After posting the first two reviews we received some questions and feedback. Both are always welcome, and we took the feedback and questions as an opportunity to explain our review method and ask for some changes on the Cigar Profiler form.
We have always liked the graphics from cigarprofiler, so when we decided to review cigars we reached out to them and asked if we could use their graphics. And the answer was yes. However, we did want to use our own scoring that that’s where some of the feedback came from. Because we don’t use the full cigarprofiler rating system, the form gives a big 0 on top instead of the point given by us. That’s one of the things we requested to be changed by cigarprofiler owner Richard.
When we look at the cigarprofiler form, the first few items are pretty clear. The brand, line, and vitola is pretty straight forward, just like the brand owner, factory and country. The only thing that might need a bit of an explanation is ‘brand owner’. For example, if we would review a Nub, Oliva would be mentioned as the brand owner, since Nub is owned by Oliva Cigars. The blend speaks for itself, just like the size. The price is mentioned, in the written review I will mention which country the price is from. Most European countries have a fixed price, so the price mentioned is the price you pay in every shop in that mentioned country. If we mention USD, then we mention the MSRP. When the cigar was introduced, discontinued, the status and reviewer speak for itself too.
And now comes the interesting part, the presentation. Cigarprofiler gives points for the wrapper and ring, ranging from very dry/coarse, dry/coarse, satisfactory, oily/smooth, very oily/smooth. For the band, the options very unattractive, unattractive, satisfactory, attractive, very attractive are available. For the time being, I am leaving these fields empty, as otherwise the cigarprofiler score would be projected on top of the form. And that’s the score we don’t want to use since we have our own system. The start time, finish time and duration don’t need explanation we think.
Next, we have the observations in several flavor groups. Now, this has nothing to do with the intensity of the flavors, it’s just the number of times we tasted something from that flavor group while smoking the cigar. Next to the observations is a column with ‘my profile’. When you register at cigarprofiler, you will fill on your own personal preferences via an excel sheet. That profile will be in the cigarprofiler diagram in a brown line. The observations will be in black, so you can see if the cigar you smoked matches your personal profile.
The final columns are complexity and dynamics, both are calculated from the observations column. The intensity is a pull-down menu again. It goes from very mild, mild, medium, strong to very strong. The construction is divided in the draw, burn and ash, all from a pull-down menu. But as mentioned before, we don’t use those (yet) since we don’t want to use the cigarprofiler score.
How do we score then? First of all, on our sister website cigarguideblog.com (soon to be updated with a fresh new look), we have been using several rating systems over the year and every system had its flaws. So for Ministry of Cigars, we decided on something simple. The flavor has to be the main factor, yet construction and looks needed to be factored in too. We came up with the following rating system:
Flavor first part 20%
Flavor second part 20%
Flavor third part 20%