For years now, cigar smokers have been treated to reviews in various publications and on websites that read more like rarefied wine-talk. You see torpedoes that supposedly have notes of sherry, coronas that are reminiscent of rosewood, and the like.
Smell like bs to me.
Gary Korb at Cigar Advisor (via Famous Smoke Shop) writes about the phenomenon this week:
"...Thick, creamy smoke oozes effortlessly over the palate revealing a marvelous mixture of wood, leather and toffee flavors with notes of cocoa and coffee bean on the finish. The smoke is bold, balanced and brimming with complexity..."
Sounds like what I call "Aficionado Speak." The question is, Is it true? Well, to ME it is, and that Coronado I had last week was just as good, and those very flavors were there again. But even I get a little skeptical when reading many cigar reviews.
As Korb notes, a healthy skepticism is in order when reading any review, but especially those on cigars. And rarely if ever do I see any acknowledgement that the most critical ingredient in how a cigar "performs" is actually out of the direct control of its maker: if not stored properly, even the most expensive puro will be a stinker. Many on-line comments (as opposed to the more carefully controlled reviews) are actually critiquing the what happened to the cigar after it left the roller's hands.