The assessments on Cigar Coop and Stogie Geeks are done to strive to the highest levels of integrity.  Please click here to refer to the Operational Code of Ethics that is practiced on the web-site. Cigars will be numerically scored and given an assessment rating.


We categorize our cigar articles as follows:

  • News:  This is typically an announcement of a cigar or a line extension.
  • Cigar Preview: This is typically more detailed information on an upcoming cigar release.  We usually have some amount of blend and vitola information available.  We now use this as a subcategory of “News”.
  • Cigar Pre-Review:  This is a pre-release or prototype review.  We don’t assign an assessment rating or numeric score, but provide enough information to detail our thoughts and perspectives
  • Cigar Review: This is our full detailed review.  We assign an assessment rating and numeric score.
  • Agile Cigar Review (formerly “Assessment Update”): hey are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or providing a score for a first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size.
  • Press Release: Issued by the cigar company for media consumption.  These must specifically be listed as press releases and made available widespread to the media. In most cases we now use press releases to build original stories.  In some cases we will re-print these, but only if they are sent to us electronically or given permission to re-print.


We rate cigars two ways.  We provide a numeric score on merit, and an assessment rating to incorporate intangibles and buying pose.

Numeric Score

Beginning in 2012, cigars assessed on Cigar Coop will be scored numerically.  A numerical rating is a quantitative score based on the following factors.  Price is not factored into a numerical score.   Pre-Release cigars will not be scored.

1) Flavor
2) Burn
3) Draw
4) Complexity
5) Finish
6) Aging Potential
7) Intangibles (overall experience)
8) Balance

As of 2014 our scoring algorithm changed. Scores fall into the range as:

94 and above: Epic smoke
91 – 93: Excellent smoke
88 – 90: Very Good
85 – 87: Good
Below 85: Fair – not recommended (typically not assessed)

Assessment Rating

The Assessment Rating focuses on intangibles (which has a small factor in the numeric score).  It factors buying power into the overall cigar experience.

One exciting change we are introducing is bringing the Stogie Geeks assessment ratings to Cigar Coop.  I feel that Stogie Geeks has put together an innovative rating system and it makes sense to bring to Cigar Coop.  Going forward, we will replace the old Assessment Ratings of “Pass”, “See What You Think”, “Nice to Have”, “Memorable”, and “Historic” with what the Geeks do.  We will continue to use numeric scores as we think this is important to what is done at Cigar Coop.  As for the “Assessment Ratings”, most of our ratings tended to be “Nice to Have” and “Memorable”.  This new system will allow us to be more granular when looking at the assessment rating of a cigar.

Here is a description of the Stogie Geeks assessment ratings.  These were used effective October 1st, 2013.

1 “Lawn Mulch” – Throw it in front of the lawn mower while mowing.  We won’t be rating cigars on Cigar Coop with this rating as we feel there is enough good cigars to discuss here.

2 “The Angler” – Not bad, smoke on golf course, fishing, grilling, or some other activity.

2.5 “Try One” – Try one for yourself.

3 “The Fiver” – Not quite good enough to drop money on a box but you will want some in you humidor.

3.5 “Box Split” – Split a box with a friend.

4 “Box-Worthy” – Buy it, try it, smoke it, and enjoy it. Pick up a box if you can.

4.5 “Fight Chuck Norris for Them” – Bring it Chuck!

5 “The Oasis” – Pursue relentlessly. Crawl Across a desert of broken glass to find and build a new humidor to store all the boxes.

All cigars that were deemed Historic/Hall of Fame on Cigar Coop will now be considered “Oasis” level going forward.  The other ratings really have no direct correlation to the new ratings.  The other ratings will not be changed for cigars assessed.

For reference, here are the old assessment ratings:

  • 1.Pass – This is a cigar that I would pass on…in other words, I really don’t like it.   A cigar really has to lay an egg here to get this rating.
  • 2.See What You Think – Meaning I didn’t love the cigar, but didn’t hate it either. This doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t like it.
  • 3.Nice to Have – Meaning I give this cigar a favorable rating and I would buy and smoke the cigar as part of my regular, everyday smokes.
  • 4.Memorable Cigar – Something special was brought to the table with this cigar.  In other words a very good cigar and one I would highly recommend.
  • 5.Hall of Fame/Historic – Meaning this cigar is of historic proportions in terms of its quality and smoke.  This rating won’t be issued easily.  The criteria for this rating will be during “Cigar Coop’s” annual Hall of Fame inductions.  There will be three criteria for induction: 1) The #1 Cigar of the Year qualifies; 2) All “Memorable” assessed cigars that have had that assessment rating for 1 year will be eligible for being considered for Hall of Fame; 3) One Wildcard cigar  not in category #1 or #2.   The inductions will be announced Columbus Day weekend each year


Each cigar will be given a score on the following attributes.  Typically if there is a “Poor” for burn or draw, the cigar will most likely be reassessed before publishing an assessment.

Burn is rated as follows.  The overall burn score factors in three components: 1) How straight the cigar burns; 2) Combustion – temperature and burn rate.

Very Good

Draw refers to how easy the cigar is to smoke. It is rated as follows:

Poor (typically not scored because of the impacts to the overall cigar experience)

Very Good

Complexity will be assessed as follows:

Low to Medium
Medium- (Minus)
Medium+ (Plus)
Medium to Full

Strength refers to the nicotine produced from the cigar.  Each of the categories corresponds to


Body refers to depth, breadth, and richness of the tobacco and how it weighs on the pallet. It is rated as follows:


Finish is referring to end of the cigar experience.

Poor – Nub is soft and warm, cigar is very harsh.
Fair – Nub is soft and warm, cigar has some harshness.
Good – Nub may have some soft or warm qualities to it.  There is no harshness in flavors.
Excellent – The nub is firm and cool.  There is no harshness in flavors.