A: Like grapes, cigars are dependent on annual harvests, the availability of the tobaccos year-to-year, and most importantly, the method by which the leaves are fermented, cured, and aged. With regard to ratings, yes, the rating would only be relevant to the current release, not to mention the “condition” of the cigar and the palate of the reviewer. However, if the cigar’s blend is consistent, despite the variations in harvests, etc., the reviews should hold true for as long as that particular cigar’s blend continues to be made.
Suffice it to say, because tobacco and grapes are entirely dependent upon Mother Nature, one is no more consistent than the other from year-to-year. And like grapes, tobaccos that come from excellent harvests, particularly wrapper leaves, are set aside for special cigars that may not be produced for years to come. The secret to a good wine or cigar’s success lies in the hands of the master blender and the grade of the materials he has to work with.
Some examples of cigars that get consistently high marks are Padron Anniversary cigars, Fuente Fuente OpusX, and Cuban Cohibas.