Why is there a 100 point rating scale for cigars?


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Ok, so now I'm gonna ask some dumbass questions, why are cigars rated on a 100 point scale?  My reason for the question is I seriously want to know how individual raters come up with a cigar being a 92 or a 93 for example and why is it arguable if some else says the same cigar is a 90? 

Are you raters just keeping a mental tally of where each cigar falls in a master list in your own memory?  Or is there really a distinct way you come up with a number and what is it?

Also, it seems that almost every rating I've ever seen puts a cigar between 80-100....so is it really a 20 point scale? 

I totally get it if the guy selling cigars ranks them this way since he'd never sell a cigar that's rated a 15 out of 100 but might be able to off a bunch of 82s at the right price, so if marketing is the answer, I understand.  If there's another answer, I'm all ears.

Thanks

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My scale goes to 11 . . .

@Cigar Surgeon hates the 100 point scale and uses a 10 point scale with decimals  Why you gotta pick on me?  

I think that's called a 10 point scale 

I use a 5 point scale, sometimes with half points myself.

But yes to me the 100 point scale is just a 10 or 20 point scale, with the advantage that the points from 87-97 do get used a lot. I think if you applied the same method to an actual 10 or 20 point scale you'd have less 0-2 pt cigars than you'd have 87-89pt cigars on the 100 pt scale.

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I think the 100 point scale (which was adopted from Wine Spectator through Cigar Aficionado) is really a 15-point scale. 

An 85 point cigar is pretty bad IMO. That is effectively a zero score for me. A 100 is perfect--i.e. a 15-point scale. 

Got me wondering what the lowest-scored cigar CA ever rated...anyone?

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Just now, NSXCIGAR said:

So it's really a 31-point scale.

Like they thoughtfully and carefully decided it was better than a 68, but worse than a 70.

Exactly, that's my problem with it. I can clearly see the difference between what I consider 1/5 and 2/5. But what am I supposed to do with 25/100 vs 30/100 vs 35/100, let alone the single points in between. How good do you have to be at judging lousy cigars 😂

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I think the user on this forum that does the 1/0 binary scale has it right - it could boil down to a simple "would I smoke this again or not?'

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2 minutes ago, Silverstix said:

I think the user on this forum that does the 1/0 binary scale has it right - it could boil down to a simple "would I smoke this again or not?'

I think the minimum number of points I could work with would be 0/1/2. Most cigars would be 1, some lousy ones 0, some amazing ones 2. That's basically what I do with the 5 point scale, except I make a distinction between 1/2, which would be the equivalent of 0, and 3/4. which would be the equivalent of 1, and 5 is the equivalent of 2.

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3 minutes ago, Bijan said:

I think the minimum number of points I could work with would be 0/1/2. Most cigars would be 1, some lousy ones 0, some amazing ones 2. That's basically what I do with the 5 point scale, except I make a distinction between 1/2, which would be the equivalent of 0, and 3/4. which would be the equivalent of 1, and 5 is the equivalent of 2.

Do you think you could simplify it if you had to and say "would I smoke this again?"  That's what I've been trying to do, so many of my cigars were rating between 88-92 that it felt like I was performing mental masturbation with my rating of cigars.  I've been trying to simplify it for myself 

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While I kinda defaulted to a 100-point scale for most ratings, I actually use a different one for CC that are either under 1 year old, or haven't been rested for at least 90 days. For those reviews I utilize what is technically a 4-point system from 0 to +++. Zero meaning it's so crap there's no hope, or one to three "+" to reflect the experience but more importantly the potential.

If a young or unrested cigar would otherwise score 95+, I'll use the regular scale. But that's so rare I think it's maybe happened once. 

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3 hours ago, Bijan said:

I use a 5 point scale, sometimes with half points myself.

But yes to me the 100 point scale is just a 10 or 20 point scale, with the advantage that the points from 87-97 do get used a lot. I think if you applied the same method to an actual 10 or 20 point scale you'd have less 0-2 pt cigars than you'd have 87-89pt cigars on the 100 pt scale.

Saying that because we generally only use the numbers say 80-100 in a 100 point scale means that it is equivalent to a 20 point scale is a bit misleading. Looking at it from a purely mathematical standpoint, it is not. 18/20 is equivalent to 90/100. 19/20 is equivalent to 95/100. There is an additional resolution of 4 points in-between to differentiate quality that are lacking in a 0-20 point scale unless you use decimals.

However, I have to ponder on what a lot of people here are really saying. Do we really need that extra resolution for scoring a cigar, at the cost of having a mostly redundant lower end of the scale? After all, if a cigar is an un-smokable dog rocket, who really cares if it is given a rating of 20, 50 or even 70 points?

To me an ideal, but maybe impractical scoring system would be to place the cigar somewhere on an asymptotic curve. One that rises steeply from dog-rocket to smokable, then flattens out at the top to give the resolution required at the higher end of the scale. The other advantage of this scale is that, by definition, it never actually gets to 100% perfection, which always leaves room for something better! This would probably be closer to how we rate cigars in reality, and in fact how we kind of do it already with the imperfect 0-100 point scale currently used.

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31 minutes ago, Silverstix said:

Do you think you could simplify it if you had to and say "would I smoke this again?"  That's what I've been trying to do, so many of my cigars were rating between 88-92 that it felt like I was performing mental masturbation with my rating of cigars.  I've been trying to simplify it for myself 

I don't have terrible luck with cigars that often. If I used that system I'd say yes/1 90% of the time. I'm really interested in avoiding the bottom 5% that are 0s, and even more interested in increasing the share of the top 5% 5/5 cigars which would be 2.

If I had to do 0/1 I wouldn't do it based on whether I'd smoke the cigar again, I'd probably do it based on whether it was an absolutely amazing cigar or not. And 95%+ of cigars would be a 0, and 5% or less would be a 1. It would be a workable system, and would be better at tracking what I'm most interested in. But it still seems weird to either lump in amazing cigars with pretty good cigars, or conversely lump in unsmokeable cigars with average cigars.

Edit: You might want to try the 5 point system. I usually use that. Generally most stuff is 3-4, and amazing stuff is 5. Bad cigars are 1-2. I don't really use 0, so I guess it's the same as 0/4.

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37 minutes ago, PapaDisco said:

My scale goes to 11 . . .

 

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3 hours ago, PapaDisco said:

My scale goes to 11 . . .

So of course it’s louder, I mean, it goes to eleven

2 hours ago, Bijan said:

I don't have terrible luck with cigars that often. If I used that system I'd say yes/1 90% of the time. I'm really interested in avoiding the bottom 5% that are 0s, and even more interested in increasing the share of the top 5% 5/5 cigars which would be 2.

If I had to do 0/1 I wouldn't do it based on whether I'd smoke the cigar again, I'd probably do it based on whether it was an absolutely amazing cigar or not. And 95%+ of cigars would be a 0, and 5% or less would be a 1. It would be a workable system, and would be better at tracking what I'm most interested in. But it still seems weird to either lump in amazing cigars with pretty good cigars, or conversely lump in unsmokeable cigars with average cigars.

Edit: You might want to try the 5 point system. I usually use that. Generally most stuff is 3-4, and amazing stuff is 5. Bad cigars are 1-2. I don't really use 0, so I guess it's the same as 0/4.

I can see a 5 point rating system working pretty well, kind of like giving stars to a movie in a movie rating.  

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Interesting to see that Nic cigars started out almost at the bottom of the scale and are now near the top.

Cubans have held their own being on top almost the entire time.

I would have thought there'd be more of a drop across the line in 1999-2000 as quality went to $hit at the peak of the boom.

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If you rating cigars to keep track of how things like the average performance of a particular box, box code, marca or somethings else the scale doesn’t matter. As long as your consistent in how you rate and with the scale you use, the information will be if useful to you.

Someone else’s thoughts or “rating” may influence if I try something (probably not though) but ultimately I will decide if I like it, how much I like it and if I will have it again.

I use the 100 point scale and the majority are probably in the 88-92 range but if you get a great cigar and it becomes 94-96 for me that means it was significantly better. If it’s a dud and I rate it a 70 that’s a big enough gap to a good cigar that the average for a box will be affected, more so with multiple duds.

Ultimately what ever works for you. If your not going to use the data to see trends or for some other reason I don’t see a point in doing a rating.


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2 hours ago, El Presidente said:

It sounds a lot like the Imperial measurement system.  Much better system in place but still used my many :D

Right? The goal was to make sure the system made sense when you looked at it as a distribution. So most cigars should land around the 5 point mark, because well ... most cigars (at least in the NC world) are pretty average. 

The irony is that manufacturers don't like it, because well ... it's different. And when I counter with "Is a 91 a good score, or a bad score?" you get varying opinions.

🤷‍♂️ can't please everyone.

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8 minutes ago, El Presidente said:

0-5 is a little too restrictive. 20% difference between grades.  

I mean....how bad is your Uber driver if you give him a 2 :D

Same issue as the 100 point scale. You would rarely use a large part of the scale. 

 

Definitely depends on your goals. If to rank every cigar relatively/absolutely then too restrictive. If the goal is to determine winners and losers it works for me.

For example the recent video review series, the RASS would be a 4/5 for me and the CoRo might be a 5/5. Something average or not that good would be 3/5. And that's probably as low as you'd go on a review if it wasn't a dud. But I definitely give out way more 1s and 2s than Cigar Aficionado or most 100 point scorers give out low scores (sub 50). Again they only went as low as 69 and that only twice.

I gave 7 1s and 22 2s, since October. 75 3s, 113 4s, 18 5s.

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