All you ever need to know about Rafael Gonzalez Brand Cigars

The Rafael Gonzalez brand cigar dates back to approximately 1928. The cigar originally went by the name La Flor de Marquez. Rafael Gonzalez became the registered trademark of the cigar in 1936. The Sociedad El Rey Del Mundo registered the new name in Cuba.

The cigars are made from the finest tobacco grown in the famous Vuelta Abajo region, where the tobacco for all of the best Cuban cigars comes from. They are produced in the Romeo y Julieta factory, and are considered to have a medium body. The Rafaeil Gonzalez brand is credited with the introduction of the Lonsdale cigar size. It is believed that this vitola is named after the Fifth Earl of Lonsdale, Hugh Cecil Lowther.

Most of the Rafael Gonzalez cigars were made by hand. This is a list of the Rafael Gonzalez vitolas:

  • Panetelas Extra – officially named the Vegueritos by the factory, and called the short panetela by smokers. It measures 5 inches long (127 mm) x 36 ring gauge. It is a hand made cigar with short filler tobacco and uses the standard “A” and “B” bands. The cigars are packaged in a Dress Box containing twenty-five cigars each. Until around the year 2002, the cigars were made by machine. The Panetelas Extra vitola was released prior to 1960.
  • Petit Coronas – officially named by the factory the Marevas and commonly called the petit corona by smokers. It measures 5.1 inches long (129 mm) x 42 ring gauge. The hand made cigars use a standard “A” band and are packaged in a Dress Box containing twenty-five cigars each. The Petit Coronas vitola was released prior to 1960.
  • Perlas – officially named by the factory as the Perlas, and commonly called the petit corona by cigar smokers. It measures 4 inches long (102 mm) x 40 ring gauge. The hand made cigars use a standard “A” band and are packaged in a cardboard pack of five cigars each. This vitola was released in 2012.

Discontinued Rafael Gonzalez Vitolas

  • Cigarritos – officially named by the factory the Laguito No. 3, and commonly called the small panetela in slang. It measures 4.5 inches long (115 mm) x 26 ring gauge. The hand made cigars use the standard “A” band were packaged in the Semi Boite Nature Box of fifty cigars each. The vitola was released prior to the 1960s and discontinued in 2010.
  • Conicales – officially named by the factory the Piramides, and commonly known as the pyramid by smokers. It measures 6.1 inches long (156 mm) x 52 ring gauge. The hand made cigars wore the standard “A” band and were packaged in a Dress Box of twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released prior to 1960 and discontinued sometime during the 1970s.
  • Coronas Chicas – officially named the Marevas by the factory, commonly called the petit corona by smokers. It measures 5.1 inches long (129 mm) x 42 ring gauge. The hand made cigars wore the standard “A” band and was packaged in a Dress Bx containing twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released prior to 1960 and discontinued in the 1970s.
  • Coronas Extra – officially named the Coronas Gordas by the factory, and called the grand corona in slang. It measures 5.6 inches long (143 mm) x 46 ring gauge. The hand made cigars used the standard “A” band and was packaged in a Dress Box of twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released prior to 1960 and discontinued in 2010. Reportedly the size was slightly smaller before the 1970s.
  • Coronas Lonsdales – the official factory name is unknown, but smokers commonly knew the cigars as the petit corona. It measures 5 inches long (127 mm) x 44 ring gauge. The hand made cigars used the standard “A” band and were packaged in a Dress Box of twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released before 1960 and discontinued during the 1970s.
  • Demi Tasse – officially named by the factory as the Entreactos, and commonly called the small panetela in slang. It measures 3.9 inches long (100 mm) x 30 ring gauge. The hand made cigars used the standard “A” band and were packaged in a Dress Box of twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released prior to 1960 and discontinued in 1996.
  • Lonsdales – officially named the Cervantes by the factory and commonly called the lonsdale by smokers. It measures 6.5 inches long (165 mm) x 42 ring gauge. The hand made cigars used the standard “A” band and were packaged in a Dress Box containing twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released before 1960 and discontinued in 2006.
  • Panetelas – officially named the Panetelas by the factory and commonly called the small panetela by smokers. It measures 4.6 inches long (117 mm) x 34 ring gauge. The hand made cigars used the standard “A” band and were packaged in a Dress Box of twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released prior to 1960 and discontinued in 2006.
  • Petit Lonsdales – officially named the Marevas by the factory, it was commonly called the petit corona by smokers. It measures 5.1 inches long (129 mm) x 42 ring gauge. The hand made cigars used the standard “A” band and were packaged in a Dress Box of twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released prior to 1960 and discontinued during the 1980s.
  • Slenderellas – officially named the Panetelas Largas by the factory and commonly called the slim panetela by smokers. It measures 6.9 inches long (175 mm) x 28 ring gauge. The hand made cigars used the standard “A” band and were packed in a Dress Box of twenty-five cigars until they were discontinued in 2006. Until 2003, Slenerellas were also available in a Dress Box containing fifty cigars each.
  • Tres Petit Lonsdales – officially named the Franciscanos by the factory, and commonly called the petit corona by smokers. It measures 4.6 inches long (116 mm) x 40 ring gauge. The hand made cigars used a standard “A” band and were packaged in a Dress Box of twenty-five cigars each. The vitola was released prior to 1960 and discontinued in 2002.

Rafael Gonzalez Brand Special Releases

1999 – the Siglo XXI Millennium Humidor

To commemorate the millennium, Habanos SA produced twenty-one special, free standing, electric and numbered humidors that each contained 2000 cigars comprised of twenty different brands. The Rafael Gonzalez was one of the brands included in this special edition. Some of the cigars were hand made and some were made by a machine. The Rafael Gonzalez cigars selected were:

  • Ten Cigarritos – officially named the Laguito No. 3, commonly called the small panetela, measuring 4.5 inches (115 mm) x 26 ring gauge.
  • Ten Conicales – officially named the Piramides, commonly called the pyramid, measuring 6.1 inches (156 mm) x 52 ring gauge.
  • Ten Coronas Extra – officially named the Coronas Gordas, commonly called the grand corona, measuring 5.6 inches (143 mm) x 46 ring gauge.
  • Ten Coronas Lonsdales – official name is unknown, commonly called the petit corona, measuring 5 inches (127 mm) x 47 ring gauge.
  • Ten Lonsdales – officially named the Cervantes, commonly called the lonsdale, measuring 6.5 inches (165 mm) x 42 ring gauge.
  • Ten Panetelas – officially named the Panetelas, commonly called the small panetela, measuring 4.6 inches (117 mm) x 34 ring gauge.
  • Ten Panetelas Extra – officially named the Vegueritos Mano, commonly called the short panetela, measuring 5 inches (127 mm) x 37 ring gauge.
  • Ten Petit Coronas – officially named the Marevas, commonly called the petit corona, measuring 5.1 inches (129 mm) x 42 ring gauge.
  • Ten Slenderellas – officially named the Panetelas Largas, commonly called the slim panetela, measuring 6.9 inches (175 mm) x 28 ring gauge.
  • Ten Tres Petit Lonsdales – officially named the Franciscanos, commonly called the petit corona, measuring 4.6 inches (116 mm) x 40 ring gauge.

2013 – the Regional Edition Series (Edicion Regional Alemania)

It is considered a 2013 release, but this special regional edition wasn’t actually released until 2014. The Petit Piramides hand made cigars were selected for this Regional Edition for Germany, and were packaged in numbered Dress Boxes of ten cigars in each box. A total of six thousand sets were produced, using the standard “A” band and a regional edition Germany band. The cigars measured 5 icnhes long (127 mm) x 50 ring gauge and were commonly called the petit pyramid in slang.

The Rafael Gonzalez is classified by Habanos SA as a local brand and has a very small share of the market.