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Tasting Rules

The Tobacco Process

Tasting Rules

Organized cigar tastings can be open, where the panel and guests know the brands and vitolas to be tasted, or blind, in which case neither the panel nor guests have any information before tasting. Panels are typically made up of an odd number of tasters, preferably expert smokers and personalities. They get samples from the jury and a filing card. The jury is composed of qualified personnel and connoisseurs of the product and its characteristics, who observe the compliance of established rules. The ambience has to be in a room with comfortable temperature (approximately 75º F) and humidity (50%) with no noise or strong odors, and the appropriate furniture and lighting to provide a relaxing atmosphere in which to pass judgment.

The following are basic rules that should be adhered to for organized cigar tastings:

Panel
The tasting panel must not consume any food or drink 30 minutes prior to the tasting.
The panel must know exactly the time that tasting will start.
During the tasting the panelists must be relaxed, like this were an ordinary cigar, without any kind of stress.
Between each tasting session the panel will have a recess, during which time the panelists will not have any kind of food or drink other than a mouth wash made out of warm tea without sugar.

Jury
The clock starts running at the point that the panel gets the samplings and lights them, so each panelist must have the filing cards by this time.
It is up to the jury to conclude every session; they will pick up the filing cards, evaluate them and tabulate the results.
The results must be given by the end of every session.
The members of the jury must be impartial.