Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 6 x 60
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Binder : Nicaragua
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$14 each
Hello all! It has been a long time since we, The Tollaficionados have set forth our opinions on some of the fine smokes available on the market today. Busy – Busy, and we apologize. But fear not, though the qualities of said smokes (or lack thereof) have not been etched into the walls of time by us as of late, we have in fact kept up on the goings-on of the industry and have made plenty of time to enjoy lots of smokes together.
Our return at this time was spurred on for 2 reasons: 1) It gave Father & Son some more bonding time (and on Super Bowl Sunday to boot!), 2) The cigar that we chose to enjoy is the Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition, only recently available through brick & mortar shops in the fine state in which we reside.
So our tale begins with its construction. This $14 stick has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper concealing a Nicaraguan binder and Dominican filler. It is only available in one size, a corona gorda, measuring 6 inches with a 60 ring gauge and it is box pressed. Now I am sure that there are many of you out there who, as I, are not fans of box pressing. I have never had a cigar in which it lent it anything extra, other that an eventually soft butt which craps out specks of tobacco. This is not the case with this cigar. Though I couldn’t tell you whether the shape adds anything to the experience (because it is the only shape/size that is made), I can say that the box pressed end was not a detractor due to the 60 ring gauge size. It rounded out well during the smoke and didn’t loose tobacco.
This Montecristo had a beautiful appearance, with its maple colored wrapper, lightly veined leaf and impressive art on the band. (Yes, We liked the band – so what?) The cap was incredibly sturdy and thick. Being that we used a bullet/plug cutter, it made for a very impressive look into the thickness of the cap and the integrity of its construction.
After toasting the foot and lighting `er up, both taste and aroma were released that were very pleasing. For about the first inch of its length, the cigar had a steady build in flavor. Its more mild characteristics being traded for flavors that lingered a little longer on the palate. This profile held until about halfway when it dropped off to its original mildness, and then went through the same progression a second time. Its finish was long and gave off a bit of sweetness. My favorite cigars are bold, and Dad has a liking for a mild profile, and overall we agreed that this cigar, regardless of what you may hear elsewhere falls on the mild side of medium bodied. Through the entire smoke the cigar remained firm and burned evenly, though there was some wrapper cracking due to the removing of the double labels and the abundance of vegetable gum that was used to put them on. However, it did not affect the smoking of the cigars.
The smoke was very enjoyable from light to finish, and was definitely one that enhanced the conversation as it was brought down to the nub. The Montecristo New York Connoisseur Edition is without question the best non-Cuban Montecristo on the market, and also takes the prize for being the best New York edition smoke. (We have had them all: Alec Bradley, La Aurora, Gurkha.) Now, is it worthy of its $14 price point? No. This is an $8 to possibly $11 cigar. But that is it. It is definitely enjoyable, has all of the positives that one would expect from this flagship brand, but does it stand out when looking at the big picture of what is available in that price range? It does not. This cigar will sell well to the many that are curious over this extension to a well established brand. But continuity sales will not be something that Montecristo will be boasting about.
We look forward to reviewing another cigar for you very soon, and here’s wishing a long ash to you all!