What Are Box-Pressed Cigars?

cigar box pressedIf you have friends smoking cigars, don’t be surprised if you see one or two of them holding a rather squarish shaped one instead of the regular round cigars. These are called "box-pressed" or "square-pressed" cigars. Cigars acquire the square-shaped characteristics from being packed tightly inside of a box, hence also the name box-pressed cigars.

Packing the cigars tightly on a box was originally a shipment issue. To save on shipping space, manufacturers will pack boxes with as many cigars as possible. The first ever box-pressed cigars came from Cuba sometime in the onset of the 20th century.

For a long time Cubans were the only one’s making and exporting "cuadrados" or box-pressed cigars. This remained the status quo up until Padron came out with their Padron Anniversary 1964 series. Today box-pressed cigars are part of the cigar varieties that smokers can choose from. It has moved from being an exception into something conventional and commercial. So today, there are cigars makers that intentionally shape the round bodies into square.

Manufacturers do this by pressing the cigars into square molds before they are packed into boxes and be readied for shipping. Like what was mentioned at earlier, box-pressing a cigar involves packing it tightly along with the others into boxes.

In time, the cigar shape will begin to conform to that of the box. There’s also a trunk-pressing technique that has and still in use today. Although, this process is more delicate and involves the use of a trunk press made of wood. The press clamps together the cigars for about 30 minutes to as long as 12 hours.

Among the best known quality box-pressed cigars are Padron Anniversary, Aspira, Don Tomas Dominican Selection, Perdomo La Tradición, and Sancho Panza. It is said that box-pressed cigars burn longer and give a richer and flavorful smoke.

Depending on the molds or how makers do it, the extent of squareness of box-pressed cigars vary. Some have very sharp edges like the CAO Cameroon, CAO eXtreme, and Padron Anniversary 1964 cigar varieties. The Rocky Patel Vintage, on the other hand, has a more rounded body that the other box-pressed cigars.

When cigars have been shaped square from tight packing, more often than not, when left in a humidor with enough space long enough, they will return to their original rounder shape. However, some cigars retain their squarish appearance even after years of being left in a humidor.

Even, there are claims that box-pressed cigars are unusually strong and rich flavor and smell some still prefer the rounded cigars. It’s not that they don’t like the richer square ones but people who don’t like box-pressed cigars simply don’t like the feel of the cigars in their hands or in their mouths. Some like the shape, the feel and the taste.

However, a word of caution. Some cigar suppliers will try and sell you fake cigars and pose them as box-pressed ones. They will pack fake branded cigars into tight boxes and try passing them off as original box-pressed cigars of that brand. It would be best, therefore, that you buy your cigars from legitimate sources.

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