Hi. In order to align more closely with other review sites, I have changed my review structure. This will make it easier to compare cigars between sites to get an informed view of that cigar. The review structure is relatively simple an done people are used to. Here it is…..First of all, my reviews will change from letter grades to a 0 – 100 score. I originally did not want a numerical score and I went with letter grades. This decision was meant to make reviews a little different from others in the market and try something new. Over time I realized that it is hard to compare my reviews with other sites. For example, how do you compare an A grade with a 92? The 0 – 100 score will make it easier for you to compare reviews with each other and get a full picture of the cigar. The main goal is to make cigar reviews accessible for people and I think this change does that.
What the numbers mean:
100 – 97: Hall of Fame – Top 1% of cigars
96 – 94: Amazing – Top 5% of cigars
93 – 90: Excellent – Not the top of the top, but still the gold standard
89 – 85: Very Good / Great – Some flaws, but they do not impact the experience
84 – 80: Good – Still performs, but some flaws have an impact on the smoking experience
79 – 75: Average / Ordinary: Not really up to par. This cigar will smoke, but that is about it. Not worth a try.
74 – 70: Poor: Oops. This cigar should be avoided.
69 – Below: Cannot be Smoked: This cigar is so poor it simple can’t be smoked. In this sense, grass clippings rolled in a page from the phone book would perform better.
The review itself will be structured a bit differently than current reviews. This is to highlight aspects of the cigar people find important and look for in a cigar. Most conversations you have with people about cigars should mirror what is in the review. Now, not all of these sections will be scored. Review sections are:
Information and Appearance (Not Scored):
This section will encompass basic information about the cigar….blend, ring gauge, length, vitola, how I got the cigar, and anything else I think it is important for the reader to know. This section also has any pre – light observations. These include the dry draw, how the band looks, a short discussion on the vitola, how the wrapper looks and the overall appearance of the cigar.
I do not score this section of the review. This is to make sure the score is a true reflection of how the cigar performs and not dragged down by how it looks. I have had cigars with cracked wrappers and rough looks that performed really well. Moreover, all of the cigars I smoke are transported in the mail and that may have an impact on the cigar’s appearance, which is totally out of the brand’s control. I think it is important to talk about the pre – light aspects of the cigar, because those can get lost in the rest of the review; however, I think scoring this section is not an accurate reflection of the cigar itself. I think not scoring this section is the best of both worlds. This way readers get that information and I do not have to worry about this section impacting the cigar’s score. I will revisit this decision, but for now the appearance will not be scored.
Burn and Draw (Score 0 – 100):
This is a general response the the cigar’s draw and burn overall. This score takes into account how the cigar performs throughout the smoke.
Construction (Score 0 – 100):
This is a general response the the cigar’s construction overall. This score takes into account how the cigar performs throughout the smoke.This section also takes into account combustion rate and how the cigar smokes.
First, Second and Final Thirds (Each Section scored 0 – 100 Individually):
There will be a section on each third and that section will have its own score. Each section will focus on the draw, burn, combustion, strength and finish. Each section is scored individually and some sections may perform better than others.
Overall Score, Smoking Experience and Recommendation (Not Scored):
This is an average of all the scores and a short summary of the cigar. This section will also focus on the cigar experience and comment on factors like the aroma and texture, which can be lost in the other sections. At times I will make an executive order and bump the overall score up or down to suit how I feel about the cigar.
Also, this section will have my recommendation. These include:
- Cigar Hall of Fame: These are cigars that are classics, which all other cigars strive to be.
- A Must Smoke: This is a cigar you need to buy immediately. Trade all your cigars for it or start selling precious items for money…..whatever it takes get this cigar!
- Buy a Box: This doe snot take into account the size of the box….it is more metaphoric. This recommendation basically means that you want a lot of them.
- 10er: This is still a really solid cigar, but not quite at a box level. You want a fair bit around, but not as high as a box.
- 5er: This is a cigar that is solid, but not a “wow” kind of cigar. You want some around to smoke and maybe one or two to age, but not a ton of them.
- Try: This means pick up one or two. Give it a go. It might be your kind of cigar, but it did not click with me. This cigar still performed well, but for whatever reason it didn’t click with me.
- Throw it off the End of the Boat – Stogie Santa Style: On Stogie Geeks one of the hosts, Stogie Santa, smoked cigars on a cruise. When talking about a cigar he didn’t like, he said he would “throw it off the end of the boat.” These cigars are not meant to smoke, but are better used to feed fish.
I hope this makes the reviews more useful and easier to compare with other sites. I will use this for the next year and will review it after that. I anticipate changes over time to keep reviews fresh and useful; however, I think this is a good change for the blog. Let me know what you think. Leave a comment at the end of this post with your thoughts or email me on email@example.com. Thanks.