Here are the top things you should know before getting personalized cigar advice.
Firstly, it is very important to get the most objective perspective on cigars. Blind tests by multiple experts are proven to be the most solid basis for this: it allows to balance individual testers preferences and to eliminate personal bias.
In addition, a solid framework needs to be implemented from the beginning. We implemented our method in January 2014, and today, almost one year after, we can leverage approximately over 100 parameters for our algorithm and we have profiled over 1000 cigars so far following this method.
Flavor is typically defined as a combination of aroma and taste / palate perception (mouthfeel). Our method recognizes both of these as crucial factors, this is why our tasting sheets reveal a chart for each of these important characteristics. Our recommendation engine further considers another 30+ characteristics of each cigar compared to each user’s demonstrated preferences (and aversions). We have carefully chosen this set of characteristics, which have shown to be the most reliable predictors of whether a given consumer will enjoy a given cigar.
We believe the most meaningful advice is personalized to a given consumer, hence we don’t publish generic scores or ratings. For instance, you may hate ‘animal’ or ‘vegetable’ and ‘herb’, love ‘fruit’ and ‘nut’ aromas but prefer a ‘savory’ or ‘spicy’ taste to the ‘sweet’ one. Our inference engine learns from you about these likes and dislikes and matches your preferences to cigars in our database. Of course, we don’t only focus on organoleptic qualities or flavors. When our panelists analyze cigars, they go through a very detailed protocol including mechanics and other quality considerations. Beyond the matching characteristics there are dozens of data points that constitute the various ‘bio’ information, which are the objective facts on the cigars as provided by the manufacturers. This is why our database has grown to 150+ attributes for each cigar – and our model keeps evolving.
Also, independence is dear to us. It does not matter how well-known or heavily marketed a brand is, we will recommend it based only on how well it suits the user’s individual preferences.
It is taking more than one year for Cigar Sense to go-live, are you still surprised? We can’t crash the schedule by asking non experts to provide an evaluation. We can’t fast-track either: experts don’t have a lot of time and, besides, when they smoke for Cigar Sense, they can’t just relax and smoke casually with a whisky, as they need to conduct a detailed rigorous analysis of the cigar.
You might ask why are we doing all this work? For passion and to help other cigars lovers like us. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy using Cigar Sense and will give us your feedback, we’d love to hear from you!