Looking at the list of 2009 Cuban ER and EL releases, and  quite a few of the newer releases in the NC community, I started noticing a disturbing trend, the trend against a smaller ring gauge vitola

Now, I am not saying that manufacturers are not producing smaller RGs anymore (the influx of Lanceros is noted), but some of the classic sizes seem be lost in the rush to release the next best 50+ ring gauge cigar…

Out of the 31 New Edición Regional and Edición Limitadas that came out of Cuba in 2009, only five were under a 50 ring gauge.

Germany

Bolivar – Germany – 5ta Avenida – 50 x 184 – Conde 109
Bolivar – Germany – Elegantes – 38 x 192 – Delicados

Italy
Punch – Italy – Diademas Extra – 55 x 233 – Diadema — A re-release or deferred from 2008
El Ray del Mundo – Italy – Torpedos – 52 x 140 – Campanas — A re-release

Not Allocated

Por Larrañaga – not allocated – Machu Picchu – 50 x 127 – Petit Pirámides

Ramon Allones – not allocated – Los Andes – 50 x 141 – Gorditos

Por Larrañaga – not allocated – unnamed – 50 x 155 – Dobles
Juan Lopez – not allocated – unnamed – 50 x 102 – Petit Robusto

Baltic Region
El Ray del Mundo – Baltic – Balthasar – 50 x 155 – Dobles

Switzerland
Por Larrañaga – Switzerland – Valiosos – 52 x 156 – Pirámides
Punch – Switzerland – Pocerosos – 54 x 164 – Sublimes
Ramon Allones – Switzerland – Deliciosos – 50 x 102 – Petit Robustos

Asia Pacific
Ramon Allones – Asia Pacific – Celestiales Finos – 46 x 137 – Britanicas
Saint Luis Rey – Asia Pacific – Pacifics – 52 x 156 – Pirámides

Benelux
Punch – Benelux – Punch Royal – 50 x 141 – Gordito
Bolivar – Benelux – Fabulosos – 52 x 135 – Edmundo
Vegas Robaina – Benelux – Elegantes – 47 x 158 – Tacos Possibly cancelled
Vegas Robaina – Benelux – Magnificos – 52 x 135 – Edmundo Possibly cancelled

Spain
Punch – Spain – Grand Robusto – 50 x 155 – Dobles

France
El Ray del Mundo – France – Petit Coupania – 50 x 127 – Petit Pirámides
Quintero – France – Small Club – 50 x 102 – Petit Robustos

Middle East
Ramon Allones – Middle East – Beritus – 52 x 135 – Edmundo
Bolivar – Middle East – El Greco – 50 x 141 – Gorditos

Canada
Vegas Robaina – Canada – Petit Robaina – 52 x 110 – Petit Edmundo
Ramon Allones – Canada – Petit Unicos – 50 x 127 – Petit Pirámides

United Kingdom
Juan Lopez – UK – Seleccion Suprema – 52 x 170 – Torre Iznagas
El Ray del Mundo – UK – Choix de L’epoque – 52 x 110 –
Petit Edmundo

Scandinavia
Punch – Scandinavia – Northern Light – 52 x 110 – Petit Edmundo
Vegas Robaina – Scandinavia – Great Northern Light – 54 x 164 – Sublimes

La Gloria Cubana – Unknown (Habanos S.A.?) – Deliciosos – 48 x 127 – Hermosos No.4

India
Punch – India – Platino – 49 x 194 – Prominentes

Out of twenty-one of the releases for 2010, only five are under a 50 RG.

  • Ramon Allones Lusitanos Petit Edmundo 110 x 52 Empor
  • La Gloria Cubana Triunfos -Magnum 50 160 x 50 Intertabak
  • Rey del Mundo Elegantes –Gordito 141 x 50 Intertabak
  • Por Larrañaga Robustos Robustos 124 x 50 Fifth Avenue
  • Ramon Allones Belicosos Campanas 140 x 52 Fifth Avenue
  • Fonseca Fonseca No.4 Hermosos NO.4 127 x 48 Cubacigar
  • Juan Lopez Seleccion No.3 Petit Edmundo 110 x 52 Cubacigar
  • Punch World Champion Petit Pirámides 127 x 50 Cigar Company
  • Bolivar Emiratos Sublimes 164 x 54 Phoenicia
  • Ramon Allones Phoenicios 32 Pirámides 156 x 52 Phoenicia
  • Sancho Panza Quijote Prominentes 194 x 49 Altadis S.A.
  • Bolivar 108 Coronas Gordas 143 x 46 Altadis S.A.
  • Bolivar Bolivar B-2 Pirámides 156 x 52 Havana House
  • Ramon Allones Gordito De Allones Gordito 141 x 50 Havana House
  • Juan Lopez Pendiente de Definir Perlas 102 x 40 Maori
  • Juan Lopez Seleccion No.4 – Pirámides 156 x 52 Pacific Cigar
  • Por Larrañaga Encantos – Dalias 170 x 43 Pacific Cigar
  • Vegas Robaina Petit Robustos Petit Robustos 102 x 50 Coprova
  • La Flor De Cano Short Robusto Petit Robustos 102 x 50 Hunters & Frankau
  • Por Larrañaga Regalias De Londres Gordito 141 x 50 Hunters & Frankau
  • Ramon Allones Gladiator Torre Iznaga 170 x 52 Vegas del Caribe

Oh, I can here it in my mind now, “The Cigar Manufacturers are only giving the public what they are asking for.” And that may be true (to a point), but I also know there are MANY cigar smokers out there who (like me) prefer a smaller ring gauge to a “jawbreaker.” I mean, some of these 50+ RG cigars are almost too big to actually fit in your mouth without choking. (Hold for juvenile comments, and continue…)

The problem is exacerbated by the Habanos S.A. deletions for 2010. The VAST majority of which are under 50 RG.

  • Diplomaticos No. 4 (Petit Corona)
  • Diplomaticos No. 5 (Petit Corona)
  • La Gloria Cubana Medaille d’Or No. 1 (Panatela)
  • La Gloria Cubana Medaille d’Or No. 3 (Panatela)
  • Partagas Serie du Connaisseur No. 1 (Panatela)
  • Partagas Serie du Connaisseur No. 2 (Panatela)
  • Partagas Serie du Connaisseur No. 3 (Panatela)
  • Punch Churchill
  • Punch Royal Selection No. 11 (grand Corona)
  • Punch Royal Selection No. 12 (Petit Corona)
  • Quai d’Orsay Panetela (Panatela)
  • Rafael Gonzalez Cigarritos (Panatela)
  • Rafael Gonzalez Coronas Extra
  • El Rey del Mundo Grandes de España (Panatela)
  • Saint Luis Rey Churchill
  • Saint Luis Rey Corona
  • Saint Luis Rey Petit Corona
  • Vegueros Especiales No. 1 (Panatela)
  • Vegueros Especiales No. 2 (Panatela)

Now, while I have been talking mostly of Cuban cigars, this is a problem with non-Cuban manufacturers as well…

“So, what is the perfect size cigar then, smartass?” (You may be asking…) Well, in my oh so humble opinion, the Corona Gorda takes the cake. Large enough to give you a decent smoking time, but with a small enough RG to actually be able to taste the wrapper and more importantly, have the flavors of the cigar actually IMPACTED by the taste of the wrapper. Some of the best cigars I have ever had, and some of my absolute favorites are Corona Gordas. Let’s look at a quick list off the top of my head, shall we?

  • Tatuaje Black Label (Jar Release)
  • Cohiba Siglo IV (Yes, I prefer it over the VI)
  • H. Upmann Magnum 46
  • Punch Royal Selection No.11
  • Casa Fuente Corona Gorda
  • VSG Corona Gorda

And on, and on, and on…

So, there you have it, my rant of the month. Hope yall enjoyed it.

Oh, and VIVA LA Corona GORDA!

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.