When I started to really pay attention to cigar bloggers one of my favorites became Doc Stogie Fresh. I also started following him on Twitter (@Doc_StogieFresh). Basically, if you are new to cigars or just want to learn more about your pastime then you should read, watch and/or listen to this guy’s stuff (yup, he uses all types of media).
Alright, enough with the introductions, now onto the fun part, his new iPhone/iTouch app: StogieRate.
For me, the most important part of this app is that it gives you an easy-to-use mechanism for reviewing your cigars. This means scoring the cigar in three different categories: Burn & Feel, Flavor & Aroma, and Burn & Construction. For each category there is a five point scale with most of the weight going to the Flavor & Aroma category (the way it should be, in my opinion).
There is also a notepad available to type in tasting notes for the cigar. For me, that meant typing in the different flavors with an adjective or two thrown in (i.e. “peppery spice” or “decent burn”). I also rate each cigar at the end of each note. (More on this later.)
All of this is done well and is the main reason why I bought this app (retails for about $5.00) but there is some room for improvement. (I’ve been talking with Doc on Twitter – btw: you can tweet me @Travis_Lindsay – and he has assured me that there are going to be many free updates on the way, so the more input we give him the better this app will become.)
For example, there are not a lot of cigars put into the app. In order to put, for example, the Cain Maduro into the StogieRate system so you can rate it you will need to fill out all the information about the cigar yourself. But this is a minor problem and considering the gigantic cigar universe that is out there it is somewhat unreasonable to expect every cigar to be in the StogieRate database whether this be version 1.0 or version 10. In order to get all the information correct you will probably have to go online and find the right info.
My other quibble with the rating function of this app is that if you tell it you have 24 Cain Maduros then you only get to rate those cigars as a batch. As we all know, there is going to be variations amongst cigars of the same line no matter what. Some will have a tighter draw while others will have a more pronounced cocoa flavor to it. That’s just the way things are and, with the current version of this app, I cannot rate the cigars individually unless I put in 24 unique instances of the Cain Maduro. That would be a pain so I just rate each cigar in the notepad and tweak my overall ratings as time goes on.
Those are the only deficiencies with this app that are worth mentioning. Now onto some of the other features.
Besides the rating functionality available there are links to some of the great videos that Doc has done. This would be especially valuable for the novice cigar smoker or, if you’re waiting at the airport for your flight to arrive, you can pass the time by watching Doc talk about cigars, which is fun no matter what.
You can also assign your cigars to different humidors. So, if you have a main humidor, an office humidor and a bedroom humidor you can put your cigars in the right place. Of course, if you rotate your cigars then things may get a little hairy or if you only have one big humidor then this is a superfluous functionality. This type of information will help you identify any problems you may be having with your humidors or will just help you keep track of your stashes of cigars.
There is also a section that describes the different cigar shapes, cigar sizes, and a section about the different wrappers.
The StogieRate iPhone app is a great tool for any cigar fan. I definitely recommend this app.