Cigar Reviews – Do they really matter? – Spirited Smoke

Cigar Reviews – Do they really matter?

I struggle with reviews. I do enjoy watching and reading reviews.  When watching a reviewer I generally try to look for things I like, to see what “flavor profiles” the reviewer likes and how “aligned” we are.

I have a cigar review sheet with a 100 point scale. It is based on the Cigar Coop version which in my opinion is more inclusive then Cigar Aficionado’s four category system as follows:

Appearance and Construction
(15 of the possible 100 points)
Visually, a premium cigar should have a smooth, flawless wrapper and be consistent in color and shape. When held, it should feel firm and give off a slightly oily moistness. Points are deducted if the wrapper has areas of large veins or if the cigar feels dry or firmer in some parts than others.

(25 of the possible 100 points)
Although each premium cigar has a distinctive taste, all premium cigars should taste smooth and rich. If a cigar leaves a bitter or harsh taste on your lips, tongue or mouth, points are deducted.

Smoking Characteristics
(25 of the possible 100 points)
A perfectly made and stored premium cigar should light and burn easily and evenly. The draw should be comfortable and the same throughout the cigar. The smoke should be cool in your mouth. Points are deducted if the cigar burns too quickly, if it burns faster on one side, and if you have to pull hard to get a mouthful of smoke or if that smoke is unpleasantly hot.

Overall Impression
(35 of the possible 100 points)
This is the most heavily weighted category because it is the most important.
Well, folks, there you have it. With that information, you can now record your very own ratings of your own favorite cigars, using the best cigar rating system available.

Cigar Coops system:


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

So far these ratings help me narrow down what works for me and what I want to see stocked in my Humidor for regular rotation.


What do you all think about ratings? 


Photo by Phil Hawkins

About the author: Phil Hawkins
Photography, motorcycles and cigars, not necessarily in that order

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@peepso_user_17(Oasis Handy)
Very insightful. I agree it takes a lot of focus and concentrating (at least for me) when trying to capture details nuances and flavors while writing. Other times you just wanna smoke and enjoy. Always a good idea to at least grab 2 of whatever you smoke if financially doable. I however don't do point scales, I just share the experience and what i taste. Check me out when you get a chance.

1 year ago 1 year ago