Product Excellence Awards 2023

The Cigar Sense Product Excellence Awards recognize cigars for their final quality as measured by trained tasters and as perceived by consumers.

Here follows the list of awarded cigars since we launched the program in 2022:

Product Excellence – cigars awarded in 2023

Matilde Serena Maduro Robusto

Rocky Patel The Edge Connecticut Torpedo

Oscar Valladares Heaven and Hell Oscuro Toro

Flor de Selva Colección Aniversario No. 20 Toro

War Witch Connecticut Corona

Bentley White Robusto

Don Juan Calavera Maduro Toro

Product Excellence – cigars awarded in 2022

K by Karen Berger Maduro Robusto

Artista Buffalo Ten Natural

Alec Bradley Tempus Toro

Villiger La Libertad Corona

Casa Turrent Serie 1901 Robusto

Davidoff Escurio Petit Robusto

Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado


About the Product Excellence Awards program

From the outset, we at Cigar Sense have been focused on assessing cigars in two main dimensions:

  • The overall quality of the cigar, as measured and reported by our trained tasting panel
  • The degree to which each cigar meets each individual user’s personal preferences

We understand that cigar quality is a multi-faceted concept, encompassing both objective measures and end-user personal preferences. That’s why we’ve created a unique awards program that takes both of these factors into account:

  1. Not on the various steps of the production process, but on the final outcome as measured by attributes like the draw, burn, absence of off-flavors and others.  These attributes are relatively objective in the sense that a clean steady burn, for instance, is universally considered good.  In other words, these quality attributes are generally not a matter of personal preference – virtually everyone could agree on what is good and what is not.
  2. Other characteristics, though are matter of personal taste.  Which aromas and flavors each of us likes or dislikes are individual preferences, not universal measures of quality.

Over the years, in order to serve our members, we have always assessed both and used them to tailor our recommendations to match each member’s unique tastes.  Cigars which do not meet our standard for quality are never recommended to anyone – those which do, are recommended to users based on their degree of fit to their own unique preferences.

After years of testing thousands of cigars, we’ve identified some truly exceptional products. Today we are able to reliably measure their consistently high quality and their ability to please the majority of our members thanks to:

  • the descriptive tests by our panel of independent, trained tasters
  • the validated preferences of our growing community of consumer members for whom we have inferred preferences with a consistently high level of accuracy (~90%).

We are very excited to launch our Cigar Sense Product Excellence Award program, in order to give recognition to those cigar companies producing premium cigars that:

  • consistently meet high standards in terms of draw, burn, production consistency, sensory and other key quality indicators, and
  • meet a majority of consumers’ preferences much better than other cigars.

What makes a premium cigar eligible for a Product Excellence Award?

  • any non flavored premium cigar that has not been discontinued or is still widely available, regardless of when it was released on the market(s)
  • multiple cigar samples need to be analyzed through descriptive tests by our trained tasters
  • the Cigar Sense quality index needs to meet our internal threshold
  • the cigar needs to perform better than the other cigars in our database in terms of meeting each individual consumer’s preferences

We only recognize a limited number of cigars each year, therefore we rank the candidates and select them based on the best results as described above.

What is irrelevant for a Product Excellence Award candidate?

The Cigar Sense Product Excellence Awards are offered regardless of:

  • the size of the company, their marketing and sales budget
  • the reputation within the industry
  • mainstream media and influencers opinions
  • how the company built their relationship with Cigar Sense
  • whether samples were provided for the tests
  • any sponsorships or ads purchase – Cigar Sense doesn’t sell sponsorships, cigars nor cigar ads

Cigar companies:

If you own a premium cigar production, make sure Cigar Sense knows how to contact you in case one of your products is eligible for an award.

We would be thrilled to share with you the analysis that led to our recognition.

Cigar consumers:

While these awards do not guarantee that any given consumer will love the cigar, they do provide a reliable indicator of quality and consumer adoption.

If you wish to find out how the Product Excellence Award laureates match your unique preferences, you can log-in or sign-up for free.

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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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