Origin : Cuba
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 (152 mm) x 52
Released in : 2011
Box code : SUB OCT 11 (1110/5000)
Price : $1500 for a box of 15 cigars
More info about purchasing Montecristo cigars...
After giving Montecristo a hard time in a previous review, I felt it only fair to find another cigar of their issue that was somewhat close in age to the one I dealt with so harshly to see if the box I consumed was an aberration, or if the issues I encountered with the other product continued with this limited edition release. I am happy to say that in this case the latter applies, not the former. What one is left to wonder is how something so wrong could turn into something so right. By its taste profile, it would SEEM that this outcome was what Montecristo was shooting for with their 2008 Sublime release. Here they are using 2005 tobacco, which on its face would indicate that the stock was somewhat similar in age to the Sublime (it used 2006 tobacco). This is a conundrum I do not think I can figure out by the time this review is over. Where such utter failure turns into such utter bliss leaves me dumbstruck, but I will take them as they come.
Montecristo pulled out all the stops on this one. Packaging is in a single layer in its own airtight shrink wrapped sealed box, which reminds me much of the Partagas Lusitania 2007, but with some nice extra tweaks. Color of the cigar is that rich deep brown we all know from Montecristo, and all sticks were about as uniform in size and density as they come. Not too firm and not too spongy, this Montecristo hit the Goldilocks spot - just right. Cigars were for all intents and purposes free of spines of any kind or consequence. With its signature torpedo tip with classic Montecristo ring and added Gran Reserva ring, this smoke was technically perfect in appearance and feel.
I found very few construction problems. At times, the burn was not consistent; but not to the point where it did not correct itself, or could be manually corrected. Wrapper remained bound through all thirds of the smoke.
Here is where the product shines its best. Effortless lighting yields billowing columns of smoke with oak and cedar notes followed with a slight aftertaste of almonds/amaretto. Taste and ash held for at least the first third of the smoke meandering into some of the more traditional earthy notes you expect from a Montecristo but with a VERY nice twist. Where Monte’s traditionally hit you with strong flavor profiles, this stick delivered the goods in more and more complex tastes with every puff. This is NOT a strong tasting cigar by ANY means. You get the flavor you crave, but delivered like a soft cuddly puppy for Christmas. I just have to wonder if this is what Montecristo was aiming for when they released the 2008 Sublimes. This smoke consistently delivered flavor markers that I only got in passing when consuming the 2008. The difference was like night and day.
This product’s price point is VERY lofty for the average cigar lover, but if you have the availability to pick up a couple as a “single”, do NOT pass up the chance. This morsel has all the trappings of a “bucket list” cigar, and if it can hold its flavor profile for a few years, it is worth it to stick one back and forget about it for a while. Otherwise, it is not something you would want to blow your entire cigar budget to get. There are better, more reasonably priced cigars out there, ESPECIALLY the Ramon Allones 225th Anniversary limited edition that will make your hobby money go further with the same or even superior flavor results.
Overall Rating : (4.25)
Do yourself a favor and block off a couple of hours to enjoy this not so normal Montecristo. It is worthy of its heritage name, and most definitely that class of fine cigar that carries the name Gran Reserva. Montecristo hit the mark here, and went some way in redeeming themselves in my eyes after such a fiasco with their Sublime release. Now - if only they could remain consistent---- nahhhh --- A man can dream though…