In more ways than one the robusto size is ideal for today’s cigar smoker. At 5 inches it is short enough to enjoy in under an hour but long enough to leave the smoker satisfied. And with its 50 or so ring gauge it has enough tobacco for the master blender to fully develop a flavor profile. But consumers aren’t the only ones that love the size; the fact that it is one of the easier shapes to manufacturer is just one of the reasons why it’s also a favorite among cigar factory owners.
Robusto is Spanish for thick, robust, or strong and much like the toro size, which we talked about in the previous Vitola 101, in today’s cigar landscape the classic robusto doesn’t look quite so robust. The classic robusto is 5 inches with a 48 to 50 ring gauge but the trend in cigars over the last 20 years has been to push the envelope on thickness. It is not uncommon to come across a robusto measuring 5 and a half inches and sporting a 54 or 56 ring gauge. All the while other manufacturers run opposite of the trend so they market a 4 inch by 48 cigar as a robusto.
Unlike coronas, lanceros, and perfectos, which require a higher level of expertise from the buncher and roller, the robusto is oftentimes used as the teaching shape. In other words, when a cigar factory teaches apprentice tabaqueros how to make cigars for the first time, many will start them on robustos because they are easy to handle and the 50 ring gauge allows a wider margin for error during bunching. Not to mention that because of its smaller size, the learners waste less tobacco while they learn.
Size and ring gauge of what is commonly considered a robusto in premium cigars.
OLIVA SERIE G MADURO
PHYSICAL SIZE: 4 1/2 x 50
MSRP: $ 6.10
HVC CERRO NATURAL
PHYSICAL SIZE: 5 x 50
MSRP: $ 8.30
FILLER: Colombia & Nicaragua
PHYSICAL SIZE: 5 1/2 x 52
MSRP: $ 8.49
“I like the Robusto size. It is my 2nd favorite cigar size after the toro. I think the popularity of the Robusto size is directly connected with our busy lives. It comes down to time, however, the ring size (48, 50, 52, 54, etc.…) allows the blenders to incorporate enough tobacco leaves to have more complexity and flavor variations than a small cigar with a thinner ring size.”Rafael Nodal
“Robusto is the staple size for delivery of flavor but with respect to time constraints you may have. It’s the size that will satiate you just enough so that you are not wanting more. A perfect interlude where enjoyment and time meet.”Abe Dababneh
Smoke Inn Cigars & Kiss My Ash Radio