Cigar Reviews – Objective or Personal?

30 Apr

I recently started doing video cigar reviews. Initially, the job sounded pretty straightforward. Smoke a cigar, give my opinions… That made me stop and think. Should I be giving my personal opinions on cigars, or should I be giving the objective facts on the cigars and let people decide for themselves whether or not they would want to try the cigar?

Sitting with a group of friends at our local cigar lounge, there are certainly some cigars that all of us can agree on. Then there are cigars that everyone will dislike, and one odd person out will say they enjoy. It can be an awkward moment for the person who enjoys the cigar, especially if the group gives them grief for it.

I have been to cigar events, where the manufacturer hands out a sample cigar to encourage people to try their brand. There was one particular event where, as I walked through the crowded cigar lounge, I saw ashtrays full of half-smoked discarded samples. I have to admit, I was one of the people who discarded the cigar less than halfway through. (Note: I tend not to do this anymore, I have begun to smoke all cigars the whole way through to see if the profile develops.) Yet, I have seen many positive reviews for this cigar online and many tweets from people who enjoy this cigar on a regular basis.

I have to believe that at the very least the blender liked something about the flavor profile of the cigar. At the very least, they believed that the blend was good for the price point they wanted to achieve. So there would have to be smokers who would find it an enjoyable cigar, regardless of what my personal opinion of the cigar is. Some flavors are appealing to some folks, while others would find the same flavors undesirable.

All of which led me to realize that while I certainly could share my personal opinion of cigars in my reviews, that was not what I wanted to do. I would much rather share my objective observations of each cigar – what do I taste, how is the draw, etc. – and let each prospective smoker decide whether or not it was a good cigar for them. Once in awhile, if I find a cigar’s flavor profile more offensive, I will mention that it’s not something that I personally enjoy, but that if viewers like the flavors I described they should try it.


Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Cigar Tasting


6 responses to “Cigar Reviews – Objective or Personal?

  1. Mark

    April 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Where are you posting your vids?

  2. Jeff Mouttet

    April 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Nice post, CigarGirl. I’ve found over time that the subjectivity of cigars is one of their best attributes. I can love the profile, you can hate it, somebody else can say “Meh, it’s all right”, and none of us are wrong, we just have differing opinions of the cigar. I’ve discovered that just because I like it, doesn’t mean everybody will, and more importantly, if I don’t like it, that doesn’t mean it’s a “bad” cigar, it’s just one that I don’t like. Enjoy the blog, keep up the good work!

    • CigarGirlFL

      May 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      Thanks, Jeff. And you’re right, it is a great aspect of smoking cigars.

  3. Walter

    May 24, 2011 at 3:49 am

    I am in total agreement with Jeff, and the closing of your article. I believe your plan of approach if a far better way to go about it. Looking forward to checking out your reviews. From time to time, I would love your permission to link to them from my site, if that’s ok.

  4. Cordillo Cigars (@CordilloCigars)

    June 11, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Nice honest write-up.

    I also think that during the years your palette changes a lot. The same cigar during different periods of the day can have a very big difference. Heck even mental state can affect your perception of a cigar. Let alone all the different variables present in processing the base leaves. Even in growing, the variety of one plot in 2009, is not gonna taste the same as the same variety of the same plot in 2010. This includes leaves primed in the same stalk positions and fermented in the same way.

    Luckily we have our perceptions to guide us and there are some neutral things we can judge. (construction, burn, flavor notes,..)

    Try smoking a cigar and drinking and “cleaning” your palette with sparkling soda-water. This is something we do in our tasting sessions at the will be amazed at what you pick up after that!

    Good stuff subscribed!


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