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jhuggett

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I see a lot of hype around cigar ratings. "An astonishing 93 by Cigar Aficionado!" "Receives continuous ratings in the 90's"

My question is, does the rating system take price into account? If not why would anyone buy a 30 dollar stick that is rated 86 when you can buy a 2 dollar stick that is rated 92? I understand ratings are subjective but you can see what I mean I'm sure.
 

puros_bran

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They aren't supposed to.

The reason some smoke 30 buck a stick smokes instead of 2 buck chuck is the same reason we look at the guy in the 8 series Beamer different than we do the guy in the Honda Accord.

We rant and rave about it, its not right, its usually not even true to the person, but image is everything.
 

frankluke

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the cigar aficionado ratings are a joke! most cigar vets feel that way, so do i.. just look at they're annual top 25 list. it's all money driven, same guys each year are at the top cause they have big advertising contracts in the magazine.

oh, and to answer your question they do take price into there consideration, i don't know the exact formula thats used but it doesn't matter.
 

jhuggett

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I did a quick Google and found this...
Cigar rating system developed by CIGAR AFICIONADO™
(This text is from The Cigar Lover's Diary)


There are four components used in the system developed by CIGAR AFICIONADO™ for assigning a rating number to a cigar:

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.

FLAVOR
(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.
It doesn't say anything about cost specifically but "Overall Impression" may take it into account.
 

puros_bran

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OK. I defer to the Honerable Congressman from Mass-a-two-sets.

Seems like I read they weren't but it wouldn't be the first time I have been wrong.
I still hold to my reason why a bunch of folk smoke em. of the 'super premiums' there are less than a handful that are worth it IMO. 'Sides for way less than 30 bucks per you can get the real deal from south east of mobile lucille.
 

Python

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When I rate cigars for myself to see which ones I will continue to buy I give I use the following order of importance.

1) Flavor - This is the most important factor for me. If it doesn't taste good I could give a crap about how it looks and burns.

2) Construction - I really hate it if the wrapper unravels.

3) Burn - It is always nice to have a good burn to make the smoke more enjoyable but, I will deal with having to touch up a stick (if it is not ridiculously bad) if it taste really good.

4) Cost - I take cost into account to depend if it will be a frequent smoke or a once in a while smoke.

5) Appearance - I don't place a lot of weight on the appearance. If it taste good, stays together, and burns well (or sometimes not so well :)) I could care less what it looks like for the most part. It is all going to be turned into ash anyway :lol:.

This is what works for me, as always, YMMV.
 

Puff Daddy

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All I know is, those rating have little to do with whether or not I like a cigar, they're really all over the board and my taste certainly doesn't line up with their ratings. The ratings are pretty useless to me. They seem to be a mix of marketing and positioning with the occasional bit of honesty thrown in to keep things lively. For opinions that seem to ring a whole lot truer to my tastes, I listen to the Dog Watch Social Club podcast, those guys will bash a high dollar stick in the blink of an eye if it isn't a great cigar and will also weed out the $6 smokes that taste like $1 smokes as well as let you in on $2 smokes that smoke better than $10 smokes. They're really honest and I find that their reviews are much more useful than the print mags.
 

luckydogguy

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I don't know if I always agree with Cigar Aficianado but I seem to think they don't play favorites when it comes to ratings. Here's my case: In the April of 08 issue they rate a:

CAO Gold as 88. MSRP $4.50

CAO America as 85. MSRP $14.50

I think if they where biased they would give the higher priced cigar a higher rating.

A Davidoff Aniversario no.1 rated 86 MSRP $33.60 I huge blow to such a well respected brand!

Then they rate a Hoyo de Tradicion. Rated a 90. MSRP $4.50



As I look through the magizine I do see a lot of advertisements for cigars that have recieved high ratings. Ex. Ashton and Fuente. But I also see advertisements for cigars that have recieved low ratings Ex. Gurkha.

I also see an OPUS X rated a mere 86!

That's would seem to support the case that C.A. doesn't rated based on advertisement sales.



All that said... I don't hold their ratings in high esteem because it is so subjective. But I will use them as a general guide just as I do when I ask other smokers what they think of a particular cigar.

that's just my .02! :D


Thanks,
Lucky
 

docwatson

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Good afternoon All,
Reading this thread I would like to echo Python's comments exactly. The one and most important quality that I look for in a good smoke is first of all TASTE.
I haven't read CI in years, now much preferring to read Cigar Magazine. For my personal views the articles/advertising are more along the lines of my affordability, they are very informative concerning tobacco farming, production, manufacture and it's a read that I totally enjoy.
I guess the bottom line for me is the best cigar (taste) for the least amount of cost.
Andy
 

Davey

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Well said guys.
Some of my favs are poorly rated. For example:

Dutchmaster Select Reserve rating:23
Phillie Sweets ( Corona Grande-very rare) rating:39
White Owl Grand Reserve- rating: :29


...and one of most cherished:

Swisher Sweets Cran Cru Reserva Royale Cameroon-rating: 4

A four!!!! can you believe that....the system is rigged I tell ya'!











Davey the Humerous
 

Mikem

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Davey, didn't Dutch Master or White Owl have a Churchill sized Natural that came in glass tubes back in the mid-eighties. When I was overseas and would come back to the States a friend of mine would have me pick up as many boxes as I could. They were a great tasting cigar.
 

docwatson

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Ahh Yes MD,
And do you recall the El Producto Queens which were glass tubed?? Back in the 60's !!!! they were priced at 25 cents, and they were the most expensive cigar that we sold in the Deli where I worked way back then.
Imagine a Deli with a humidor. Well we did have one and sold many cigars, Optimo, Gold Label, etc. and the most expensive quality pipe tobacco was Amphora brown at 35 cents a pouch. :D
 

innovador

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I dont believe in CA rating system or any other ranking system for that matter. I dont believe a cigar vitola can consistently deliver the same satisfaction everytime. It usually the satisfaction you get for some kind of cigar would completely vary even for cigars in the same box. So, you would always have to make your mind on your own.

I believe the best way to pick a cigar is to go to a qualified tobacco shop and then sample the cigars by smelling them and feeling with your fingers. If you like it just for checking the surface and the aroma, you would have something like a 50% chance that you would actually be satisfied with that particular smoke. I believe that chance is higher than just buy your stoogies based on other people reviews.

 

alfredo_buscatti

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My rating system is myself, but I do notice when a cigar is rated highly, by any of the news organs having cigar expertise.

While there are are cigars in the $5-$10 price range that I thoroughly enjoy, my favorites cost more. They are:

Padron Anniversary 1926
Ashton VSG
Arturo Fuente Don Carlos and Anejo
Liga Privada T52

 

Boxerbuddy

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The best way imo to get an honest opinion on cigars that you haven't smoked yet is to get to know your local cigar shop owner, let him know what your tastes are, and have him suggest cigars for you to try.
I go to a great little place about a mile from where I live where I know the proprietor well. He's got a little octagonal table in the middle of the room where guys come in and out, sit down, smoke, and shoot the shit.
Not only do you get suggestions from the shop owner, but also from the group of guys you will invariably get to know.
When he gets something new in he thinks I might like he tells me when I walk in

As far as magazine ratings are concerned, I suspect that certain brands are treated favorably according to how much money they spend in advertising etc....
Case in point...in 2008 Casa Magna colorado won cigar of the year in cigar afficionado. Wait what? While it is a decent cigar there were sooooo many cigars that had better quality leaf, roll, smoking characteristics and taste(taste is subjective however).

So yeah...the tobacconist is the best place for honest cigar reccomendations.
 

Fallout

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The CA rating system has always been suspect. I have been a member of that board for a long time, and we used to joke about their ratings. It seemed to me, and others on the board, that what ever got high ratings (CC's not included) also happened to be a particular cigar that was being advertised in the magazine at that time. Coincidence? maybe or maybe not. Do ratings equal money spent for advertising ? hmmm....
I've always smoked cigars based on the reviews of my fellow posters. And I've found that I've rarely been steered wrong.
 
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