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Recent Tobacco Review Observation

(30 posts)
  1. drwatson

    drwatson

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    Every so often I like to look at tobacco reviews, see whats good or not. One thing I have noticed that really chaps me, is the negative reviews people give for no reason. Work with me here for a second. How may have seen a review for an aromatic that starts out "LET FIRST SAY I'M NOT A FAN OF AROMATICS". Well if someone isnt a fan of them and they are trashing a certain tobacco, how accurate is that review? Should they even be reviewing it? And this can go for any type, I have also seen it with english blends! I dont think this is fair for the newer smoker that is really looking at what others might say. I personally am nnot a fan of blends that have a liquor base to them. If i try one and don't like (as what usually happens) I don't go and trash it in a review, as I know that I could not be non judgemental. There are some people that I have spoken with that sometimes just look at how many stars it has without reading further. My advise to them is READ, see why people are saying things. I was in the market for a new sweeper a few months ago, and looked at some online reviews. The one that I was intrested in had two 1 stars reviews. I read them, and one person said that they loved the sweeper, but hated the color! The other said that swept up great, but had to screw the handle on! REALLY!!!! I know that was off of the tobacco for a second, but wanted to get the point across. Sorry for a rant, but that has been bugging me today. Makes me glad there isnt a pipe style review page out there (that I know of anyway).

    John
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    "LET FIRST SAY I'M NOT A FAN OF AROMATICS".

    Had to chuckle reading that I definitely agree that too many of the reviews on TR are worthless. I love the puffers who start out by saying, "I'm new to virginias," and then whine about how that virginia blend bites him, so 1 star LOL.

    When I see crap like that, I just move on. Thankfully, some of the reviews there are well done and helpful.

    I wish http://www.luxurytobaccoreviews.com got more reviews, because from the ones I've read, almost all of them are more useful and better written than TR's.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    waymon

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    I also find some of the reviews worthless. But isn't a review supposed to be that a review? I mean if all the reviews contained nothing but rave then they too would be worthless. We need the negative reviews also. We need to know what is good and bad about the blends. I don't care for aromatics but I have smoked and reviewed some. Some of my reviews were ok, and some were not so ok.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. admin

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    +1-million

    Check Out Our - Pipes Podcast
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. cleidophoros

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    Should people only review their favorite tobaccos? I am also not a fan of aromatics but I had to smoke a few for a while; am I not entitled to review them?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. drwatson

    drwatson

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    No thats not the point! Review anything you want, however if you are not going to be honest and judge it based on the merits of the tobacco, then maybe you shouldn't be reviewing? Can a person who hates shrimp, really tell me how good that all you can eat seafood buffet in Myrtle Beach is??

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. cleidophoros

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    What is the point then? Certainly looks like it;

    Well if someone isnt a fan of them and they are trashing a certain tobacco, how accurate is that review? Should they even be reviewing it?

    "I am not a fan of aromatics so this tobacco sucks and I rate it 1 star."
    "I am not a fan of aromatics, this tobacco burns hot, bites and tastes awful so I rate it 1 star."

    I think I can review anything I want, yes.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. 05venturer

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    No thats not the point! Review anything you want, however if you are not going to be honest and judge it based on the merits of the tobacco, then maybe you shouldn't be reviewing? Can a person who hates shrimp, really tell me how good that all you can eat seafood buffet in Myrtle Beach is??

    couldn't agree more watson.

    As for the shrimp at Myrle Beach after I ate them I broke out in hives and my throat nearly swelled completely shut after consuming 50 of them. I realize that I have an allergy to shrimp but still give them 2 thumbs down way down.

    Kent

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    This is an excellent article on the How Too's and the Why For's of writing a good review.

    Reviews Without Tears
    Taking the mystery out of writing tobacco reviews
    by G.L. Pease


    "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." Winston Churchill
    View Lawrence  Whitcomb's profile on LinkedIn
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. rmbittner

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    I see such statements as a way to tell readers, "You may need to take the following with a grain of salt." I think that's good to know. I've reviewed a few blends outside my comfort zone, but I still think I have a good palate, and I feel comfortable saying I can distinguish a good blend from one that fails, regardless of the category. I ask myself, does this blend do what it claims to do? How does it compare to other similar blends I've tried? Was the leaf of a good quality? I'm actually of the opinion that the broader your knowledge of tobaccos, the better able you are to review anything new that crosses your path. But if I'm less knowledgable about a particular style, I think I owe it to readers to let them know about that.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. drwatson

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    They are way better on the way down, then on the way back up!!! I AGREE!!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. coalsmoke

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    I read reviews open mind/grain-of-salt approach. To review a certain tobacco, both pros and cons need to be discussed and not just painted with a broad brush and emotional language. Not everyone can do this. 'Ugh! This tobacco belongs on a dung pile!' is not a review. Understanding that a tobacco has certain qualities and separating them from opinion can be tough. Stating that a particular characteristic is not to one's liking is legitimate. But discuss the characteristics, not just a dislike. A tobacco review is a product test from the lab: You!

    Russ
    Smoking a pipe is true relaxation...everything else is too much like work.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. flyguy

    flyguy

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    +++ for watson! One of my pet peeves...

    “Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting.”
    ― Samwise Gamgee
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. morton

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    I brew beer for a living. I need to be able to taste and rate (judge) beers which may not be in either my favorite zone or my comfort zone but I still try to rate them objectively. If the people who rate tobaccos are doing the same, I have no trouble with them trashing a certain tobacco as long as they are doing it objectively. If the person is trashing it because it is a Balkan/Aro/Virginia etc and they just don't like Balkan/aro/virginia tobacco, then that isn't right. Trash (or love) a tobacco on its own merits not because of what it is. Just don't get me started on wheat beers.....

    Be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. metalheadycigarguy

    metalheadycigarguy

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    I get what the OP is saying. Its one thing to review a product you don't like, but judge it on its own merit and not because you have a general dislike for the product or vendor. When I look at reviews on Amazon for particular items, many times the low reviews have nothing to do with the product itself, but the poor service they received from the vendor which has nothing to do with the product at all. If you're going to do a review then be fair to the product and don't take any other bias into the review.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. captainsousie

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    I understand the frustration and honestly I think it's an issue of respect. I respect the blender enough not to give a critical review for his/her tobaccos unless I am familiar with the style and have enough background knowledge to give a meaningful review. I don't trash FVF, even though I don't like it, because I know I'm not really good with VA or flake tobaccos yet, give me a few years.

    I'm still new to the tobacco world but I can relate it to music. People will give a song/album terrible reviews even when (because) they know they hate the genre or band. It wastes others' time and can hurt a good product with pointless negativity. Most can tell that type of review just by reading it but it still doesn't make it the right thing to do. I have wondered if it gives some sort of feeling of power or if there is some other motivation.

    Just some thoughts.

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. captainsousie

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    Oh yeah, and it makes me wonder how much the reviewers are actually thinking. If you knew you don't like the style...why the h*** did you waste your money on it?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. sothron

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    Interesting. I've always had the opposite concern: that my reviews were all over the page. For example, I'm a VaPer and VaBur smoker, mostly. Also some VAs and hybrids. But I have rated some aros above some VAs because I try to rate the blend in context. ie- a great Aro is, to me, inferior to a good VaPer. But I've rated some Aros above some VaPers or VAs because they are best in class among their class. In other words, I try to rate objectively within the genre or context of the blend. Does that make sense? But the result is that I may prefer a tobacco I rated 2 stars over one that I rated 3 stars.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. rcstan

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    I couldn't agree more with the OP. Personally if I don't care for a blend I do not give it a review, period, unless it is utter crap, quality-wise, and even then I do not use the strong harsh language one encounters on TR, especially in the negative reviews of let's say, Lakelands, which happen to be among my favorite styles of blends. On the same note, I find Cornell and Diehl Englishes not suited to my taste, after trying 8 blends in that category, but I neither knock them down on the Internet, neither do I go on a buying spree of more.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. matchstickman

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    My reviews are always pretty straight forward: What it looks like, what it smells like, what it tastes like, its burn qualities, and whether or not I like it and why I dont like it. You could make this same argument with music, food, clothing, etc. You just have to review a product for what it is, and tobacco is no different than anything else. Me, I love Virginias, I love Burleys, I love Aromatics, I love English, I just generally love a little bit of everything. An ideal review would be one where any preconceived notions or biased opinions would go out the window long before the review, but that is almost never the case and in almost always ruins a review.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. aristokles

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    drwatson has nailed a pet peeve of my own.

    Now I just check a reviewer's profile for their past reviews irrespective of what they say of their habits. After a while one learns whose opinions one might give some weight, or not. I no longer review blends out of my depth or preference unless I am positively impressed, which is rare but not unheard of. (Don't ya' just hate dangling participles?)

    As to Luxury Tobacco Reviews: nice format, it only needs more blends listed, (IMO); or at least that was the impression I got last I visited. Big K might fix that now (wink).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. mikephillips

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    I think many people have a terrible time being objective about....well, pretty much anything in life, and reviewing a tobacco is no different. Also, I think some of the reviewers just like to read their own flowery prose, and are hoping that others look at it and think "Hey, now there's a smart fella!".

    Finally, I wish the tobacco review website would crash and lose their entire database on a weekly basis. Not only does it make it difficult to know what a tobacco you've never tried is like because of all the conflicting reviews, if some people see a few good reviews in a row there, they start chiming in with the herd mentality adding their own glowing reviews (some having never even smoked the tobacco, I assure you) until it's hyped into a popularity far beyond that which it deserves, making it impossible to find for those who do actually enjoy it and aren't just buying it because it's popular.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. krizzose

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    Very interesting topics, and I like Sothron's answer about rating within a genre, makes sense.

    Negative reviews are useful, especially when the reviewer generally likes that particular style of tobacco.

    There's one reviewer on TR who has taken the trouble to review many of a certain manufacturer's blends (he despises them all) by simply referencing a three sentence review he made of one of that manufacturer's blends. That guy is obviously a self-absorbed douche bag.

    Maybe we should start http://www.tobaccoreviewsreviews.com.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. pstlpkr

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    Fortunately, we have Luxury Tobacco Reviews to counter the lunacy.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. atboth

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    I agree with the objection to the "I don't smoke xxx tobaccos, but..." reviews. But another objectionable habit is the lognwinded gaffer who starts off with "I sat down in my favourite leather armchair with my priceless Dunhill Rootbriar from 1955, wearing a smoking jacket I inherited from my grand-uncle Lord Quartermain, while my trophy wife and beloved pure-bred golden retriever hunkered on the polar-bear skin rug at my feet.....".

    Too dang much information, non-germaine to boot.

    I'm currently smoking a pipe.
    It's got tobacco in it.
    Good stuff.

    -----ATBOTH
    Boring wafflegab about tobacco.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. rmbittner

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    Fortunately, we have Luxury Tobacco Reviews to counter the lunacy.

    I know that this site shares ownership with PipesMagazine.com, so I apologize, but to me it is more of an "also ran."

    It is still very much in its infancy: Five reviews for a blend like Penzance. Zero reviews for many other popular blends. Not a single review for any Brebbia tobacco; only two reviews for the entire Wessex line.

    And the quality of the reviews that are there doesn't seem any different from TR. Reviews like "This is CRAP!" for a blend that is universally hailed as a great stoved Virginia. And here's the entire -- and only -- review of Dunhill's London Mixture:

    Being relatively new to the "gentle art of (pipe) smoking" and not being blessed with tastebuds that'll ever get me on Wine Spectator's editorial board, I have and still do gravitate to the finer things in life. Mind you the more time passes, the less I can afford but, for a few pennies more than a ten spot, I can rely on a fine and comfortable smoke.

    Many are the blends I've tried and much has been written by, and for said blenders. Yet, London Mixture remains near the top of my list. I've no glimpse into the past to know the true 1928 blend, nor can I compare todays to DLM's Irish era. The Orlik version with all it's detractors (mostly in the form of some prominent blending houses) consistenly hits a mellow chord. There are certainly blends that are better suited for certain hours of the day and where I did, not long ago, start the day with it, I now find myself smitten with Early Morning Pipe. Orlik again!

    What it all seems to boil down to with this novice is the dynamic of Virginia to Oriental to Perique to Latakia (Cyprian vs. Syrian) and the countless variations - blends - claims. I can tell you I prefer British Woods for instance far more than Westminster, but not necessarily why. I can tell you that HH Vintage has alot more character than Three oaks Syrian in many ways but Three oak won't leave my tongue feeling like it's had a date with a palm sander and the HHVS will. But I'm getting off the subject and DLM is the "subject" and just happens to be the "object" of this pipe smokers affection.

    Despite all the words, the reviewer never bothers to say what London Mixture tastes like! While you'll run into that on TR, certainly, the sheer volume of reviews virtually guarantees that somebody is going to say something useful about a blend.

    Just my .02.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. pipeinhand

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    I smoke, drink, and eat a wide variety of products and when I do write about them I stick with how they taste, (sweet, sour, bitter...) and the flavor I get, (caramel, figs, smoke...) and try to test them in many styles and ways before I write about them. A good tester/writer should be able to convey the product in an objective way and try not to throw in the subjective, "I don't ... but" point of view.

    I am on several whisky forums and just hate when someone says, "I only drink single malts but here goes anyway about this Bourbon". Same goes with and especially tobacco. Don't tell me what YOU like, tell me what the tobacco was about, not your private individual tastes.

    Let the tobacco write the review through your eyes. That way when someone else reads it, they can glean something they may like, like smokey figs, which YOU may not enjoy. In the summery you can then tell us you didn't like something because of the tastes you got from the tobacco, but at least tell us what you did taste and not generalize about a genera of tobacco.

    Just my 2p.

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of
    anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
    nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. hfearly

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    I love the same Brussel Sprouts that make my better half want to throw up. Which one of us is right?

    As long as you declare upfront where your usual preferences lie, you'd give enough context to the reader so he can judge your opinion for what it is: personal.

    Yet, I have to agree on one thing: statements without context are worthless. "This is crap" has no information content whatsoever as a tobacco review. However, if that same person would have stated "I sincerely dislike this blend because the flue cured red virginia severely disagrees with my mouth chemistry and thus gives me hellish burns", others with a similar history of red-virginia intolerance may be sufficiently warned before trying the blend.

    Suffering from a serious case of "EPARD", also known as the Estate Pipe Acquisition and Restoration Disorder.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. burghbriar

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    I find it useful to read some reviews of tobacco I know i like (or hate) and see if there's someone who I agree with, then check out their other reviews. It's a way to navigate the data.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    bobby46

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    I took a hint from a thread I once saw here. It was a recurrent "what-are-you-smoking" theme. Within the multiple pages of responses, were nearly no matches. Such wide variance of taste preferences supported my theory that reviews are (to me) perhaps good reading, other times entertaining for the intended or unintended humor. Seldom did they actually help in my search for new favorites. Every time I had relied on overwhelming huzzahs at TR on a famous blend, I found it either lackluster, or simply not for me. I resorted to now taking my chances on something new by the single tin after reading the label. The trouble with reviews are not in their well-intended generation. It is in the reader's level of expectation from them. What I did learn from this forum is that there is an extremely broad spectrum of opinions concerning both tobacco and pipes. Realistically, how could we expect to agree on anything?

    Posted 1 year ago #

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