OK.. I said in the newbie thread I've got lots of questions. I find myself surprised nobody has asked this one. I also find it easier to sit on the couch and type this than to ask the guy at the tobacco shop. So here we go.
What's the deal with all these shapes? I've never smoked anything but a (gah, what's the generic term? Parejo?) Toro, Robusto, Churchill, Corona... etc. The wild shapes seem more like something I'd see in the mouth of a cartoon mobster bearing the stereotypical 5-o'clock shadow and playing poker. Is there an advantage to these shapes?
So far, all I can come up with is that on something that narrows slowly at the foot, it's easy to get a cut of precisely the right girth for the draw you want. Now, I'm no physicist or anything, but I imagine that having an opening significantly narrower than the girth of the cigar itself will reduce the surface area of your filter, and cause the tar to gum up the works at the exit point. Yuck.
I can at least see the desire for a larger girth as you near the head of the cigar, to defray the heat a bit as you draw closer to the end of your session. But silly stuff like that pyramid shape doesn't make a wit of sense to me. And I've also heard mention that the shapes will impart a very different flavor. Now how is a robusto going to be different in flavor from a Toro, at least from the point that you've smoked the first inch or so off the Toro? Frankly, I've always chosen my size by the amount of time I figured I wanted the thing to last.
Too much thinking, not enough smoking. Forgive me, I'm learning.