The stereotype of a cigar is that of a chunky stogie that we’d associate with Churchill or Al Capone. People think it needs to be something substantial, large enough to be involved in scaffolding or something heavy duty, shoved into a cannon and fired at the broadside of a French frigate. New smokers are likely to pick something oversized for the ceremony as they don’t realise they might need a lie down afterwards. Picking something not much bigger than a cheroot does not summon up the blood for the uninitiated. But anyone who has developed more of an interest in cigars knows how short format cigars have often punched above their weight, especially when they have been left to sit on the shelves while their big brothers got set on fire. This is a list of our favourite short format cigars in regular production.
Trinidad Reyes: The definitive pocket rocket. A taste sensation and not for the faint hearted. This is a peppery smoke which perfectly defines the flavour profile of Cuban over New-World cigars.
Cohiba Siglo 1. There is a story by Nick Foulkes about visiting Mark Birley at his home to play games of backgammon, and on the side of the table were boxes of Siglo I’s that could be dug into as if they were bowls of peanuts. Any cigar that Mark Birley wanted to smoke during games of backgammon is a cigar worth paying attention to.
Montecristo No 4: This is on the fence as a short format cigar but has made the list because it is so often overlooked as an easy 30-minute smoke that is reliable, contains enough of the signature Montecristo flavour (think earthy oranges) and affordable too.
Partagas D6: This is a marvellous cigar to amuse your bouche. The fact it is Partagas is an indication of its full flavour that outmatches its stature. The perfect cigar for a cold night when you just need to take 20 mins to yourself and contemplate important things like how similar the Wide Churchill and the Bolivar Belgravia are.
El Rey del Mundo Demitas: The vitola de galera for this cigar is Entreacto, which means, between the acts. It is a cigar designed for swift smoking and cultured conversation. Whilst light in flavour profile, it has plenty of personality and will age extremely well, so look out for some with a slight box press.
H. Upmann Half Corona: A cigar to watch the sunrise with or puff away at with the weekend papers. Smooth and creamy with a delicious aroma that makes this cigar extremely popular. What it lacks in size it makes up for in its restorative properties.