Cigar Sense Reviews Guide


This Cigar Sense Reviews Guide is intended to explain the objectives and the taxonomy used in our cigar analyses.

Our cigar analyses represent a very simple subset of the 150+ parameters that Cigar Sense considers for each cigar when formulating personalized recommendations. Our overall consolidated analysis data provides descriptions that are detailed enough to evoke the potential sensory experience that you are likely to have when smoking the cigar, while eliminating the subjectivity of our panelists’ experience. In order to do this we need the systematic use of a taxonomy that all our experts agree to and adopt as support to the mental exercise of the cigar analysis.


Cigar anagraphic data on the cigar – we aim to direct the reader to the source. This is why this part in our reviews is very synthetic. We do not tend to reproduce marketing copy. There are some great write ups made by well reputed publishers, who provide manufacturers’ press releases on the cigars as well as the best news from the industry. Our focus is on the sensory aspects of the cigars.


Polar charts: Aromas – they represent a high-level view of the aromas, and their intensity, that you might most likely encounter while smoking the cigar. Two observations:
  • The charts focus on the lit cigar aromas (not on the wrapper and foot prior to lighting the cigar, nor on the raw draw)
  • The charts represents the potential of the palette of aromas that you are likely to find in the cigar.
  • In some cases, where the cigar presents a low level of consistency in its organoleptic performance across the various samples, the palette displayed in the chart might be wide. This is why our chart does not necessarily give a glimpse to the complexity of the cigar. We therefore recommend that you look at the complexity indicator in the cigar analysis table in addition to reading the chart.

Polar charts: Tastes (and palate perceptions) – This chart combines tastes (bitter, salty, savory, sour and sweet) to the additional key palate perceptions (spicy, creamy/oily, dry/tannic) that are most frequently found in the tasting of cigars.

Nicotine Strength – we measure it based on the classic 5 levels: light, med-light, medium, med-strong and strong.
Overall Aroma Register – the predominant aroma encountered during the multiple blind taste-tests we perform
After Smoke Aroma – this is not the “finish” after a puff while your cigar is still lit, it is the aroma that persists in your nose after your cigar is out
Organoleptic Richness – it is the convergence of key attributes such as aromas, palate perceptions, complexity, evolution and nicotine strength
Complexity – it is the horizontal dimension provided by the proportion, the variety and the quality of the various components of the aromatic palette along with the taste/palate perceptions. You can read our full article on complexity.
Evolution – in theory, and in short, it is a time dimension, representing the changes of the cigar characteristics as the tasting of the cigar progresses. See also our article on the evolution of a cigar as you smoke it.
Persistence – it is the duration of the aromatic and palate sensations after the cigar has been smoked. The longer the positive sensations persist, the better the experience is.
Smoke Duration – you will see that we tend to smoke slowly when we taste-test the cigars and we encourage you to smoke slowly too. This is the only way to truly enjoy the cigar and limit health impacts.
Shape – we observe the manufacturer preferred naming convention for the shape. Our members can search the analyzed cigars based on gauge (diameter) range and length range, reflecting a classification Cigar Sense has made with the purpose of simplifying the search.
Length – it is expressed in inches
Gauge – it is the measure of the diameter of the cigar, expressed in 1/64 of an inch
Country of Origin – the country where the cigar is manufactured
Wrapper Origin – the country where the wrapper leaf has been produced
Wrapper Type – it is simply “natural” or “dark”. Dark wrappers typically relate to maduro’s or oscuro’s, but can also be dyed wrappers. In fact, there are many processes used to get to a wrapper result that is marketed as maduro/oscuro. The detailed wrapper color classifications (eg claro, colorado claro, etc) coming from our analyses are aggregated to offer this very simple selection to help our members. Our focus is on matching cigars to consumer personal preferences. We are not aiming to provide a search engine based on pure anagraphic cigar data, nor we are qualified or entitled to review/certify the manufacturers processes.
Price Range – it usually corresponds to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Value for Price – this is the average value of all the outputs from each panelist based on their prior raw, gustative, organoleptic, mechanical and conclusive considerations. Our panelists get to see the price range for the cigar they evaluate in the final page of their online analysis form.

We may sometimes provide some beverage pairing suggestions. Of course this doesn’t rule out other pairing possibilities, which are extremely wide in variety and based on personal taste. To learn more, we invite you to read our article on pairing cigars with beverages.

Since 2017 we also may provide in our published analyses some indications about how the cigar fits our members. This is displayed in median fit % and is compared to the median fit % for all cigars in our database. The higher the median fit % of the analyzed cigar, the better the cigar performance is across our members at worldwide level. This serves as a prediction of the success of the cigar among consumers based on their personal preferences.

We don’t score cigars, we rank them based on how they fit our members’ unique personal tastes. We also support manufacturers with analytics for their strategic product planning exercises.

Cigar Sense predicts which cigars best fit your personal taste. We are committed to preserve the highest objectivity, integrity and independence in the creation and dissemination of our analyses and industry analytics. This is why we do not sell cigars, nor cigar ads.

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