Fuente, Padron, Macanudo.  As you read those names what went through your mind?  Maybe you thought something like “great cigars, good cigars, …ewww yuck” or maybe it was something like “Overrated cigars, Fantastic smokes, …what’s that doing there?”  OK enough beating up on Macanudo. The point I am belaboring to make is that the sight of a brand name or cigar band can instantly color your perception of a particular cigar as can knowing how much it cost.  Do these preconceptions come to bare on cigar reviews?  We’d like to think not.  Do they color my reviews?  I hope not, but I am human just like the rest of you so maybe in some circumstances it does.  I know I am predisposed to like a Tatuaje cigar.  I have enjoyed so many of that brand.  When I smoke one and review it I try not to let that predisposition come into play as I evaluate my overall experience with the smoke.  Am I successful?  I’d like to think so, but I can’t say for certain.  To do so would be arrogant and disingenuous.

Many cigar enthusiasts say the best way to review a cigar is to do so blind.  A blind review is one in which the reviewer doesn’t know what he or she is smoking.  The band is removed prior to the reviewer receiving the cigar so that they can eliminate any of those prejudices that may be invoked by the site of the band and knowledge of the maker. In fact several of the professional reviewers, i.e. Cigar Insider, claim that all the reviews are done blind. (No need to debate these types of claims here).  I was talking with a good friend of mine, who also happens to have his own cigar blog , about this topic and we had an idea.  We have decided to team up for a short series of blind reviews to be published on our sites.I will be working with Jamie of Zen and the Art of the Cigar on this project.  We will each exchange three cigars.  Prior to exchanging the cigars we will remove the bands and relabel them with numbers to hide the identity of the cigars from each other .  I will know what cigars he will be reviewing and he will know which I will be reviewing.  In the end we hope to bring you six relatively bias free reviews.  We may also attempt to identify the cigars we review before revealing their identities to each other . I might take a stab at country of origin, maybe wrapper type, and if I feel I really have a bead on it, I’ll put a name to the cigar as well.  In the end I will probably just end up embarrassing myself with how far off I am with my guesses, but it will be fun to give it a try nonetheless.

Once we begin, we will post our blind review on our respective sites.  The review will of course contain a link to the blind review on the other site.  Once all six cigars have been reviewed we will post a recap of the project revealing the identities of all the cigars along with summaries of the reviews and our guesses about the origin and identity of each cigar. The exchange of cigars has already taken place so be sure to check back often for updates.  The first two reviews will be up later this week.

-Matt

The Reviews:
(Links will be added as reviews are posted)

Advertisements