The world’s most fun and addicting cigar ranking system has been re-built from the ground up, offering a more personalized and comprehensive experience for the cigar enthusiast.
Like the original Cigar Wars system, which first debuted in 2015, the modernized web application presents users with a simple choice: cigar (a) or cigar (b)… This represents the real-world scenario, where a smoker is offered one of two cigars at hand. Whether or not the smoker is familiar with both choices, he/she will inevitably make a choice—whatever the reason. Multiply this hypothetical scenario by thousands, or even tens or hundreds of thousands, and you end up with a truly honest, fun, and accurate cigar ranking system.
New Intelligent Features
New for 2019, this system—which we like to think of as “Tinder meets IMDB”—is now tremendously more powerful. For starters, Cigar Wars voters are now encouraged to create a personalized profile. In the past, all votes were cast simply for fun, or in an attempt to help structure the overall leaderboard. With Cigar Wars 2.0, each user’s votes count towards the public leaderboard, as well as—perhaps more importantly—the user’s own, personalized statistics. The more a user votes on cigar battles, the more accurate the system becomes, learning from the user’s voting habits to assemble personalized preferences. With live results, Cigar Wars will showcase your wrapper shade of preference (choosing between Claro, Natural, and Maduro), company, factory, strength, price range, and more.
Cigar Wars now lets users “favorite” individual cigars and, comparing your voting habits to other, like-minded voters, can offer up cigar recommendations based on these like-minded voter’s favorite cigars. This is only the beginning for the system’s intelligent results. Similar to a stock market ticker, Cigar Wars can now display trending cigars, which are those that are rising (or falling) the quickest in recent voting history. This helps users gauge which cigars are hot at any given moment.
Perhaps the most fun aspect of any ranking system is browsing the leaderboard. The updated Cigar Wars allows users to drill-down and refine the leaderboard on a much deeper level. Top-ranked cigars can be viewed by day, week, month, year, all-time, or even live results—which is the default view. These timeframes can be used to view the highest ranked cigars by country (such as the top-ranked Cuban cigar of the day), wrapper shade, price range, and company size (see cigars only from boutique manufacturers, etc.).
This leaderboard is based on a popular ranking algorithm known as Elo (most famously used to rank chess players), which assigns a number of points to every cigar in the system’s database. With every Cigar Wars battle, a number of points are removed from the losing cigar and and transferred to the victor. The most important attribute of this system is that it is self-correcting, taking more points from an upset battle (such as the #100 cigar beating the #10 cigar) than it would from a more evenly matched contest. In other words, the system can quickly recover from unfair voting, allowing cigars to quickly return to their rightful positions in the leaderboard. And with the newly added timeframes (cigar of the month, year, all time), we have removed extra layers of volatility, where it becomes increasingly difficult to alter the list’s rankings longterm.
Cigars, Companies, & Factories
If the cigar battles feel eerily reminiscent of your Tinder days, the fine-tuned details that drive the CW system will have you thinking IMDB. Each individual cigar in the database can be expanded to show additional information. Users can see a quick description, as well as a cigar breakdown (blend information, cigar release year, price range, etc.), strength/body/flavor graphs, core flavor tags (chocolate, cinnamon, leather, etc.), and even a list of similar cigars, based on a cross-reference of the aforementioned attributes.
Every cigar is also attached to a cigar company and factory. Users can browse through a list of each, where additional information can be found on a company/factory’s history and relevant highlights. And as additional cigars begin to fill out a company/factory’s portfolio, Cigar Wars will show users the top-ranked cigars made by the company/factory. Not only this, but CW will also average all cigars under any given company/factory, showing the average price, body, country of origin, and more. Every company page includes a list of associated factories, meaning users can discover helpful information to guide future purchases. For example, a fan of Caldwell Cigar Co. could see that the company’s cigars are produced at Tabacalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic, Diadema Cigars de Honduras in Honduras, and La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua. Then, when viewing any of these factory’s individual pages, users are presented with each factory’s top-ranked cigars—including all brands made at each factory—leading to additional cigar discovery…
More to Come
Cigar Wars 2.0 has been in beta for the past few months, debugging the system and helping to establish a base for the overall leaderboard and recommendations. We are now ready to launch the updated Cigar Wars on a grander scale, having nearly 200 cigars, over 40 companies, and a handful of factories in the database. Each of these are hand-entered on a daily basis, currently offering 20,000 possible battle combinations for voters.
Cigar Wars 2.0 is leaps and bounds improved on its predecessor, but there is still more to be done. Future updates to Cigar Wars will see additional profile enhancements and increased recommendation accuracy, making for a dynamic tool for the active enthusiast, without losing site of the light-hearted spirit at the core of Cigar Wars.