Why the Trend Towards Big Ring-Gauge Cigars?

Is this what we’ll be smoking in 5 years?

As many New York Cigar smokers know, recent years have seen a huge shift of popularity towards cigars with big ring gauges. My Uzi Weighs a Ton – enough said. BestCigarPrices.com recently took some time on their blog to ask essentially “what accounts for the trend toward larger ring gauge cigars?” The company released a June 18th press release titled “Best Cigar Prices Explores the ‘Big Ring’ Trend in Cigars.”

The release actually just links to a post on the company blog, but I thought it was a pretty fascinating explanation. From the release came three basic reasons for the shift towards large ring gauges:

  1. “Complex flavor: Cigars with a larger ring gauge tend to have a more complex and fuller flavor. This is due to the fact that there is more room to blend together different types of tobacco.
  2. Cooler burn: Thicker cigars burn slower than thinner cigars causing the burn to feel cooler in the mouth. This is because there is more filler exposed to the air. For this reason, a cigar smoker with a heavy draw would benefit from smoking a cigar with a wider ring gauge.
  3. Weight and feel: Some smokers prefer the heavier weight and feel of the larger cigars. Also, smoking a big fat cigar has often been interpreted as a symbol of power or status.”

Do you agree with their assessment? I found it a bit interesting that they didn’t point towards what seems to me at least to be the most obvious reason: fashion.  Cigars are often thought of as hyper-masculine products, and what is more masculine – a large ring gauge cigar or a lancero?  I find a bit more truth in that line of thinking than the reasoning above, but I could be wrong.

One thing I won’t budge on, however, is the closer of the post:

“One thing is for certain, you do get more bang for your buck with these behemoth cigars.”

I guess it really depends on how you define “bang”, but in my book, the amount or length of smoke really isn’t what it’s about. It is about flavor, and as David Alicea could explain to you, smaller ring gauge cigars actually offer a tremendous amount of flavor. And in the long run, I think they’ll be rediscovered, and that the big ring trend will prove to be fleeting.