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Cigar 101

Difference Between Robusto & Corona Cigars

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

A cigar’s shape plays a significant role. The shape and size a cigar is rolled in can make the cigar more or less comfortable to hold in your hand and in your mouth. A cigar’s intensity changes based on its size. There are dozens of classic cigar shapes, or vitolas. Coronas and Robustos are two of the most iconic. The difference between a Robusto and a Corona is about a half-inch in length and roughly 6/64 to 8/64 of an inch in ring gauge. Robustos are shorter and thicker than Coronas. Let’s take a closer look at these traditional cigar sizes.

Why a Corona is the Benchmark for Cigar Shapes

The Corona is considered the holy grail of cigar shapes by many. Coronas are generally 5.5 to 6 inches in length with a 42 to 44 ring gauge. While Robustos, Toros, and big ring gauge Gordos top the sales charts, the Corona is a popular and important cigar shape.

What many cigar lovers don’t know is that most cigar-makers blend their cigars first and foremost around the Corona format. Flavor peaks in a Corona due to the ratio between the binder, filler, and wrapper tobaccos. Because there is less filler tobacco in a Corona, the emphasis on taste is skewed toward the wrapper leaf. An especially vibrant flavor profile is created because the wrapper’s influence is greater. Most Coronas burn for 30 to 40 minutes.

The Corona has long been considered the benchmark for balance in a cigar. Once a cigar-maker achieves the desired taste for a given blend in a Corona, the ratios of tobacco in the blend are then adjusted to create the remaining sizes in the series. Regardless of what your favorite cigar shape is, when you really enjoy a particular blend, smoke it in a Corona. You will taste a cigar’s optimal intensity and the best possible marriage of its tasting notes.

The Best Corona Cigars to Smoke Today

There are hundreds of excellent Coronas that deserve a place on your radar. Here are some perfect examples. Ashton Symmetry Prism (5.625 x 46) is a 94-rated masterpiece blended by Carlito Fuente from an intricate recipe of premium Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos beneath a reddish-brown Cuban-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. Complex notes of cedar, coffee beans, and spices culminate in a vivacious and zesty finish.

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 3 (5.5 x 44) is another gem from Carlito Fuente with decades of demand behind it. A glistening Cameroon wrapper leaf encapsulates a well-aged amalgam of Dominican long-fillers. Notes of nuts, cedar, baking spices, and fresh-ground coffee converge with ideal balance and luscious aroma.

Award-winning cigar-maker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia blends several classic Coronas. La Aroma de Cuba Edicion Especial No. 1 (5.625 x 46) is among the highest-rated Corona Gordas for 2020 in Cigar Aficionado with a 94-point score and a 'Top 25' ranking. Edicion Especial stands out for its Cubanesque profile of smoked almonds, leather, earth, and espresso beans. An oily Ecuador Habano wrapper envelops an interior of vintage Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos.

Meaty and savory flavors of molasses and black pepper emerge in San Cristobal Quintessence Corona Gorda (5.625 x 46) with a touch of sweetness. San Cristobal Quintessence is also blended in Estelí, Nicaragua, by Pepin from a Cuban-seed wrapper and binder and filler tobaccos grown on select Garcia family estates. The blend was rated 95 points with a ‘#3 Cigar of the Year’ ranking in Cigar Aficionado for 2021.  

Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro Corona (6 x 42) is a drafted from a succulent Nicaraguan Maduro and an all-Nicaraguan blend of premium aged long-fillers rated 94 points. Notes of dark cocoa, cayenne, and cedar layer the palate in seamless strides before a delicious finish is revealed.

How Robustos Differ from Coronas

Traditional Robustos are 5 inches long with a 50 ring gauge. Robustos can range from 4.75 to 5.5 inches in length with ring gauges between 48 and 52. Today, you’ll find cigars called “Robustos,” even though they’re rolled in ever-larger ring gauges, some as fat as 54 or 56. Depending on how fast you smoke, a Robusto can last for a half-hour to an hour. Robustos possess a ton of appeal, especially for new cigar smokers, because their girth is an ideal fit for the hand but their length is not intimidating. A Robusto burns cooler and slower than a Corona.

Great Robustos You Should Smoke

If you’re in search of creamy, mild, top-rated Robustos you can smoke any time of the day, Ashton Magnum (5 x 50), Macanudo Cafe Hyde Park (5.5 x 49), and Montecristo Robusto (5 x 50) are classic Dominican bestsellers adored by scores of aficionados. Each is handcrafted from a silky blond Connecticut Shade wrapper over premium Dominican long-fillers. Notes of cedar, cashews, almonds, and coffee with cream define these iconic Robustos.

Approachable Nicaraguan Robustos include the San Cristobal Elegancia Robusto (5 x 50) and Oliva Connecticut Reserve Robusto (5 x 50). Each cigar features a distinct blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers beneath a Connecticut-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. Nutty notes of white pepper and cedar cloak the palate with creamy flavor and aroma.

If you prefer Nicaraguan Robustos with a bit more intensity, La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Robusto (5 x 50), My Father La Opulencia Robusto (5.25 x 52), and Olive Serie V Melanio Robusto (5 x 52) unveil spicy and earthy flavors of leather, fresh espresso, and wood.

For special occasions, Ashton ESG 21-Year Salute (5.25 x 52), Padron Family Reserve No. 85 (5.25 x 50), and Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario Robusto (5.25 x 50) represent ultra-rare classics handmade from special reserves of premium tobaccos matured for maximum smoothness. Pair these phenomenal Robustos with a vintage scotch or bourbon the next time you’re celebrating your birthday or a promotion.

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