Each month, a group of experienced cigar smokers participate in tastings of five new cigars. All smoke one of the selected cigars each day, and it is the first cigar of the day. All cigars are paired only with water, and are purchased at the same time from the same vendor. The cigars are stored for at least two weeks in a humidor prior to smoking. Everyone follows strict scoring guidelines. Taste is weighted heavily (50%), followed by construction (10%), draw (10%), burn (10%), and taste evolution (20%). Additional points are awarded for uniqueness or that intangible “wow factor”.
Why a committee?
Cigar reviews are very subjective, and influenced by the smoker’s environment (see When Good Cigars Taste Bad, part 2), personal taste, pairings, and mood. In a committee review, the results are averaged over all participants, providing a better yardstick to measure a cigar’s quality. In addition to a numerical ranking, each review will include tasting notes by each of the committee members. This should help the reader determine if these new cigars are worth purchasing.
Note: As an experiment, moving forward, we will be reviewing one cigar at a time. This will allow us to publish reviews as the cigars are smoked, getting them out sooner rather than waiting for all five reviews to be posted at once.
Warped Serie Gran Reserva GR88 1988 5.25 50
It’s almost like we smoked different cigars in this round of reviews. One rated this cigar a 79 while another gave it an astounding 96. Flavors ranged from grassy to earthy, with notes of dark coffee, sourdough rye bread, and white pepper.
Strength: 6 out of 10
Wrapper: Nic Corojo; Binder: Nic.; Filler: Nic.; Blender: Kyle Gellis; Origin: Nic.; MSRP: $8.10
100-95 = Outstanding
94-90 = Excellent
89-85 = Very Good
84-80 = Average
79-75 = Disappointing
74 (lowest possible score) = Un-smokeable