No! All cigars are not good. This is a personal opinion. This is also the official opinion of Cigartender.com. We guarantee that any cigar that we sell is a good cigar. You may disagree, which is ok, because everyone’s palate is different. Some retailers seem to come from the opinion that there is no such thing as a bad cigar, since there is a cigar for everyone out there. This may be what they believe, or it may be driven by their desire to find high margin products and hope that their customer accepts the way a cigar tastes and smokes “just must be how it’s supposed to smoke”.
My opinion that there are bad cigars is derived from well over a decade of critically smoking several thousand cigars and looking for the nuances of what is characteristic of a well made cigar of that particular style. Cameroons are different than Habano cigars. I can even smoke a candela cigar and give it a fair assessment whether I think it is a good cigar for what a candela should be like. I do not personally like candela cigars, but I can be objective and offer an honest and critical opinion.
Everyone has a different palate and every flavor and strength profile will affect you differently. You have doubtlessly tried a cigar that a friend was raving about and you couldn’t imagine why they liked it. When they asked you how awesome you thought it was, you may have offered an answer like, “Yeah, it was really good.” You white-lied your way through that one in the hopes of taking the middle path: too harsh and you could offend someone; too complimentary and you’ll soon have another bummer of a cigar recommendation on your must smoke list.
All this being said bad cigars can become good cigars. They might have a good base to the blend, but it lacks balance and just doesn’t seem like a finished product. Constructive criticism can make a bad cigar good, or a good cigar great. Also, we must not forget that our palates change subtly throughout the day, depending on what we have eaten or drank, and, more dramatically, over the years. You are not the same cigar smoker three years in as you were when you first started out. Your palate generally improves over time, as it becomes better able to handle stronger blends, and it becomes refined as you educate it to pick out the nuances of flavors.
So, if you have a cigar that just doesn’t smoke and taste good, don’t be too quick to blame yourself. It may just not be the right cigar for you, but still be a good cigar. Or it may just be a bad cigar that you wish never snuck its way into your humidor. Be fair and honest, but always demand quality.