A breadth of choice
Cigars come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They also vary by method of manufacture, flavour, strength and country of origin.
In Europe, cigars date back to the arrival of Columbus in the West Indies in 1492, where he found people smoking primitive forms of cigar in the shape of rolled leaves made of aromatic herbs.
Much of the territory in the West Indies, Central and South America were Spanish colonies at this time and the Spanish were responsible for the early development of tobacco, which is why most cigar types have Spanish names.
Cigars are either made by hand, where the tobacco leaves are picked, sorted and bundled manually, before the cigar itself is formed by a skilled cigar roller, or they are machine produced.
Cigar tobacco is cultivated and processed specifically for the production of cigars. Most blends consist of dark air-cured tobacco varieties, such as Besuki or Manilla, and these are fermented to enhance their flavour.
Cigars are often categorised by their shape and size, with terms such as Corona and Panatela corresponding to the approximate length and width of the cigar, rather than the manufacturer or brand. Other useful terms are parejo and figurado. A parejo is simply a straight-sided cigar, while a figurado is any cigar with an irregular shape.