Published on November 26th, 2013 | by Siz0
Monte by Montecristo
So I’ve been on a kick recently, trying to smoke some of the bigger name brands in cigars and stay away from some of the boutique stuff. You know, names that have been around for awhile. The last time I popped into a store I was met with the Montecristo section. Now I have smoked a couple Montecristos from back in the day, and earlier in the summer I had a Cuban Montecristo #4. I had been seeing this Monte by Montecristo around in the shop for a while and I was intrigued. So I figured hey why not pick it up and give it a shot? That’s exactly what I did.
I always like to see what’s unique and different about a cigar when I’m smoking it. I like to understand why the company / brand released it. So for this Monte by Montecristo I went to their website and I found this:
The MONTE’s signature feature is the inclusion of two binders: a spicy Dominican Olor combined with a strong and aromatic Nicaraguan Corojo which adds strength, firmness and complexity.
Pretty interesting to me. When I was researching the specs for this cigar I kept seeing people having a double binder listed and it didn’t make sense to me until I read this on the Montecristo site. So now that we have that out of the way I think it’s time to hop into the review and see what this double binded cigar has to offer.
There is one thing that you’re always going to get with a Montecristo cigar. That is the Flor de Lis symbol on the band. To me it’s classic and iconic. I personally love the simplicity of the logo and its always easy to find in any shop. The thing that I love about this Monte by Montecristo packaging is how modern and sleek it looks without having diverted from it’s roots. You have the Flor de Lis on the top band, but on the secondary band it has a very modern look to it. The secondary band is where the cigar states that this isn’t a typical Montecristo. It has “Monte” written in large curved letters across it. This lower band has a dark black background which is a nice contrast with red lettering that really makes that Monte pop out at you. Personally, I love the contrast of the secondary band from the primary, classic band above it.
Looking at the wrapper on this Monte by Montecristo it’s gorgeous as well. Incredibly smooth and sleek, the seams are barely noticeable. It has a nice chocolate brown wrapper that doesn’t look like it has too much age on it. It has a nice oily glow to it, but not velvety in feel. Just a very solid looking Ecuadorian wrapper. I’m definitely intrigued and I’m ready to get into this cigar and see what it has to offer.
One thing that I noticed right off the bat about this cigar is that it has some sort of pig tail or flag cap on it. It’s not as pronounced of a cap as others I’ve seen. In fact it’s like it has been laid flat around the head of the cigar. So that makes it a little more difficult to determine if it is indeed a pig tail or not.
After I decided to stop worrying about whether this Monte by Montecristo had a pigtail or not I just went ahead and nipped the cap off. I was ready to get in there and test out the dry draw of this cigar. Unfortunately, the first snip wasn’t enough to really open it up. So I took off another little bit of the shoulder and it opened up a little bit more. Enough to at least test the draw.
While I was testing the dry draw I took breaks and rolled the cigar in between my fingers to see if there were any soft spots in it. It was fine when I picked it up from the store, but it had been resting in my humidor for about a week so I always like to double check. Nothing I can really do about it though if it has already changed. It’s always good to double check though, just incase you’re OCD or anything like that.
Alright, enough with the pre game. Let’s get this Monte by Montecristo lit up and smoking! Of course I’m using my Xikar stratosphere torch it’s fairly windy even though I’m in my garage. I haven’t been using matches lately, mainly because I’m running low on them and I haven’t been back to the shop in a while to pick up some new ones. However, I think this torch will work just fine. It takes a little coaxing, but this cigar finally takes to the flame and begins churning.
During the first third the filler began tunneling a bit. The outside wrapper wasn’t staying with the filler when it was burning. So I put the torch back to it and tried to even it out a bit and finally it started burning straight which I appreciated. That was really the only trouble I had during the first third.
Once I got into the 2nd third I was having a bit of trouble with the draw. So I took another nip off the head of the cigar and it opened up beautifully and the air was drawing right through it. So that was a delightful surprise.
The final third continued with the nice open draw and the smoke was just rolling out of this Monte by Montecristo. I’m sitting there thinking, it doesn’t get much better than this. So enough about all this, you want to know how does it taste, right?
On the pre light draw this Monte by Montecristo was giving off some very nice tobacco notes and a hint of sweet molasses. On the foot I again picked up that molasses, but it was backed with some spice.
The first third started off with some really nice flavors I got a nice nutty flavor consistent with almonds. Some earthy tones as well. I even picked up some savory meaty notes and a couple hints of nougat along the way. However, the earthy and almond like notes were the dominant flavors.
The second third is where the spice began to build, especially on the retrohale. It wasn’t overpowering by any means, but it was definitely more pronounced than during the first third. It added a nice bit of depth and complexity to the this Monte by Montecristo overall which is always exciting.
The final third was more of the same, essentially a continuation from the 2nd third. The spice was there, followed by a nice savory note that helped balance everything out and keep the spice from overpowering everything else.
Overall I would say this is definitely a medium bodied cigar in terms of strength and flavor. It’s not overly strong in terms of strength, it can be enjoyed by nearly every level of cigar smoker. It also has a good mix and depth of body in terms of flavor. Not overpowering, but enough to make it enjoyable and complex.
Would I Buy It Again?
Absolutely, it’s a great stick, I’m just not sure it’s worth the $9 price tag.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Potentially, it’s one of those that you could smoke everyday if you wanted to. Definitely need to find a deal on a box though.
Would I Buy a Box?
Potentially, as I mentioned above, you need to find a good deal on a box so you’re not having to pay that full $9 per stick retail.
Overall, I’m very impressed with this Monte by Montecristo. I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy it, but there’s a reason these guys have been in business for so long. They make a very consistent, enjoyable product. I gave it an 8 out of 10 because of the construction issues I had. Initially the draw was a little tougher than I wanted and it tunneled right out of the gate. Then during the 2nd third I had issues with the draw again. So that makes it a little bit more difficult to enjoy it all the way through. Either way, it’s worthy of smoking at least once to see if you enjoy it or not. I have a feeling most people will really enjoy this cigar.