Looking at the reviews on Cigar Review Rag you might get the feeling that the scores I give to cigars are quite low compared to what you usually see around other blogs and the cigar press. Am I a review Scrooge? A snotty scorer?
None of that; simply I use a scoring card I put together trying to reflect more objectively how a cigar really smokes. I used the Cigar Aficionado point system for a while, but it was simply way too subjective and in the end meaningless IMO. The points are divided as follows on a scale of 0-100 total points:
15 points maximum for appearance and pre smoke attributes like feel to the touch and pre-smoke draw.
30 points maximum for how the cigar smokes, i.e. draw, burn, ash and amount of smoke produced.
45 points maximum for the flavour in the 3 sections of the cigar, the finish and for how smooth a smoke is (and in this context smooth does not mean lack of spice, rather lack of roughness).
Finally, 10 points maximum given for my personal impressions, which in my personal view reflects how the whole cigar comes together.
Using this score card the points tend to be lower than the classic CA scale so here is what my grades translate to in practical term (and yes there is overlap):
95-100 A true masterpiece… brings tears of joy to my eyes… can I fill my humi with these please?
90-95 Excellent smoke, Why haven’t I bought a box of these yet?!
85-90 Very good,smoke. Worth a box… once I’ve bought the stuff over 90!
80-85 Good cigar, If the flavours rock my boat I’ll happily get a box, otherwise a 5-pack will do.
75-80 Pleasant smoke, Here price starts to play a role. Are these OpusX/Cohiba expensive? Then they are disappointing. They’re cheap? Then worth a 5 pack at least.
70-75 As above. If they’re cheap they might be something to give to friends and smoke as everyday stogie.
60-70 Mmeh smoke, usually with some significant fault flavorwise or burnwise. Might be worth a second go if taste is great to check if it is a bad stick/batch.
below 60 Bad “hurl out of the window” cigar… a waste of time.
Any question, comment or suggestion? Just drop me a line below!