Just like the boys in this photo, two people can have a very different encounter and experience with the same cigar. I happen to know both of these boys just spent about 20 minutes at a farmer’s market– and clearly one has a different story to tell than the other. Same day, same temps, same farmers… different experience.
As is the case with food, drink, movies, etc. smoking a cigar (and hopefully enjoying that cigar) is a personal and subjective experience. One guy may taste notes of wood (cedar being the most common), coffee, or spices. Another may not pick up any of these. Even the relative strength of a cigar may be different for a younger, newer smoker than for a grizzled old-timer.
I have found great benefit in listening to what other people have to say about a particular cigar. But one must listen with a discerning ear… listen for the adjectives used (it also helps to know the smoker a little bit).
Rich, strong, spicy, etc. are clues that the cigar is going to be powerful and will impact you. Sweet, smooth, creamy, etc. tell you the cigar will be more mild. You can learn a great deal from other people’s experiences. And if you are someone like me, you can save some scratch by avoiding those cigars that others don’t particularly care for.