Origin : Cuba
Format : Lonsdale
Size : 162 x 16 mm (6.38 x 42)
Box code : TUR JUL 08
Price : ~$7 each in Cuba / ~$23 each in Canada
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Today we're bringing you a guest review by Tyler of an underestimated Cuban Montecristo No. 1. Enjoy!
Standing in one of the LCDHs in Cuba I was uncertain if this was the right purchase for me. I had never tried a Montecristo No. 1 and lonsdales are not typically my first choice of cigar size. On top of that I had been having bad luck with other Montecristos during the trip. I was however intrigued by the idea of purchasing a box of cigars that had already been aged without any work on my part. I am not normally one to gamble but on that day I was feeling bold enough to make a leap of faith. Upon returning home and lighting up I was very happy with the outcome and thought a good review would be in order.
Immediately when I opened the box I was impressed. The cigars were beautifully box pressed by age and a few even had slight curves in the shape. They looked as if each cigar matched exactly with the one beside and I really did not want to disturb them from the box. Each cigar has a rustic appearance. There are a few veins in the wrapper however they are almost fitting of the physical cigar. They match quite well with the slightly faded bands. The filler is evenly distributed throughout. A wave of aged tobacco smell accompanied the opening of the box.
The construction for the most part is very good. The cigar has a nice slow burn that remains straight the whole way down. The draw is a bit firm for my taste however I find this true with most lonsdales. The advantage of this though is the smoke remains cool and pleasant. These cigars feel a bit delicate so I try to maintain an extra level of caution when smoking them or moving them around in my humidor.
The flavour of this cigar is what really blew me away. Right off the bat I was getting nice creamy cappuccino smoke. There were hints of cedar on the palate reminiscent of the traditional Montecristo style however this cigar was much more committed to the creamy coffee flavours. The date for this box is from 2008 making it a 3 and a half year old box. I believe these cigars are at their prime smoking time right now. The youthful desire of the tobacco has been tempered by aged creating a rich harmony of flavours; a welcomed improvement from some of the younger Montecristos I smoked while in Cuba. The finish is smooth with noticeable leather. At this stage I would consider this cigar medium bodied. This is a change from the full-bodied pungent Cubans I normally turn to; however this cigar is nice in a subtler way.
If you can manage to get a box for a decent price like I did then it’s a great bargain. I paid $168 for the box, which is about $7.00 a cigar. For that price these are an unbelievable buy. In Canada they sell for around $23 a piece. This high price of smoke is generally too rich for my blood. I think a key part of the value of this cigar is the fact that it is a 2008. I think it is in its prime age and I would not have made the purchase if it was a 2010 or 2011 box, but for what I paid these cigars have an exceptional value.
Overall Rating :
A truly rustic cigar. Extravagant yet understated, the Montecristo No. 1 is beautiful to look at and has an exceptional flavour. These cigars are physical and refined. They make a great pair with a nice port or rum. I would avoid a scotch that is either too oaky or peaty as it may overpower the cigar. Although they would not typically be my first choice I was pleasantly surprised. If you can manage to get an older box for a good price or have the ability to age them yourself, these are definitely ones to try. I am definitely looking forward to savoring them this summer.