Rating and Scoring

Here at HBTC, we will hold to the K.I.S.S. principal (keep it simple, stupid).  We may add or tweak some elements of our scoring system as time goes on, but when that happens we will let our readers know.  Part of this process will be to continually learn from our experiences, and the comments and suggestions of our readers, so if we identify a change that needs to be made in our evaluation and scoring process, we will strongly consider it.  In all likelihood, the majority of our scores will be within a narrow range.  That range will probably turn out to be roughly 78-93.  The reason for that narrow range boils down to only a couple of key points.  First, if a cigar rating score is worse than 74, we probably won’t take the time to smoke many of those.  Second, if a cigar is above a 93 chances are it is truly exceptional, and those are not as common.  Individual HBTC reviews will only be published after smoking at least two of the subject cigar. Either way, we will be honest and fair when evaluating the entire experience of a cigar and we hope you can get something out of that.  In late 2022, HBTC shifted to a more simplified format for cigar reviews. After a great deal of feedback from readers and some internal discussions, we realized that most people just want the bullet points, not extensive detail. The new format consists of a simple infographic with details about the origin, blend, strength, and price. It also includes a short list of the main flavor an aroma notes. Finally, the overall score from our rating. Simple.

Rating and Scoring System (For Cigars)

  • HBTC will use a 100-point scoring system
    • 96-100 = Phenomenal (How Bout you crawl across a desert, in bare feet, with no water, while being forced to listen to Nickelback on repeat, just so you can buy the last box of these left on planet earth, because it’s just that freaking delicious, and seriously… it makes me feel weird in my giggly places!)
    • 91-95 = Very Good (How Bout a Box)
    • 81-90 = Good (How Bout a 5er)
    • 72-80 = Acceptable (How Bout Try One)
    • 71 or under (How Bout No) 

We will also include the “Point Allowance Differential (PAD)” which will relate to how well the MSRP of the cigar matches the flavor, complexity, presentation, and overall impression and smoking experience.  Example: If a $20 cigar tastes and performs like a $3 cigar, that might be a minus 2 on the PAD. Conversely, if a $3 cigar tastes and performs like a $20 cigar, that might be a plus 2 on the PAD

  • The Accessory Review scoring will also follow the 100-point scale, but with necessary modifications to meet the need of the specific product category.  
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