The crew at Stogie Fresh regularly gets together
and smokes some stogies. Besides that, we have taken on the responsibility
of telling the world about our personal OPINION of
cigars. Of course, ever the scientists, we are tallying our scores
as a way of informing our readers about the quality of the cigars
and the benefits of aging.
The most recent reviews are found on our Stogie Fresh Cigar
Journal. After that, they are stored and available in our online
Cigar Review Directory
to Stogie Fresh Cigar
The Cigar Review Directory is a searchable online database
that stores all of our past reviews.
Visit the Cigar Review Directory>>>
NOTE: For more reading...
reviews" really tell us?>>
of an effective cigar review>>
The Stogie Fresh Reviewing System
First of all, we purchase our own cigars most of the time. This
is quite a commitment since our review cycle requires a minimum
of 8-10 cigars. We usually purchase between a dozen and a box,
at our own discretion, to do a review cycle. The reason for purchasing
so many will become apparent as you read the process for our review
cycle below. In those cases where we receive samples from a cigar
company or retailer, we make that clear in the review itself by
indicating that we received the cigars for review.
One of the most important aspects of our reviewing
system, is that we review and rate each
cigar multiple times over the course of 15-18 months. We usually
smoke a minimum of 10-12 cigars in the same batch and review the
cigar a minimum of 4 times during a typical review cycle. After
receiving a batch of cigars, we smoke one right away, just to get
a "feel" for
the tobacco. Then we wait anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 months
to conduct our first review. After the first revew, we will review
cigars from that SAME BATCH again in 3 month intervals for the
first three reviews, and then a final review, which is done 6 months
after the third review. During the review cycle, we will smoke
even more of the cigars from the same batch, just to keep our notes
current and see how the cigars are progressing. This is the most
rigorous reviewing system in the industry and the only one that
is designed to analyze the consistency of cigars
and their true
potential for successful aging.
Our tasting notes are very extensive and detailed. They are designed
to give the reader the "story behind the cigar," as well as a detailed
description of its flavor profile and burn characteristics. We
also give each cigar a numerical rating, but this is only so that
we have a basis for comparing the cigars over time. We do not use
ratings to determine the "goodness" or "badness" of a cigar, only
to compare its relative characteristics over time (see below, "How
we rate cigars").
How we rate cigars
- LOOK AND FEEL: a great deal of enjoyment can
be had from simply looking at a cigar. Is the wrapper oozing
oils that make it look
good enough to eat? Is the wrapper smooth, with tiny veins? Is
it mottled in appearance with big chunky veins? Are there bumps,
lumps and other markings? What about feel? Mushy, soft, supple
or rock hard?
- FLAVOR AND
AROMA: Flavor is always subjective, but we tell you
what we like and dislike about the flavors and why. Is the
cigar harsh, bitter, spicy, or bland? Does the character of
the cigar change as you smoke it? Also, how does the cigar
smell? Not just the smoke, but the wrapper too.
- BURN: A good cigar should not be difficult to keep
lit or have too tight a draw. It should burn consistently,
throwing an ash
that that sticks together. The edges of the burning end should
resemble a thin dark line and should not be thick and bubbled,
which shows improper aging of the tobacco.
- OVERALL SCORE = LOOK AND FEEL(.15)
+ FLAVOR AND AROMA(.50) + BURN(.35) [NOTE: We weight flavor and
burn aspects higher than the appearance of the cigar.]
STANDARDS: We use a 50-100 point scale.
51 - 69 = POOR
70 - 79 = MEDIOCRE – AVERAGE
80 - 89 = ABOVE AVERAGE – GOOD
90 - 100 = EXCELLENT (A FINE STOGIE!)
- DATE OF PURCHASE: This gives a starting point for aging outside
of the retailer's humidor.
- DATE OF RATING: When
compared with the Date of Purchase, this gives us the extra
time that the cigar was laid
- CONDITIONS OF STORAGE: A description of
the type of humidor, average temperature and humidity
and other relevant conditions
- AGING POTENTIAL SCORE: After the fourth review in the series,
we give our prediction of how long this cigar will successfully
Now check out our rating
criteria for accessories. This is the
last section before our Cigar Journal.