How are Cigars Rated?

How are Cigars Rated?

In April 2015 Cigar Aficionado had a cigar rating of 91 on one of my favorite cigars. This cigar was the Falto Dos Banderas Lancero. While I was reading the information that Cigar Aficionado had on the Falto Dos Banderas I asked myself a question “How are cigars rated?” Or “What makes up the cigar rating”. So decided to do some research and here is what I found  on how are cigars rated.


91 Cigar Aficionado Cigar Rated

Falto Dos Banderas

Many cigars become very popular because of the rating they receive from industry experts such as cigar Aficionado. Part of this is because people always want to try the best. That is part of the reason why Top 10 or Top 25 lists are very popular at the end of each year. So let us try to unlock “How are Cigars Rated?”

There are many different sites that rate cigars and each has their own variation so we will focus on how Cigar Aficionado rates their cigars.

In the Cigar Aficionado Rating system there is a 100-point system that is broken out into four categories. These categories are Appearance and Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Experience. Let us explain a little more about each category.

Cigar Aficionado’s 100-Point Scale

  • Classic: 95-100
  • Outstanding: 90-94
  • Very good to excellent: 80-89
  • Average to good commercial quality: 70-79
  • Don’t waste your money: 0-69
  1. Appearance and Construction (15 Points)

The appearance and construction portion of this system comes down to really one thing – Is the Cigar well-constructed.  They are looking for a well-made cigar with quality tobacco, that is properly assembled with the proper filling consistency. They do not want to see a cigar that feels too spongy or is to solid. Were there any flaws in the cigar? Remember this is a handmade product.

  1. Flavor (25 Points)

The flavor of a cigar can be objective depending on who is smoking it. I personally have a hard time with this rating and try to keep it simple and ask a few questions for this category. Did I enjoy the flavor of this cigar? Was it Mild, Medium, Full? Did the cigar have many flavors or was it mono flavored throughout the smoke.

  1. Smoking Characteristics (25 Points)

Questions like does this cigar have a tight or loose draw? Did the cigar light evenly? Did the cigar burn evenly? These are all questions that go into rating the smoking characteristics of a cigar.

  1. Overall Experience (35 Points)

For me this it comes down to “Did I enjoy this cigar?” or “How do I feel about this cigar overall?” In any case this is the most subjective category of the 100-point cigar rating. I may not like this type of cigar and give it a lower rating while others may love what this cigar has to offer and give it a higher rating.

When it comes to cigars and “How are Cigars Rated” it is all subjective on that reviewers taste and personal preference. It is good to use the reviews and ratings as a guideline when smoking a cigar but keep an open mind and form your own opinion. One of my favorite lines when people ask what’s your favorite cigar is “The one I am smoking!” We talk more about this in our “Best Cigar” article.



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