Some fine cigars (such as our Ortega Serie ‘D’ Maduro this month) sport an unusual square, not round shape. Here’s the story behind that unusual shape, and some comments from smokers who enjoy them.

Many years ago, Cuban exporters were hard pressed to get large quantities of cigars into small boxes to keep packing, storage and shipping costs down. So they tried packing the usual round cigars very tightly into confining boxes that were a bit too small for a comfortable fit. More cigars fit in, but they sacrificed the usual round shape smokers were accustomed to. The longer the cigars were housed in the tight confines, the more their round shapes squared off. Surprisingly, the more square they became, the more popularity they received. Many cigar smokers didn’t know they were simply round cigars in square bodies!

To date, smokers report the square stogies seem to clog up less often and burn more consistently. Other comments include that they bite better, shred less, rarely unwind and comfortably “snuggle” between the smokers’ fingers. And of course, those square sticks don’t roll out of the ashtray.

The new shape was well received, becoming so popular with smokers that some companies replicated the square shape on purpose. Those cigar makers benefited from not only the selling-point hype of a “new” product, but from the reduction in space needed for the manufacture, transport and storage of the unusual square tobacco sticks.

Today, square box pressed cigars are known to burn a bit longer than round cigars, and usually benefit from a somewhat stronger taste. An added bonus is that for some reason the squareness affects the smell as well, with their aromas a tad stronger than their round counterparts.

Take a Close Look at this Month’s Cigar Selections . . . Featured Countries of Origin from your Favorite Cigar of the Month Club: NICARAGUA and HONDURAS

1) 1) ROCKY PATEL SUN GROWN MADURO TORONationality: Nicaraguan   Appearance: FULL bodied, 6.5; 52 ring; Draped with a broadleaf maduro wrapper. Personality: A brazen beauty, her dual binders and Nicaraguan long-fillers make for hearty, booming flavors that will electrify you. She sets the table for a sensational and enjoyable ride with spot-on construction and a long, savory, pleasant finish.

2) GRAYCLIFF 10 YEAR VINTAGE MADURO PRESIDENTENationality: Honduran Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 7.0; 48 ring; Sporting an oily CT broadleaf maduro wrapper. Personality: This smoke is a rich blend that’s incredibly consistent from one cigar to the next. Expect notes of rich cedar and cocoa, with a creamy, earthy core. You won’t want to miss out on the smokin’ hot experience Graycliff offers.

3) ESPINOSA HABANO ROBUSTONationality: Nicaraguan Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 5.0; 52 ring; Solid, in a leathery, flavorful Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. Personality: This lovely is secretly blended for a rich, well-balanced smoke. Her tobaccos strike up a savory array of smooth, soothing flavors. Highly satisfying, there’s prominent notes of pepper, cedar, cocoa and a creamy semi-sweet finish. Satisfying!

4) CASA MAGNA JALAPA CLARO ROBUSTONationality: Nicaraguan Appearance: MEDIUM bodied, 5.5; 54 ring; In a smooth, caramel-colored claro Jalapa wrapper Personality: Full flavored, she has her roots in the fertile soil of Nicaragua’s beautiful Jalapa Valley. This smoke is filled with carefully fermented premium long-fillers resulting in a well-balanced yet complex cigar with pepper, cocoa, nuts and cedar.

5) ORTEGA SERIE ‘D’ MADURO (BOX PRESSED)Nationality: Nicaraguan  Appearance: MEDIUM-FULL bodied, 5.5; 50 ring; Stunning in a dark San Andres maduro wrapper Personality: Stuffed with long-fillers, this babe unleashes layers of bold flavors of the dark kind — rich notes of dark cocoa, coffee bean, oak with a bit of dried fruit. This square peg, fitting nicely into the curve of your hand, delivers everything you need.

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