One question I often get, how does appearance factor into the way you review and score a cigar.  The answer is, while it is a part of the review, it plays no factor in the numerical score nor the Cigar Coop assessment rating.

I’ll explain this by posing two questions. 1) If a cigar looks ugly, should a cigar that performs excellent be penalized in its overall score? 2) If a cigar looks pretty, should it be given bonus points toward its overall cigar.  From this author’s standpoint the answer is very simple – no.

However, it is an important component to the review. In most cases, we describe the visual effect of the cigar – most notably the wrapper.  What color is that wrapper? How much oil does it have? Are there visible veins? Are there visible wrapper seams?  Does the cigar have blemishes or soft spots.  This visual description plays no role in the overall score. It is strictly to inform the consumer.

The same goes for packaging and art work. These do not actor into the overall score. In particular, we go through some detail describing the band. The inspiration for this comes from New York Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay. While I am not a Yankees fan, I always admired the way Kay describes the uniforms of the players. In a lot of ways, the band description we do can be somewhat analogous to what Kay does.


My feeling is the numerical score reflects a performance rating for the cigar, and appearance is not a factor of performance.  As a result, it is not a factor with this author does not incorporate it.