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One of the reasons I enjoy Vid reviews with ken is that he has little lure of expectation. On the rare occasions I bring a cigar of "note" he has often not smoked it prior....and he can be brutal.

When you receive a cigar of 'note" how do you tamper your expectation of a great experience? Do you?

I am too ugly and old enough to worry about expectation.....and yet I am sure to mark a cigar down because of an inability to meet 'expectation" be it price point or Marque prestige.

To you. Yes you in your experience....when have you splurged on a cigar and it either comes up short in expectation...or come up trumps...and i mean 'brilliant" how much has the band or prior reading (reviews anywhere) played a part.

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I will let you know...

There is a Dunhill 1979 Mojito and a Davidoff Chateau Yquem in the humidor awaiting the flame.

I fully expect disappointment from both, but you just never know.

The Partagas Gran Reserva, I just smoked as yet another EL without any expectation and it truly was outstanding...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I think it's really difficult to eliminate unintentional subconscious bias. I believe that many people who consider themselves "objective" still fail to realize that rationalization, self-serving bias,and cognitive dissonance still make them vulnerable to influence.

Before I tried a Behike 52 for the first time, I must have looked through a few dozen positive reviews. Perhaps it made me rate the cigar a little higher than I would have if i went into it blind. But in the end, did it really matter? I WANT a positive relaxing experience with every cigar. I pair my cigar with various drinks to enhance the experience. Why not pair my cigar with a good review to do the same? ?

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I think its impossible to completely avoid being affected by expectation - I generally try to avoid by not making plans for the cigar.

I picked up a single ERDM Vikingos in a shop in Lithuania last year, it was the very last one in the shop and seems to be very HTF, but I didn't set it aside for a 'special occassion'; I basically just put it in my humidor and left it until the fancy took me to smoke it, which happens to have been last week (for the record it was a great smoke!) :D

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I think everyone is always chasing that white whale cigar. If someone says they had one of those moments then most of us will take a chance with what they smoked to see if we can get in on the action.

I bet lots of people have gone searching for some partagas GR since the vid review for example.

I spent a while over the last few years chasing down old RyJ, pre blend change to see if I could taste the mythical "old RyJ" older guys speak of before it was gone forever. A few of the cigars were excellent, some were big let downs, some didn't beat recent exhibition #4 production.

I think it's a process all of us go through on our cigar journey. Maybe the more times you have been let down, the less your expectations and "white whale urge" is.

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A pair a vintage Cuban Davidoffs that I bought a couple of years ago. Smoked them with a mate who's an occasional cigar smoker, and we both agreed that they were quite nasty; far from having faded (as most have by now, from what I read), it was quite offensively strong and unpleasant and left me with painful spot on my tongue (an experience totally redeemed by the two tiny Don Candidos that I got at the same time which were even better than I had hoped...).

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An Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Gran Aniverxario. The back story the rareity allured me to it. It is what has driven me to smoking mostly cc. That thing was truely a perfectly constructed piece of dog crap. Was beautiful but smoked like old wet moldy raisin. One of the worst cigars in my life especially with the price they carry.

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I think it's really difficult to eliminate unintentional subconscious bias. I believe that many people who consider themselves "objective" still fail to realize that rationalization, self-serving bias,and cognitive dissonance still make them vulnerable to influence.

I think its impossible to completely avoid being affected by expectation

Right there.

  1. as adults, we bring a lifetime of lived experience and the expectations that come from it that can be understood but not zeroed-out
  2. aside from a double-blind test, which is the gold standard of evaluative methods yet roundly denounced for reasons other than its power and validity, there is no way to objectively control for those expectations
  3. you can, however, attempt to set balancing counter-expectations

Humans don't like to be disappointed. We will protect our own psyches and sense of self. Moreover, we don't want to be responsible for disappointing ourselves. Having spent several hundred dollars on a single "once in a lifetime" cigar, you can be darn sure that our base impulse will be to shape the experience into one that is as positive as can be, even in the face of ample evidence to the contrary.

But the other way to look at your question, Rob, is to approach it from the aspect of honesty to oneself in the pursuit of pleasure. It has often been said that if you enjoy it, that's all that should matter. From that perspective, expectations can heighten pleasure. In this case, wouldn't self delusion be a desirable state?

Wilkey

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For me when the La Flor de Cano Regionals hit the market. There was always this mystic about the Short Churchill and Diadema. Plus I always wanted to try a longfiller La Flor de Cano. So when the Short Robusto came out I was dying to try it. And it delivered. Same with the Grandiosos and Gran Cano. Great cigars which makes me wonder why there are no longfiller La Flor de Cano in the regular portfolio.

Same with Quintero. I am lucky to have smoked a Quintero Churchills. And boy what a great cigar this was. Here again I wish that there would be more longfiller Quintero cigars available. The Regional series would be a good place for longfiller Quinteros in my mind at least.

regards

Lars

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Noob here...I picked up a couple sticks each of some double band cigars at a Canadian bnm (RA Petit Unico RE Canada, Bolivar LE 2009, and RA EL 2011) with no idea what to expect, just that i thought they would blow my mind due to price point and them not being regular prod stuff...well I brought them out on my 30th last month and I'm not sure if its due to my inexperienced palate but i did not enjoy them as much as I thought I would. It's likely due to the fact I am really enjoying the profiles I taste in the small selection of reg-production sticks I keep, and whenever I try a double band special smoke my expectations never leave room for the possibility that I might not actually like the profile (strictly speaking) and would rather blame my lack of enjoyment on anything else.

I got all excited based on the hype around these non-regular production smokes but by the end of the night I quickly reached for an SLR Regios to give me some satisfaction that I was looking for. That being said I have some Punch Black Princes that I really loved that were hyped up to me the bnm owner and am saving the rest for special days lol.

The only one that I hyped up myself to give it a try the first time I visited Cuba was the Behike 52 as I can't lay down 70$ for a single here knowing its cheaper in the Motherland. I had been noting its outrageous price in the bnm's here and when I finally lit one up bought from an LCDH in Varadero I was beyond amazed, keeping in mind I didn’t quite know what to look for or expect at the time as it was my first real cigar that was expensive...I just know it was delish!

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For me when the La Flor de Cano Regionals hit the market. There was always this mystic about the Short Churchill and Diadema. Plus I always wanted to try a longfiller La Flor de Cano. So when the Short Robusto came out I was dying to try it. And it delivered. Same with the Grandiosos and Gran Cano. Great cigars which makes me wonder why there are no longfiller La Flor de Cano in the regular portfolio.

Same with Quintero. I am lucky to have smoked a Quintero Churchills. And boy what a great cigar this was. Here again I wish that there would be more longfiller Quintero cigars available. The Regional series would be a good place for longfiller Quinteros in my mind at least.

regards

Lars

I remember the first time I saw the LFDC short robustos in person, I had written them off months earlier for being over priced and a stupid size. I saw them in the shop and still thought the same but decided to pick up 2 singles just to review.

From zero expectations I was met with possibly the most consistently amazing cigars i have ever smoked, the store had shut over the weekend so I had to wait on tenterhooks for 2 days until Monday morning when I could run in, throw a handful of cash at the bewildered wines tore cashier and run out giggling with the half-box!

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For me, I was really disappointed in the Cohiba Esplendidos that I smoked a few weeks ago. It was my first Esplendido, but not my first Cohiba. With its name/price tag, it just didn't go where I thought it would. I felt cheated when I finished it, didn't have any "wow" factor through the entire cigar. An experience like that makes me want to spend my money on something else.

On the other hand, last night I smoked an H Upmann 2009 LE and thought it was one of the best cigars I've ever smoked...rich, sweet tobacco, tons of chocolate notes...nubbed it!

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Interesting topic.

Ah those darn expectations..it all plays a part the positive video reviews, the cigar board hype and chatter, the price of the cigar.

Yes, you bet if I pay $150 a stick for a CGR it better damn well be great...

I find myself regularly being pleasntly surprised by say a $10 Boli Gold medal versus the uber premium sticks that for me mostly do not live up to the hype.

As a wise man once said "The key to a happy life is to keeps ones expectations low"

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Call me old fashion but the more I pay for something the more I expect out of it. I know this isn't always the case, people from other countries are usually shocked when I tell them price has no bearing on quality with wines from California......but it should. Only here can you pay $125 for a bottle of green beans. At least with cigars all the prices come from one company.....to start with.

Over 40+ years I've gone from being shocked when a cigar wasn't fantastic to being shocked when a cigar is.

Maybe because cigars weren't expensive when I started smoking, if I pay for an upper end cigar now and it doesn't deliver I'm very disappointed.

A recent cigar that hasn't lived up to my expectations is the SLR Pacificos, a very creamy smoke with no flavor. On the flip side, JL #4's, way more than expected.

I know CC's are a crap shoot now, I just hate throwing snake eyes.

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An Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Gran Aniverxario. The back story the rareity allured me to it. It is what has driven me to smoking mostly cc. That thing was truely a perfectly constructed piece of dog crap. Was beautiful but smoked like old wet moldy raisin. One of the worst cigars in my life especially with the price they carry.

I've never smoked an old wet moldy raisin :) but I did set my expectations pretty high with my first Behikes, but believe the 52 was an exceptional smoke even though I set myself up to love it or go back to Acids since I clearly couldn't appreciate a fine cigar

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I have experienced both ends of this phenomena.

My first Cuban cigar was a Partagas short I had huge expectations. It was a magical little cigar and made me fall in love with CC instantly.

My second Cuban cigar was a Behike 52, while it was very good it did not live up to the experience that the short gave me.

My first Monte 2: High expectations -magical

My first Edmundo Dantes 54: High expectations, it was OK. I smoked it the day I got it, I couldn't let them rest. It is a good thing I still have 25 more.

My first Bolivar Especiales no 2 Germany RE: I had high expectations-97 points

Fresh Monte Especiales no 1: low expectations, and it was phenomenal.

Monte 520: very low expectations because I had a couple bad ones, and then one was 98 points. (4 out of five were trash)

My first Mons: I bought three to smoke while in Cuba, I left with 51.

I have a couple CGR singles that I have been waiting to smoke for a long time and I hope they live up to my expectations. I also have 2 boxes of PGR coming that I expect a lot out of after the video review.

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Currently enjoying some PLPC after hearing great things. For the price, they are well above expectation.

That being said, had a couple of very rough Lusitanias recently. Was very disappointed, given how much everyone raves about them.

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I like Capt. Quint's description of that "White Whale of a Cigar" we're all in search of...! I had acquired in a three pack sampler the Montecristo No.2 Gran Reserva, so I had a chance to properly sample more than one. And I have to say I enjoyed the regular production No.2's much more in comparison to the Gran Reserva. Despite the price and so on I'm never regretful about satisfying my curiosity. And I did manage to acquire two Cuban Davidoff's back in the late '90's. They truly were wonderful just as the descriptions of Habanas of old (as they've sometimes been described as being akin to a vanilla milk shake in flavor). I haven't been impressed with the Fuente Fuente Opus X's yet despite numerous tries, but was duly impressed with the Don Carlos. I expect the powers that be will continually pump out new possibilities, particularly in the NC department. Does LCDH really have to in order to prove anything?

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