Questions From a Reader…

A reader of the site posed some interesting questions. I asked him if it would be OK to post here, and he graciously agreed. I’ll weigh in with my two cents in a few days and I am curious to see what kind of comments this generates…

Jeff Writes,

I am only 3 months into this cigar smoking hobby/obsession. I want to raise some concerns as regards cigar ratings, and would be interested in what you and your readers think about it.

(1) I’m concerned that these ratings affect sales a lot more than they should. It seems the ratings have too much influence.
(2) I’m concerned that the advertisers and cigar retailers misrepresent the ratings of a given cigar by referring to a rating that is so old that no one knows what has happened to the quality in the subsequent years.
(3) I’m concerned that some retailers imply a cigar has a high rating when it was another size entirely that received the high rating, and not the one they are talking about.
(4) I’m concerned that most of the cigars being offered have ratings that are older than 2-3 years, and are suspect.
(5) Is it good for the industry that one publication in particular has so much influence?

The wine industry has 2 separate competing catalog-length ratings publications* that rate many thousands of wines, but we’re lucky if a cigar is rated once every 5 or 10 years. I’m not talking about the very small subset of the most popular premium cigars that are rated every few years.

There are very few current comparable cigar publications. Most of the cigar books date from the 1990’s, and there are no current comprehensive annual publications that rate cigars. By comprehensive I mean covering say 5000 current cigars, and by current I mean published either every year, or every other year.

This leaves us cigar smokers in the dark. We have no current comprehensive authoritative set of publications to guide us.

What do you and your readers feel about the concerns I have raised? (If this is not the best forum to use to raise these questions, what forums do you recommend?)

Yours truly,
Jeff Cohen