Pipes Magazine » General Pipe Smoking Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:  No tags yet. 

Tobacco Review Scores On Average

(25 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by aquadoc
  • Latest reply from tabakpfeife
  1. aquadoc

    aquadoc

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2017
    Posts: 1,455

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    If you use tobacco reviews to do a first recon on a blend you are considering trying, how much do you pay attention to the 1-4 scoring system? I tend to look at the make up of the blend (burley, Virginia, etc) and any topping "flavors", and then the average score followed by the score from reviewers I follow. Do the average scores impact how you assess whether you will like it? Or do you only look at reviews of those you "trust" to have similar preferences as you do?

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. spartacus

    spartacus

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2018
    Posts: 553

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I look at both. If a review is getting a 2 on the rating I'm probably not going to try it. If it has a higher rating I will read reviews and make a decision then.

    Usually I'm looking up a blend because of a recommendation from someone or a special going on.

    I have a notebook on all the blends I have smoked and what I like and dislike about them. That is the review that matters to me.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. madox07

    madox07

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 1,359

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Since tobacco is so darn expensive in Europe, I do let myself be influenced by reviews. Also, some blends are scarce, so whenever I go places and see blends I have not tried in various brick and mortar shelves, I do look up reviews as well. Firstly, the name tells little about blend composition so for example when I ran across Rat Ray's Accountant Mixture, I looked it up to see what type it is, as in English, VaPer, Va, etc etc. Secondly I look up the reviewers I trust, to see if they have tried them. This is due to past experience with their opinion, as in when I have purchased something partly due to the description of their experience things ended up satisfactory. I am not trying to suck up, but I highly appreciate JimInks opinion - he has an objective fashion of offering a tobacco review, is consistent in method across his reviews and has reviewed quite a bit, so he is experienced. There are others that I mostly know by avatar on tobaccoreviews.com rather than nickname. Thirdly I filter the review through my current taste, and try to imagine if that would fit my preference or not. This approach is a hit and miss, that pays dividends slightly above 50%. For example I have disregarded SG 1792 for the tonca bean, but when I finally pulled the trigger I ended up liking the blend a lot. Another example is Peterson's Aran, I was reluctant in spite of the fact that I love Vanilla Aros because some reviewers didn't speak kindly on the subject, but finally it ended up being to my taste when I bought it. Opposite, SG brown no 4 has good reviews, I bought a tin (it was quite expensive, as in twice the cost of a regular 50 gr tin), and ended up smoking that for two years ... still have some left, it's just too strong for me. All in all there is no magic bullet with reviews, but they do help in the decision making process in as far as buy/not buy.

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

    The Bard Of Barlings
    Joined: Jun 2013
    Posts: 9,755

    online

    Login to Send PM

    The ratings don't factor in very strongly for me, with the exception of a half dozen reviewers whose responses have fairly consistently mirrored my own.
    Even then, if I'm curious to try something, I'll give it a try, ratings or no ratings.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. danimalia

    danimalia

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 629

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Interesting topic. I tend to start out by being interested in a blend based on its components and description. I do pay attention to the scores on TR. My budget is limited and I want to spend money on blends that are generally regarded as, well, "good." Anything on TR with a decent sample of reviews that has a score of 3.5 is probably near universally beloved and worth trying, IMO. Within that 2.5-3.5 range where most "premium" blends seem to resides, I try to pay special attention to reviews by folks who are thoughtful, and who I feel I share certain tastes or values with.

    As for whether the reviews affect my perceptions, I am sure they do. I suspect that the higher the rating, the more likely I am to take a kinder perspective on what I perceive as a blends' shortcomings. And probably vice versa. It's important to be honest with myself here.

    Luckily, I tend to be someone who enjoys most pipe tobaccos. I avoid aromatics because I haven't found many that I really enjoy a lot, but I have had very few tobaccos that I found so offensive I would refuse to smoke them.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. 3rdguy

    3rdguy

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 1,385

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I disregard the ratings but I enjoy reading the humorous ones!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. danimalia

    danimalia

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 629

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I also think the passion and intensity in the reviews matter as well. Royal Yacht, for example has a 3.0. Does this mean it's a solidly good, but not spectacular blend? Respected and admired, but not truly loved? Well, no. It's quite polarizing. Then I have to dig into the descriptions and review text to find which side I might imagine finding myself.

    I do want to dip my toes into the most-hated category occasionally just for kicks. I love an underdog.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. lordofthepiperings

    lordofthepiperings

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2010
    Posts: 6,464

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I go straight to JimInks and PipeStud’s reviews. They’re the most honest about the blend for what the blend is.

    If you go by score you’re bound to have a considerable portion of low scores cause “this English blend guy didn’t like this VaPer” or “this Virginia guy hated this aromatic blend” or “this aromatic guy hate this Balkan blend”.

    "The thinking man always smokes a Peterson." -Peterson of Dublin
    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. lightmybriar

    lightmybriar

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 591

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I totally disregard the numbers and just look for highlights in the reviews themselves. If the tobacco gets described consistently as having tastes that I’m looking for, then I feel safer about buying it. I’ve also found a few reviewers with similar tastes to my own, and then go through their lists and see if there’s anything in there as well.

    On a pipe adventure
    Steve
    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2018
    Posts: 1,958

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I always look to see jiminks review for certain. There are 3 or 4 others who I respect as well. If it looks like something I might really like though, I'll invest $10 and give it a go. I'd rather give $10 worth of tobacco to a friend than pass up a really good blend I enjoy.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. dcon

    dcon

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2019
    Posts: 594

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    +1 to all that said they look at Jim and a couple more preeminent reviewers. I do look for a blend’s content. I tend to ignore the numbers for the reasons given by lordoftherings.

    Duane
    (Not Embers)
    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. chasingembers

    chasingembers

    Captain Of The Black Frigate
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 15,570

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I was smoking a pipe for decades before even knowing there was such a thing as reviews for tobacco. They're novel for sure, but taste is too subjective to rely on someone else's opinion and just not adventurous at all. I know blend compositions that I like and the component list in the blend description is all I would use for purchases.

    I like coffee exceedingly.
    - H. P. Lovecraft
    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. workman

    workman

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2018
    Posts: 1,714

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I do look at the average score. If it is below 3, I am quite scheptic of the blend. I also look to a few esteemed reviewers, but I have found that our tastes do not always align. So I use the average score, certain reviewers like Jiminks, Pipestud, DK, Deathmetal and others, whatever I've picked up here about the blend, if any, but it's all just indicators. I have to try it myself to be sure.
    When I pop a tin, I want to finish it. I don't like to throw stuff away. So I do my homework and I rarely miss completely.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. cortezattic

    Cortez

    A part of the problem since he ...
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 14,698

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I like to read the 1 & 2 star reviews to see why someone was not impressed with a blend.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. lightmybriar

    lightmybriar

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 591

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I’m very envious of those of you (seems like most!) who can use Jim’s thorough reviews to aid you. I always read them because I appreciate his writing, and because I’m interested in how and why he rates blends the way he does, but his descriptions don’t seem to resonate with the way I experience taste. Big bummer for me!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. jaytex969

    jaytex969

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2017
    Posts: 3,807

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I enjoy reading the reviews and watching some review videos while smoking a blend, especially when it's new to me.

    I glance at the summary to see the contents before buying, but, if it's a non-aro, I have trouble believing I won't like it.

    Jim's review is the first stop, for the "tech sheet" review, then I skim down, paying more attention to the 1 and 4 star reviews to get the opposing views.

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. 5star

    5star

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 409

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I look at the ratings and the reviews from a few people to see if the blend might be something I’d enjoy trying. A blend might get a fairly high score, but I’ll pass on it if it’s likely to have characteristics that I don’t personally care for. (Very ‘peppery’ dominate blends, for example.) The reviews help me determine that.

    "You are remembered for the rules you break." - General Douglas MacArthur
    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. piperwinston

    piperwinston

    New Member
    Joined: Jul 2019
    Posts: 14

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I do rating on pipe tobacco based on my preferences. The highest will be my 'current daily favorite' The lowest will be 'never try it again'

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. alaskanpiper

    alaskanpiper

    Member
    Joined: May 2019
    Posts: 995

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I use a complex system of the overall rating and whatever JimInks says.

    "We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us." ---Hank

    "Yeah, well, you know that's just like, uh, your opinion, man..." --- The Dude
    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. alexnc

    alexnc

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2015
    Posts: 561

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I pay attention to both. Opinions of key reviewers that seem to like what I like do override the average. Though I do keep in mind some have likes and dislikes that I might disagree with. Like one likes aros more than I do, one dislikes strong perique and I love it, etc.

    Goo Goo g’joob
    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. npod

    npod

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2017
    Posts: 2,757

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The ratings do matter to me. Yes.

    Jiminks, steel cowboy, zombie, and a few others definitely provide unbiased reviews on hundreds of blends. I tend to weigh a tobacco reviewers ratings against their total number of reviews and time on the site. That matters more to me than the overall individual rating at large.

    Neal
    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. ray47

    ray47

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2015
    Posts: 1,175

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I go straight to JimInks and PipeStud’s reviews.

    I do this ^^^^^^^^.
    I also take a look at FrTom's review because the blends he likes are in line with what I like.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. User has not uploaded an avatar

    bigpond

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 2,051

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Fun question. No, I ignore the scores and weed through reviews to find those from folks that typically agree with my tastes. Objectivity is an illusion in something as subjective as pipe smoking. The combination of tobacco moisture, smoking cadence, lighting source, personal diet, the pipe, phases of the moon,,,,fuggedaboutit....

    I generally take notes when trying a new blend. If my notes have much in common with those of a tr reviewer I’ll keep an eye on him/her.

    Edit- The reason scores don’t matter to me is because it’s littered with reviews that lack due diligence and/or are knee jerk reactions in either direction.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. alexnc

    alexnc

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2015
    Posts: 561

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    And you have to watch for blends with only a few ratings that get slammed by people that don't seem to know what they're talking about.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. tabakpfeife

    tabakpfeife

    New Member
    Joined: Jan 2019
    Posts: 30

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I tend to look at the average, and then go to JimInks or Pipestud for details. I think, though, that these average scores skew up. Tobacco is expensive, and we tend to buy things we know, or think we'd like. Therefore we, not surprisingly, give higher scores to tobacco that we have predetermined we would like. The average will be higher. It would be more accurate if we tried tobacco at random and assigned scores accordingly.

    Posted 1 month ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   lestrout, ajohnb, scrumpyjack, weezell, canadianpuffer, jiminks, sablebrush52, dmcmtk, chilllucky, brl25, marc75, pipesinperu