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Commentary: Getting Cigar Reviews Right

6 Jan 2014

Like most of you, I imagine, I’ve found myself in a reflective mood at this time of year. The cigar topic that has drawn much of my attention is reviews. Specially, what might make them more worthwhile for you, our readers.

Here at, we smoke cigars because we love them. And we write about them because we enjoy sharing our experiences—good, bad, or indifferent. While each of us has different tastes and preferences, as well as styles, there are a few basics we adhere to when composing full reviews.

Cigar Reviews

For example, you’ll generally find information about the price, size, tobacco, and aspects of performance and strength. Sometimes it isn’t possible to do it all, though, when, say, we have a pre-release stick for which the price isn’t yet set, or when the maker doesn’t identify the tobacco used in the blend.

What I am wondering is whether there are other things you believe are important in helping you decide whether to try a certain cigar for the first time or pass it by. Or elements you’d like to see addressed at greater length. I also wonder if our attempts to describe a cigar’s flavor or aroma are helpful, or if they’re only marginally useful given the subjectivity of taste and the difficulty of describing flavor.

I began to think about some of these things as I was working on a review of a Surrogates cigar. It produces a lot of smoke, and I realized that characteristic is, for me, very important. I simply don’t find a cigar with thin, light smoke nearly as enjoyable, regardless of the flavors. On the other hand, as a frequent outdoor smoker, I care little about a cigar’s room aroma.

So, if you’re in a reflective mood as well, consider giving some thought to cigar reviews and let us know what you like to see in them. I can’t guarantee we’ll always be able to deliver (I, for example, rarely drink alcohol, so I’m not really good at recommending pairings, so I’d suggest you rely on our resident spirits expert, Patrick S, for them).

But I can promise you we’ll certainly give serious thought to your replies.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

8 Responses to “Commentary: Getting Cigar Reviews Right”

  1. Ashburn Dave Monday, January 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    I like learning about the details – what types of tobacco, where were they grown, where was it rolled, etc…. Same thing for craft beers and artisan spirits. It's the little details, like how Copper Fox malts their own barley, that make me feel closer to the brand. These details probably don't do anything towards predicting how "good" the cigar is, but they certainly add to my enjoyment.

  2. Scott Monday, January 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    The StogieGuys crew is already doing something right, which is why I've got you bookmarked. You've done well to keep the format fairly short. I personally don't want a cigar broken down into thirds. I don't want much more than the primary aspects that cross your mind while smoking a cigar. Even though they are very subjective, I DO like to hear your thoughts on flavors. I also like that your reviews typically mention recurring pros and cons (like consistent smoke production, tight draw, and so on).

    Keep up the great posts!

  3. George E. Monday, January 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Great input. Keep 'em coming!

  4. Eric V. Monday, January 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    I know it's not always practical and maybe it could be a conflict of interest with some of your advertisers, but I would love to see along with the price, a recommended retailer. I try to buy at my local B&Ms but they don't often carry the boutique or limited brands and I have to shop around online. Everyone is looking to save money but also deal with a decent company. Thanks for the great site. Your cigar university was my first stop when I began smoking cigars last year. Very informative!

  5. Mohnish Monday, January 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    I find your reviews to be the most succinct and yet detailed. I appreciate all the hard work you guys put in and look forward to another great year of reviews. To me, the price differs so much from state to state, online & offline, etc. that it doesn't factor much into the review for me. However, even though this is very subjective, I do like to know the smoker's opinion of the body of the cigar. Mild, Medium, Full, Powerful, Headache worthy, warning: must ingest entire steak before lighting….anything is helpful. I also like to see a drink pairing every now and then because it adds another layer to the review.

    Thanks again for being my first stop before purchasing or trying any new cigar. Can't wait to keep reading.


  6. Cigar Seeker Monday, January 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    I like the reviews and the information provided. By way of a suggestion, I would like to see a little summary information box included with the reviews, containing ring gauge, length, pricing, tobacco info, etc. It would be handy to help avoiding having to hunt around the entire review for this information, especially if just 1 or 2 of these facts is being sought.

  7. Swede214 Monday, January 6, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Has been a while since I have left a comment, but I have been reading you guys every day. Have enjoyed all of the comments from all of you. I'm still just enjoying smoking a cigar,still a difficult time tasting the wood, spice, and so on. I do enjoy reading about what you guys say about the cigars, so kept up what you are doing.

  8. Mr. Tux Monday, January 6, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    Im kind of new to you guys but what brought me here were your reviews. The level of detail, the experience, and a little insight help us newbies. I have been smoking cigars for years without understanding the different complexities. To me, it was "I like this one because I think it went good with a scotch." Or, this one because "he bought it" or "it's expensive, it has to be good."
    Now I can honestly say, I am looking for the wood or spice. Or what kind of body this one or that one has. Keep it up, and thanks.