Over the past couple of years there has been a rise in the consumer demand for bigger stogies. In response to this, nearly every notable cigar manufacturer has released a large ring gauge cigar to keep up with this increasingly popular trend in the cigar world. But what is behind the demand for big ring cigars? Is bigger really better?
The width of a cigar is referred to as ‘ring gauge.’ It is measured in 64ths of an inch, so a 60 ring gauge cigar is nearly one inch thick. In the past, cigars with larger ring gauges tended to fall into the novelty or specialty cigar category, but in recent years have been gaining popularity as an everyday smoke. A ring gauge over 50 is typically considered a thicker cigar, while ring gauges as large as 60 are not uncommon. Popular cigar manufacturers including Alec Bradley cigars, CAO cigars, and La Flor Dominicana cigars have all introduced big ring gauge cigars.
Typically, a cigar with a thicker ring gauge lends itself to a more complex and fuller flavor. This is because there is more room to blend together different types of tobacco leaves. The result is a complexity in flavor that is not possible to achieve with a thinner ring gauge.
Thicker cigars tend to burn cooler than thinner cigars. This is because more filler is exposed to the air resulting in a slower burn. So if you tend to have a heavy draw, a cigar with a larger ring gauge may be a great smoke for you. On the other hand, a cigar with a smaller ring gauge can taste harsh if you have a heavy draw. If you have a lighter draw, it may be more difficult to get any smoke out a cigar with a large ring gauge, and therefore the flavor of the cigar would be diminished.
Some smokers prefer the weight and feel of the larger cigars in their hand, and we think it’s safe to say there are a number of cigar smokers who like the look of smoking a big fat cigar, which has often been interpreted as a symbol of power or status. Thicker cigars are also popular to smoke during momentous occasions such as bachelor parties, weddings, and births.
There is much speculation as to whether or not this trend is a passing one, although cigars in general are much larger on average today than they were years ago. Only time will tell whether these monster cigars are here to stay or just another cigar fad for the books. One thing is for certain, you do get more bang for your buck with these behemoth cigars.
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