The cigar ratings in Ash Quarterly Magazine are compiled through our Ash Quarterly Rating Club, our spin on the traditional Cigar of the Month Club. For $29.99 a month, including shipping, each subscriber receives 4 premium cigars (plus we donate 1 to Cigars For Warriors) that they get to rate for the magazine. The ratings are scored on a 1-10 scale broken down into 4 categories:
Appearance: The appearance of a cigar is the first thing we notice when browsing. How are the seams? Is there any damage to the cigar? Water spots on the wrapper? Is the band appealing to the eye? All these things matter as we as a people are very visual when it comes to enjoying a product.
Draw: Everyone has a slightly different preference on their draw. However, no one likes a plugged cigar, and a cigar with too loose of a draw will burn significantly faster and hotter which will create a less than pleasant experience.
Construction: This is an easy category to judge. Is the burn uneven? Do you have to constantly touch up the cigar? Do you have to re-light the cigar? Is it tunneling? A lot can go wrong with a cigar, especially being a hand-made product. That is why we personally don't deduct too much for a touch-up here or there when we do our personal ratings.
Taste: This is where everyone is different and the scores tend to vary the most. We all have different taste profiles and preferences, and that is fantastic. This is something that bugs us about the majority of reviews and ratings in the market. Such a focus of the score is put on taste which is the most subjective part of the cigar. This tends to be a lower score than the rest due to the vast range of palates.
Overall: After all ratings are compiled we take an average of each category. Then we take those 4 averages and get an average of that score, giving us our Overall Rating.
It can be a little difficult to gauge how good a rating is on a 10 point scale for some as they've been accustomed to hearing a 93 Rating or a 91 Rating and so on. But have you ever noticed that all those ratings typically fall between 3 or 4 points? With our ratings, you'll see scores anywhere from 7.4 to 9.7 (so far). That's over 20 different rating possibilities. When explaining the scores to people, I like to use the IMDB reference. IMDB is the Internet Movie Database, a fantastic website for everything you would want to know about movies and tv shows. It is also a site where users get to rate movies and tv shows on a 10 point scale. When you get a chance, go on there and look up your favorite movie of all time and see what the rating is. I'm pretty sure you'll be surprised. For instance, the Number 1 movie of all time as voted on by users is The Shawshank Redemption. That movie is rated 9.2 out of 10. Only 4 movies have over a 9.0 rating. With that in mind, anything over a 9.0 is considered absolutely fantastic, nearly perfect, best of best, etc. So far we have had 9 cigars get over a 9.0 rating and they are the following:
Zino Platinum Scepter Series Chubby 9.0
Perdomo 20th Anniversary Epicure 9.0
Southern Draw Jacobs Ladder Toro 9.2
Drew Estate Undercrown Maduro Churchill 9.2
All Saints Cigars Dedicacion Berkley 9.2
Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust #NLMTHA 9.3
Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust Mi Querida Ancho Largo 9.4
Tarazona Caraballo828 Oscuro Pocket Change 9.6
All Saints Cigars St Francis Toro 9.7
Congratulations to all these brands that have received such a phenomenal rating. And a special congratulations to the only two brands to appear on this list twice, Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust and All Saints Cigars! What will be the next cigars to join this list in 2022? Join the Ash Quarterly Rating Club to help determine that and to Have Your Voice Heard!