The Latest Craze for Fat Cigars: Are They Really Better?
Considering the current consumer mania for all things super-sized, it was probably inevitable; but fat cigars have now become the latest trend for smoking aficionados — and the fatter, the better. Forget about the elegant, thin-tipped panatelas beloved of 1930s Hollywood leading men; today’s smokers are conjuring up images of Winston Churchill, puffing with bulldog complacency on the fattest, thickest Havanas imaginable.
The Trend Toward Fat Cigars
According to Cigar Aficionado, extra-fat cigars first appeared on the market in 1995 when they were launched by iconic cigar maker J.C. Newman, who brought out a series of 54-ring-gauge cigars under the label “Diamond Crown.” In recent years, popular cigars coming in at a 56- to 60-ring-gauge include Perdomo Cuban Parejo, Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real No. 2, Montecristo No. 2 Torpedo, Padron 1964 Torpedo, Partagas Black Label, and the giant, 66-ring-gauge Casa Blanca Jeroboam.
Are Fat Cigars Better?
If you ask consumers why they like fat cigars, you’ll get a variety of answers. According to a poll taken on Cigaraficionado.com, readers wrote that they liked the overall feel of a fat cigar. Likewise, many said that they wouldn’t smoke them exclusively, but preferred them as an after-dinner treat.
However, an argument can be made that the fatter the cigar, the more potential there is for layering a variety of tobacco flavors. According to Stanford Newman, head of J.C. Newman, a fatter cigar can provide more flavor than its thinner counterpart. In a thinner cigar, the wrapper and binder make up most of the flavor — and this can overpower the taste of the tobacco. In thicker cigars, the taste of the filler tobacco is more prominent, and there’s more room for cigar makers to come up with creative combinations. Plus, a thicker cigar leaves room for more tobacco leaves, and cigar makers can take advantage of this by blending in as many as five or six different leaves to create a variety of complex flavors.
On the flip side, extra-fat cigars do have some disadvantages. For example, they don’t fit in standard cigar cases, and they’re too thick for a standard cigar cutter. If you have a small mouth, they’re a bit trickier to smoke; and they’re harder to fit inside the average humidor–or even the average ashtray.
Are Fat Cigars Right For You?
If you’re looking to buy cigars online but you’re not sure if a fat cigar is really your taste or not, the best thing to do is to try them out and see for yourself. We recommend ordering a couple different single cigars in different sizes to try out. Cigar smoking, like wine drinking and other pleasurable indulgences, is a deeply personal pursuit that’s as individual as a fingerprint — no two tastes are alike.
For enthusiasts looking for cigar deals, there are plenty of affordable super-sized varieties available. You can buy cigars online in a variety of sizes and quantities, from the slimmest panatelas and smallest cigarillos to the thickest torpedo-shaped creations. The best way to experiment is to order an assortment of sizes, then try them out. Many people smoke a variety of cigars to suit different occasions. For example, slimmer cigars might feel more comfortable during parties; in the comfort of your home, there might be nothing better than a class of brandy paired with a delectable torpedo cigar. Fascinatingly, Winston Churchill stocked up to 4,000 cigars at his country estate, and each was kept in a box marked “small” or “large” to suit his preference for the moment.
As for which tastes better — once again, the choice is up to you. If you enjoy a rich, robust smoke with a complex blend of tobaccos, you might enjoy experimenting with a large ring gauge cigar. Likewise, if you enjoy a simpler, milder flavor or prefer a classic, all-occasion cigar, you’ll never go wrong with an elegant panatela or classic corona. When it comes to cigars, the best one for your lifestyle is whichever one you happen to prefer smoking at the moment.