A cigar collection is deeply personal, based on unique tastes and preferences. One of the biggest thrills available to any cigar aficionado is finding a new addition to a humidor – whether that’s the return of a pre-existing favourite or sampling a unique smoke for the first time. If taking the latter approach, cigar reviews may influence any purchasing decision.

Cigar reviews come in many forms. Naturally, there will be professional op-eds and opinion pieces, but just as critical are peer-penned cigar reviews from fellow collectors. The question is, should you build your collection around cigar reviews or simply choose for yourself?

As is often the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle of these two stools. Cigar reviews can be invaluable when deciding whether a smoke will meet your needs, expectations and personal tastes. By studying cigar reviews, you’ll gain broad insights into a particular cigar’s size, scent and taste. Based on the description alone, you’ll gain an idea as to whether a cigar is worth your attention.

As discussed, though, cigar preferences are typically very personal – as are cigar reviews. A smoke that has one commentator waxing lyrical may leave you a little cold once you indulge for yourself. Equally, cigar reviews are not always positive – but that does not mean you should abandon any intention to sample a product that received a poor write-up. There is no such thing as a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice of cigar. All that matters is what you enjoy most.

Pay attention to cigar reviews. They can help guide you towards a new smoking experience that you may otherwise have missed out on and fill your humidor with cigars that are suitable for trading. Just do not allow cigar reviews to become your bible. There is no substitute for personal experience and taste; nobody knows your preferences better than you.