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Cigar 101 – Box-Pressed Cigars – It’s Hip to be Square 5


Lately the box-pressed shape (sometimes called square press, trunk press, or cuadrado) has been a growing trend in the cigar industry. Some love the shape and some can’t stand it, but regardless, there have been more and more of these squared stogies on the market lately. This poses the question of where this unique shape originated, and you know what that means—time for another installation of Cigar 101!

The box-pressed shape was originally a product of efficiency rather than a novelty. To save space, cigar manufacturers in Cuba used to pack cigars very tightly in wooden boxes for shipment. They’d eventually take on the shape of the box, hence, box-pressed. Interestingly, some box-pressed cigars will return to their original round shape if left in a humidor for an extended period of time, but a lot of them will keep their shape perfectly.

To achieve the box-pressed shape, manufacturers use a few different techniques. One involves packing freshly rolled cigars into square molds. Another technique is to shape the cigars with a wooden trunk press for up to several hours and then quickly pack them into boxes so they retain their shape.

The first ever non-Cuban box-pressed cigars were the Padron 1964 Anniversary series, several of which earned the highest scores in Cigar Aficionado that have ever been achieved by a non-Cuban. Hundreds of cigar brands now use a box-pressed shape, including Sancho Panza, Oliva Serie G (aside from the “Round” vitolas), Java by Drew Estate, Alec Bradley Prensado, and our very own Alec Bradley Star Insignia. I think the coolest one is the Arturo Fuente Añejos “Shark” #77, which starts as a box-press at the foot and eventually tapers into a rounded torpedo. I’m not sure how they did this but it’s pretty awesome. Check out our box pressed cigars here

I personally prefer box-pressed cigars to round ones. I think they have a better draw and I generally notice a much more even burn—in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a plugged box-pressed cigar. They also won’t roll away if you set them down (which would also make the torcedor’s job easier). But that’s just my opinion—what do you guys think of box-pressed cigars?


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5 thoughts on “Cigar 101 – Box-Pressed Cigars – It’s Hip to be Square

  • Don
    Im a huge fan of box pressed cigars. They appear to smoke slower and have a stronger taste. I just love the feel, look and taste. For an inexpensive box pressed cigar I really enjoy the Oliva Serie G Belicoso.
  • Jake
    According to the latest JR Cigars catalog, "...the El Rey del Mundo Rectangulare was the very first box pressed or square pressed cigar re-introduced to the American market since the Cuban Embargo..." and further states that, "...its popularity started a virtual avalanche of wanna-be imitsators making square pressed cigars." Who's right?
  • Will
    Jake--according to the article that I read (found here: http://www.guideto.com/arts-entertainment/pastimes/cigars/what-are-box-pressed-cigars/ ), Padron 1964 Anniversary was the first non-Cuban box press. I'm not sure where JR got that information about El Rey Del Mundo from, but I searched and couldn't find anything to support it.
  • Jake
    Will, Thanks for the response. I wasn't questioning your research if that's how my previous post came across. When browsing one of JR's catalogs I sometimes feel as if I'm reading a J. Peterman catalog straight out of "Seinfeld". "My stories are what sell these clothes." - J. Peterman
  • phil angelicola
    I have enjoyed box pressed cigars for many years but not enough stores keep them in stock they say its "hip" to smoke box pressed but I've smoked them way before it was "cool"