What’s the difference between smaller ring gauge cigars versus larger ring gauge cigars?” Let me start by saying that I love small ring gauge cigars as much as I love many of the large ring gauge cigars. When you make a cigar, regardless of size, the blend or dosage should be consistent, and its flavor should also be.
Many people say that they taste the wrapper more in a smaller ring gauge cigar versus an enormous ring gauge cigar. I don’t always agree with that because if you use the correct amount of tobaccos in the filler blend, you should have a consistent blend regardless of size in a line of cigars. That’s why a great blender will make sure that it gets done correctly. But I will give you that smaller cigars come across more intense sometimes, but that’s because you will build up a lot more heat because of its constriction being a smaller size.
I believe that this is a great analogy. When my mom used to cook the sauce, she’d always use, of course, fresh tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic. I’m not much of a cook, but if she was going to make a pot for 20 people or a small pot of sauce for two people, I guarantee you one thing, they tasted the same. Consistency is the name of the game, folks. Naturally, with a bigger pot, she would add more salt, more pepper, more basil, and more garlic.
The important thing is she knew the exact parts per ingredient for the number of people she was cooking for. Well, it’s the same thing with a great cigar, and it’s different ring gauges.
When I’m going to make a cigar line, let’s say we’re going to start with a 44 ring gauge cigar. We’re going to send it out with a 60 ring gauge cigar; I’m going to put in so much light, medium, and strength fillers in that small 42 ring gauge cigar. When I’m going to apply that to the 60 ring gauge cigar, of course, I’m going to add more strength tobaccos, more mid-strength tobaccos, and even some lighter tobaccos to make sure that the blends, regardless of the ring gauges, are going to remain equivalent in flavor. We’re going to make sure that, regardless of size, that they are going to be equivalent in taste.
It takes a lot of time and works to make sure that we get these things done correctly. But I’ll tell you one thing. Smaller ring gauge cigars do burn slightly hotter because the circumference is smaller. A giant ring gauge cigar will always smoke a little cooler because of its circumference, so it’s natural. You’re going to have more surface area, which in turn is going to give you more oxygen and more air passage. I believe that’s one of the main that people are gravitating to larger ring gauge cigars like 54, 56, and 60s.
Sometimes people ask me, “Why are some of your lines are all 50 or 54 or 56?” A prime example would be the Perdomo 12-Year Double Aged Vintage. With this cigar, the flavor that I wanted could only be done in larger ring gauges. The reason being the tobaccos that I wanted were all too thick, and I tried to make smaller ring gauges, but I couldn’t get the flavor that I wanted. Thankfully, it rarely happens.
But when we come up with a new cigar, we usually start with a 44 or 46, and trust me, as a cigar-maker, smaller cigars make higher profits.
A great example would be a six by 60 ring gauge cigar. It takes 70 pounds to make 1,000 cigars in its filler blend. You add a five by 50 reboost, and it only takes between 34 and 35 pounds to make 1,000 cigars. Nothing changes in the cost of the binder and wrapper.
Let’s say a Robusto is seven bucks, and I indeed can’t charge 14 bucks for the six by 60. Usually, that cigar would retail anywhere between 9 and $10. As you can see, making more giant ring gauge cigars in most instances is the exact opposite of what many consumers think. But consumers have been asking us for bigger ring gauges for the last 28 years of my being in the cigar industry. And you know what? I work for you, and you’re our customer. You put food on our tables, and I take your input very seriously. If you smoke many cigars and see there’s a difference of taste between sizes, watch out, there could be inconsistencies in the blend.