for an hour or longer. That choice is yours.


About Our Cameroon Wrapper Cigars

While no two of our handmade cigars will offer the exact same smoking experience, all of them are made with choice Cameroon wrappers and offer a complex yet balanced smoking experience without being too overpowering.

Our Cameroon wrapper cigars offer rich notes of coffee, cocoa, cedar, and leather, with a slight, spicy zest of pepper. They unfold beautifully as they mature through each third.

These handmade cigars are second to none in richness, complexity, and balance. Get a box for yourself (or try a premium cigar sampler) and see what you’ve been missing.


Looking for Personalized Recommendations for Handmade Cigars? Contact Us!

Not sure which vitola you’ll like best? Buying for a friend and not sure which to gift? Take a look through our selection and if in doubt, try one of each.

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