Skip to content

Cigar glossary

Having a long-lasting heritage, Cuban Cigars are hand-rolled by experienced torcedores using high-quality Cuban tobacco inside historically significant galleras. A product of true Cuban legacy, there are certain terms that every type of cigar smokers should be familiar with. Below, we gathered the most popular Habano-related terms explained.

Anilla The Cuban word for a cigar band or ring (known in Spain as a vitola). Limited Edition Cuban Cigars have a unique anilla engraved with the year which the cigar was produced.
Boquilla  The foot of the cigar. Cigars' boquillas show a large variation though. For instance, Parejos present a straight cut, such as the Cohiba Robustos Cigar, whereas Double Figurados have a tapered foot, like the Cuaba Divinos Cigar.
Capa The outside wrapper leaf of the Habano. The darker the colour of the capa the stronger the flavours of the cigar. Featuring one of the darkest capas, the Cohiba Maduro 5 Magicos Cigar is as strong in flavour as its dark coloured wrapper suggests.
Capote The binder leaf. Selected from the largest and finest volado leaves grown on the lower part of the plant. Learn everything you need to know about capote and the rest of the parts of a cigar on our Six Parts of a Cigar post.
Catadores The tasters who daily test cigars at the factories. Cetadores are responsible for the final confirmation for the massive production of exquisite Habanos, such as the Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchills Cigar.
Cepo The template used to check the ring gauge and length of a finished cigar. Today cigar aficionados are favouring cigars that fit in large cepos, like the Cohiba Talisman Edicion Limitada 2017 Cigar.
Chaveta The semi-circular blade used by the torcedores to cut tobacco leaves in the factory. Check out our visit inside the El Laguito Factory, where we got to experience the process of handmaking Habanos.
Claro The description of a light brown coloured wrapper on a finished cigar. Very much adored by cigar aficionados for its light flavoured profile, the Quai d'Orsay Coronas Claro Cigar is wrapped using a gorgeously tanned Claro wrapper leaf.
Colorado The description of a dark brown wrapper on a finished cigar. Also Colorado Claro (mid brown) and Colorado Maduro (darker brown). The Romeo y Julieta Belicosos Cigar is encased in a rich dark brown colorado wrapper and delivers a smooth yet complex smoke.
Edición Limitada Limited Edition. Special productions of Habanos made annually using fillers, binders and wrappers aged at least 2 years before the cigars are made. The wrappers come from the top leaves of the shade-grown (tapado) tobacco plant, which are darker in colour. Boxes can be identified by an extra black and gold seal indicating that they contain Limited Edition Habanos and the year in which they were released. Each Habano is dressed with an extra band giving the same information.
Figurado A cigar with an irregular shape pointed at one end or double-figurado pointed at both ends. The full of flavours Cuaba Salomones Cigar is formed into a double figurado format, one of the most unique and difficult formats to roll.
Fortaleza Literally strength. Fortaleza 1, 2, 3 and 4 are synonyms for volado, seco, ligero and medio tiempo. Have a read on our Cuban Cigars Rare Medio Tiempo Leaf article, where we reveal the truth and explain the luxury behind the leaf.
Galera The factory workshop where cigars are made by hand. Literally the galley. On our Visit to the El Laguito Factory article, we take a peek behind the curtain as we explore the process of hand-rolling Habanos inside this prominent Galera.
Gorro Cap of the cigar. Highly skilled rollers can apply the cap with perfect symmetry and precision. Read more about the Gorro of a cigar on our article The Six Parts of a Cigar, and find out all there is to know about its quality and manufacture.
Gran Reserva Special productions of Habanos that are released very occasionally in small quantities. The term Gran Reserva applies only to Habanos whose fillers, binders and wrappers have all been aged for at least 5 years before being rolled at the factory. They are identified by a second band on the cigars in black and gold colours, like the one on the H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva Cosecha 2011 Cigar.
Habanos The official Denominación de Origen Protegida (D.O.P.), or Protected Denomination of Origin used only to describe the most outstanding brands of cigars, like Montecristo Cigars, which are manufactured in Cuba to the most exacting standards established by the Regulatory Council, from tobaccos grown only in particular areas of the island that are also protected as Denominations of Origin. In English the word translates as Havanas, which are widely considered to be the best cigars in the world.
Habanosommelier The waiter in a bar or restaurant skilled in the art of selecting and serving Habanos as well as recommending matches with drinks or other products like coffee, tea or even chocolate. A contest to find the world's best Habanosommelier is staged as part of the Festival del Habano each year. Read our Conversation with Habanosommelier 2017, Darius Namdar and find out about his exquisite taste on cigars.
La Casa del Habano La Casa del Habano is the name of a network of retail cigar stores franchised by Habanos s.a. There are over 140 La Casa del Habano stores throughout the world on five continents. A full list can be found on the franchise's global website at Purchase any from our selection of LCDH Editions smokes, created solely for La Casa del Habano stories from unique tobacco blends wrapped in rare formats.
Ligero One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves. The word translates as "light" although it is used to describe the leaves taken from the top of the plant that are rich in flavour and usually dark in colour. The very much adored by cigar enthusiasts Ramon Allones Patagon Cigar (Ex. Cono Sur) is wrapped with an extra ligero leaf, making its aromas even more strong an intence.
Maduro Literally -ripe-. The description of a very dark brown, almost black, wrapper on a finished cigar. Cohiba Cigars has produced an entire collection crafted using Maduro leaves, Maduro 5 linea, including the popular amongst cigar aficionados, Cohiba Maduro 5 Secretos Cigar.

A cigar with straight, parallel sides. Coronas, such as the H. Upmann Half Corona Cigar, panatelas, and lonsdales are some of the most popular parejo formats.

Seco One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves. This one describes the leaves of medium flavour taken from the middle of the plant, which contribute much to the Habano's aroma. Handmade using a blend of Seco, Volado, and Ligero tobacco leaves, the Cohiba Behike 56 Cigar is a favourite amongst all types of cigar smokers.
Tripa Filler, the blend of two, three or four different types of tobacco leaves that form the heart of a Habano and dictate its flavour. Crafted with filler leaves from the popular Vuelta Abajo region, the Montecristo No. 3 Cigar is fitting for both cigar beginners and cigar aficionados.
Tripa Corta Short filler. Filler that is made from pieces of chopped up tobacco leaves sometimes known as picadura. One of the most desired Habanos on the market, the Quintero Panetelas Cigar, is made entirely from short-filler tobacco leaves from the most prominent tobacco plantation in Vuelta Abajo and Semi Vuelta regions.
Tripa Larga Long filler. Filler that is made from full-length tobacco leaves. Popular for their long-filler tobacco, Vegas Robaina Cigars guarantee an excellent smoke, made specifically from high-quality tobacco leaves from the prominent Pinar del Rio region in Cuba.
Veguero Cuban tobacco farmer. Read our blog post, Alejandro Robaina: The Godfather of Cuban Tobacco and learn everything there is to know about one of the most popular vegueros.
Vitola A word with many meanings. In Cuba it refers to the size and shape of a cigar (vitola de galera factory name, vitola de salida market name) and also to a particular size of cigar in an individual packing. Some vitolas are more rare than others, like the exquisito of the Sancho Panza Gran Quixote (Ex. Belux 2018) Cigar. In Spain it means a cigar band or ring (vitolfilia cigar band collecting). To some it has an almost spiritual meaning encapsulating every aspect of their cigar of choice.
Volado One of the tiempos or families of filler leaves. This one describes the light flavoured leaves taken from the bottom of the plant, which help the cigar to burn. Popular for producing an exceptional smoke, the Cohiba Behike 56 Cigar is hand rolled using a well-balanced combination of Seco, Ligero, and Volado leaves.

Is the cigar term you are looking for not included in our Cuban Cigars Glossary? Reach out to us via email at and we will be more than happy to fill you in on all cuban-cigar related terms or answer any of your questions.

Quick Shop