Rate cigars like a pro, you can with this tasting tool. Working with the tool is simple. You can use it on paper or electronically.
How I came to develop this tool
There came a time for me when I got stuck with my cigar notes. Maybe you know this too. I would write down on a piece of paper how I liked the cigar. As time went by, I didn't like it anymore. Because I didn't want to write so much. I searched the Internet for such rating tools. Most of them are very good, but most of them were too complicated or not meaningful enough for me personally. I wanted to complete my knowledge and learn how to rate cigars, like a professional.
I wanted to use something that was quick, easy and meaningful. Then I asked the professionals how they rate their cigars. I found what I was looking for at Davidoff. Their tool is used by the pros: the master blenders and marketing. Very quickly I realized that I could make my own tool out of this tool. I got permission from Davidoff to adapt their tool to my needs.
For some categories I added how the cigar tastes to me on the tongue, retronasal and R+ technique. There are taste differences of the same cigar, how it tastes on the tongue or retronasal. A little later I met with Sam Reuter of Oettinger Davidoff, at my lounge in Liestal. He explained to me meticulously how the professionals evaluate the cigars. Below in the resources on the topic you will find the link to the article with Sam Reuter. The contribution is really recommendable and you will be amazed what the professionals do in addition to evaluate a cigar.
Here is an example how to work with it
You mark the corresponding places with a cross. You rate each category with points between 1 (unusable) and 5 (excellent). Note: In the category "color" I usually give a 5. It is very rare that a wrapper has spots from fermentation. I also usually give the "Strength" category a 5; This does not mean that it is a strength 5/5, because strength is always subjective. The cigar can also have a strength of 3/5, but I still score it 5.
A beginner in cigar enjoyment may rate the strength with 2, because the cigar is subjectively too strong for him. Some time later, when he puffs the same cigar again, the strength no longer seems so blatant to him, and he rates the strength with the score 5.
There are three lines:
Line 1: External impression before lighting
Line 2: General impression after lighting in the first five minutes
Line 3: General impression during the smoke
Add up the points from each row and divide them by the number of categories; to make it simple for you, I've written in the outermost column by which number you have to divide the row. This gives the average score per row. At the end you add up the average scores and divide them by the number "3". Then you have determined a rating for your cigar.
A tip for cigar retailers and online stores
Your customers would be happy if you provide them with this tool. They would certainly be grateful to you, because you would offer them great benefits. Possible applications for you are:
# 1 Print out the Tasting Tool and give it to each customer. There are two QR codes on the PDF: One leads to the download of the PDF and the other leads to the explanation of what retronasal and R+ means and how to use it.
# 2 Also very suitable for your lounge. Your customers are puffing a cigar and want to rate it? Give them this tool. They will find it useful.
# 3 Website / online store: Offer your customers an additional benefit and make the PDF available online for download. The best way is to present the link in one of your menu items, or (and this would be even better for your customers), in each product description.
# 4 Your customers will be grateful to you because you are providing them with a valuable benefit and an added value that costs you nothing (except the paper and printer toner)!
Do you have any questions? Contact me, I will be happy to answer your questions
I am happy that I can provide you with this tool for free. If you have any questions, just ask. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to leave a comment below (you must be registered and logged in to do so). One more hint: Please register at Zigarren.Zone Plus to get such useful articles in the future, I would be very happy about that. You can find the short registration form right below.
~ Vasilij Ratej
Additional tips for this tool
THE LOUNGE - Event in Basel for the 10th anniversary of Zigarren.Zone: Register now and you will receive all information in January 2024 and can also buy your ticket then.
Register for Cigars.Zone GO and get access to exclusive content.