Who are we?

Cigar Sense is the brainchild of Franca Comparetto, president of Cigar Sense Inc. Franca is certified in both the United States (Tobacconist University CST) and her home country of Italy (CCA Catador). She led tasting and educational events for cigar lovers in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She is also an experienced business manager and has worked for large multi-national corporations. Franca is joined by her husband David Wells, an independent management consultant, computer engineer and lover of fine cigars.  Together they have launched Cigar Sense to help other cigar lovers easily identify –  among the thousands out there – those products which will delight their senses.


Our team of international passionate and experienced smokers does the heavy lifting, rigorously analyzing hundreds of premium cigars to build our database.  Through blind-tests, they describe the mechanical, raw, gustative and overall organoleptic characteristics presented by each cigar at the highest degree of detail.

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Cosimo Attanasi, Italy

  • Panelist at the national Cigar Club Association (CCA)
  • Certified Catador
  • Speaker for the CCA national cigar experts certification program (Catadores)
  • Writer for the national magazine ‘Sigari!’ specializing in vintage Cuban cigars and single malt scotch whisky
  • President of Puromotivo Torino Cigar Club, Italy
  • Lover and collector of single malt scotch whisky

Valerie

Valerie Bradshaw, Canada

  • Smooth Draws Radio Show: Media Director
  • Social Media Maven: @CigarHerf
  • Cigar, Wine & Whisky Assessment Professional
  • WSET Advanced Certified: Wine & Spirits
  • Society of Sensory Professionals – Member
  • Collector of French & German Wine
  • Lover & Collector of Canadian Rye Whisky
  • Cigar Rights of America Life-Time Member & Advocate

Hank C

Hank Catalino, USA

  • Passionate and self-aware smoker of fine cigars for over 20 years
  • Home brewer, honorable mention winner

 


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Franca Comparetto, USA

  • Certified Catador
  • Certified Salesforce Tobacconist (Tobacconist University)
  • Panelist at Cigar Journal
  • Contributor to ‘Live-In Style’ magazine
  • Served as advisor of the Board of the Puromotivo Torino Cigar Club, Italy
  • Served as contributor to the Italian nationwide Cigar Club Association
  • Creator of Cigar Sense

Alban Cordier, France

  • Member of the Tasting Committee of l’Amateur de Cigare
  • Author of the book ‘ID Reflex’ Cigare, Bien Deguster un Cigare’ Franel Editions, 2010
  • Panelist and writer for International Amateur de Cigare

 


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Nicola Di Nunzio, Italy

  • Certified Catador
  • Responsible for the national Cigar Club Association (CCA) panel
  • Member of the Board of the Italian Cigar Club Association (CCA), Treasurer
  • Treasurer and Secretary of  Puromotivo Torino Cigar Club
  • “Massimo De Giovanni – Uomo CCA 2014” award winner
  • Writer and coordinator for the nationwide magazine ‘Sigari!’, specializing in vintage Cuban cigars and related collectible objects
  • Contributor to the Cigar Must‘s blog (Switzerland)
  • Accomplished the Academia Habanos, Curso Junior

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Nick Hammond, United Kingdom

  • Panelist at Cigar Journal
  • Award winning Cigar Writer
  • Trained journalist and writer by trade, specialising in Luxury, Travel, Food, Drinks and The Good Life: Cigar Aficionado, Cigar Journal, FT How To Spend It, Mayfair Magazine, Country Life, Cigar & Spirits and more

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Mike Lindsey, USA

  • Reviewer in regional publications and international forums
  • Cigar Rights of America (CRA) Charter Member and Advocate
  • Senior member and advisor at International Cigar Club and Friend of Habanos
  • Author of a Travelogue of Tobacconists and Cigar Lounges around the World

Marco

Marco Odescalchi, Italy

  • Certified Catador
  • Panelist at the Italian nationwide Cigar Club Association (CCA) panel
  • Speaker for the Italian nationwide CCA cigar experts certification program (Corso Catadores)
  • Founder and Vice-President of the Cigar Club Ambrosiano (Milan, Italy)
  • “Premio Marco Boraschi” award winner 2013

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Martin Odh, Sweden

  • Panelist at Cigar Journal
  • Habanos expert at Cigarrummet, Stockholm
  • Cigar and wine tasting professional
  • Collector of French and Italian wines

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Maurizio Odiardo, Italy

  • Founder of Puromotivo Cigar Club, Torino in 2007
  • Served as President of Puromotivo Cigar Club, Torino
  • Served as Member of the Board at the national Cigar Club Association (CCA) and Head of Sigari! magazine
  • Certified Catador
  • Founder, with Luigi Ferri, of the CCA National Panel
  • Created and in charge of the Art Direction of the CCA National Panel, as well as of other educational publications regarding cigars and related topics.
  • Panelist at the national Cigar Club Association (CCA)

Eric Piras
Eric Piras, China

  • Managing Partner in Beford International Development (interface of the Chinese government for tobacco, for the export of Chinese brands on international markets as well as for the import of international brands into China)
  • Founder of Cigraal Ltd, specialized in the distribution, marketing and promotion of ‘boutique’ cigar brands
  • Former Regional Director for The Pacific Cigar Company, Habanos’ exclusive distributor in Asia-Pacific
  • Former Vice-President International Sales for Altadis

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Rajan Rengasamy, United Arab Emirates

  • Wordwide Habanos Sommelier contest Finalist 3rd place – 2011
  • Winner of 2010 & 2011 Habanos Sommelier Competition – UAE
  • Jury expert for the UAE Habanos Sommelier competition contenders
  • Middle East Sommelier of the year – 2011
  • Winner of the international ‘Sake sommelier of the Year’ contest – 2013

Samuel
Samuel Spurr, Australia

  • Panelist at Cigar Journal
  • Cigar masterclass host
  • Cigar Journal’s Asia-Pacific writer since 2006
  • Previous contributor to RTDA Report, World Tobacco, Australian Bartender Magazine, Drinks Trade (Australia), Lifestyler (Canada)

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Reinhold C. Widmayer, Austria


Anonymous Expert, Germany

  • Freelance tasting and sensory seminar instructor
  • Preparing PhD in Sensory Sciences, with a focus on the human experience
  • Reviews in international cigar forums and Cigar Clan magazine
  • Bachelor’s with high honors as well as Master’s of Science in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis
  • Research on sensory outcomes of viticultural treatments
  • Engineering degree in Viticulture and Enology from a renowned German research Institution, focus on process engineering and sensory sciences. Professional experience at prestigious wineries in Germany and California

 
We sincerely hope you enjoy using our service, and ask that you actively support cigar smokers’ rights wherever you live.