Is it really hip to be square?

Square-Pressed or better known as Box-Pressed Cigars started a long time ago in Cuba and is still done there, but today we find it practiced in every cigar making country too.  Squishing our round handmade smokes into a square form for no other reason but giving it a different shape seems to be the only reason, but does it change the flavor in any way? 

When you take a round cigar and later press it or force it into an overstuffed box, both methods are used; you run the risk of tightening the draw don’t you?  And if that is true, why oh why are so many new brands being released this year going to be box pressed?  Is it unusual, cool or hip t be square…as Huey Lewis said in his 80’s hit song? 

A little birdie has told me to expect lots of new Box Pressed, Square Cigars at the up-coming IPCPR  Cigar Convention and Trade Show next month.  My question is why…why all of a sudden the allure to go square? 

One reason could be Cigar Aficionado Magazines lust for these things.  Their Number One Cigar of the Year was Alec Bradley’s Prensado.  A great cigar that actually means pressed (I think).  Another reason might be the always highly rated and critically acclaimed Padron Anniversary and Padron 1926’s.  They are, by the way, all box pressed.  Even the new and hot Oval by A.J. Fernandez which is a box pressed just not quite as tight as the others. 

The question I asked again was, does pressing a cigar from round to square change the flavor in any way?   The answer is No as I see it.   I tried it on a Padron 1964 Anniversary Exclusivo.  I smoked it at the factory in Nicaragua in the round and later one from the box, finished.  The Pardon Anniversary Exclusivo are very consistent, well made and taste great, in the round or finished off after pressing, both the same.   

And if you take a great cigar and make it square you get a great square cigar.  If you take a crappy tasting cigar and make it square, it’s still crap. 

Smoking a square cigar got it popularity (someone once told me this) from sailors that liked that their cigars wouldn’t roll off the table while at sea.  For no other reason should it matter if its round or square, a good cigar is a good cigar round or square.

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