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Ratings

We rate cigars two ways – on merit and value.

Numeric Score

Purely based on merit and performance of the cigar. It uses an industry-standard 100 point system. Price and availability is not factored in.

Scoring is based on the following components:

  • Flavor 45%
  • Complexity 10%
  • Balance 5%
  • Burn 10%
  • Draw 10%
  • Overall Impressions 20%

94 and above: Epic smoke
91 – 93: Excellent smoke
88 – 90: Very Good
85 – 87: Good
Below 85: Fair

Value Rating

This is based on buying patterns combined with the quality of the cigar. Factors such as price, box count, and availability factor into this.

These ratings are as follows:

  • Not Recommended – This is a cigar not recommended.
  • Try One – we recommend you try this cigar first before purchasing outright. This might be a challenge with FDA, but you can always get one from a friend or an event.
  • Buy One – simply means we recommend purchasing a single cigar.
  • Buy Multiples – really covers buying 2 or more cigars. In reality, this usually is no more than 2 to 3 cigars, but in reality it falls short of considering a box purchase.
  • Box Worthy Consideration – this cigar is good enough to consider a box purchase, but is not a stone-cold lock for one. It might be worth getting if there is a discount or commercial deal. It might be simply because it’s a limited availability.
  • Box Purchase – this cigar is good enough to buy a full box.
  • Fight Chuck Norris for Them – Easily worthy of a box purchase and worthy of a fight with someone like Chuck Norris for the last box. A cigar in this category or above is worthy of cigar of the year consideration.
  • The Oasis – An elite cigar that is one of historic proportions – regardless of price and difficulty to obtain.

This Value Scale is the third generation of this type of rating. You may notice reviews with ratings such as follows. These ratings are no longer used. For more details of these ratings, please refer here.

CIGAR ATTRIBUTES 

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.

Poor
Fair
Good
Very Good
Excellent
Exceptional

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

Poor 
Fair
Good

Very Good
Excellent
Exceptional

Complexity will be assessed as follows:

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

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

Mild
Mild-Medium
Medium
Medium-Full
Full

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

Mild
Mild-Medium
Medium
Medium-Full
Full

Finish:For our purposes, this 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 might be some  harshness in flavors.
Very 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.