Monday, January 27, 2014

Cigar Basics: General Shapes – Parejo y Figurado

Parejos y Figurados
Cigars are an incredibly basic pursuit, which makes them so easy to get interested in.  They’re also one of the most complex animals out there, which is why they fascinate me and are a ton of fun to learn about and enjoy.  But, at their core, there are just a few basics characteristics that are inherent to all cigars across the gamut of price and strength.

All cigars fit into two basic shape classifications: parejo or figurado.  Parejos y figurados.  Parejos have parallel sides, which seems like a similar word in English, although parejo really means equal.  So, parejos have equal, or parallel, sides.

Figurados are not shaped like parejos in that their sides taper or have a shape to them.  Figurado means shape or figure.  So, a straight sided cigar is a parejo.  A non-parallel sided cigar is a figurado.  Parejos have a fairly blunt, rounded cap.  There can become gray areas based on non-standard shaped caps, like a twisted head, such as on the Nica Rustica.  For a reasonable interpretation though, unless the cap has a significantly shaped taper, such as a belicoso or torpedo, it is safe to assume that the shape of the cigar would still be considered a parejo, like a Churchill.

There are many nuances to the smoking experience, feel in hand, and potential impact on flavor profile that the shape of the cigar can have.  We’ll delve into that in the future, perhaps with a parallel review of the same brand and blend in different shapes.  But in the mean time, what’s the shape of the cigar you’re going to smoke next?  Or, better yet, take a look in your humidor.  Do you find you favor a particular shape?

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