Usually I mention the person (or people) asking the question of the chosen topic; nonetheless, this time I won't, because many smokers have asked me about this for my blog. Also, this subject comes up a lot by numerous cigar-lovers all over social media and in real life, almost on a daily basis. So no name will be mentioned in this article, there are many!
Moreover, this is a topic full of perceptions, some true, some false, some discussable, and also it is a subject carrying the load of much misconception.
Yet, with respect to flavors and cigar-profile, no matter what size and vitola, Taste is subjective! I always make sure to respect that subjectivity.
The Basic and Popular argument
The 6X60 and larger ring-gauges:
Many American smokers love the 60 ring-gauge-cigar, some even larger than 60! The European and most non-American smokers do not opt for these large ones.
One simple point of view, as often discussed within the industry, is that perhaps this is a question of value for money. Yet what is value? In this case, the costumer sees size and quantity.
Another point of view, and hopefully the most widespread liking for this large size, is simply the genuine love and appreciation that these large ring gauges provide to those who prefer it.
This is a size that did not even exist til not long ago! Cuba, for example, only started to produce larger ring gauges such as max ca. 56 very recently!
The common saying:
Within all types of cigar-communities, we hear and read this following argument extremely often: "The connoisseur would never smoke a 60 ring gauge" and the likes... Do I agree? Not fully.
I personally do not enjoy a 60+ ring gauge, I like to smoke anything from a 38 to a 50-max 52 ring gauge, also depending on the shape and vitola. Does that make me judge the large ring gauge lovers? No, absolutely not!
I do believe that many costumers buy these large cigars merely for value and quantity. However, there are many true cigar-lovers who genuinely adore this size.
I know at least a couple of true connoisseur and cigar aficionados who deeply and honestly love the 6X60´s and they do not appreciate it when some people tell them that "true enjoyment and character is in smaller ring gauges." There is some truth to the latter, and we will see that later on in this article, but it is not this blunt and simple, individual taste is highly important and should be respected.
Nevertheless, the few connoisseurs with this taste proves how subjective this topic is!
WHY is it so commonly expressed that smaller ring gauges show more character?
- No matter how subjective taste is, it is still a fact that the smaller the ring gauge, the more percentage of profiles and character from the wrapper-leaf: this is pure ratio.
- The larger the ring gauge, the more of all filler leaves of different priming-levels are spread, and the less attention the wrapper gets. This is why it is often said that less character comes through in those 60+ cigars.
Still yet, I can think of at least one dear friend of mine who loves strong character cigars and truly full bodied ones, while he, despite of this fact, prefers larger ring gauges. This gentleman definitely feels the full body, has smoked for many years on a daily basis and is quite the connoisseur. His taste-buds are possibly very sensitive and surely feel through to the ligero leaves of the filler and to the clear characters of the wrapper... Hence, I need not repeat the subjectivity of the matter.