Origin : Cuba
Format : Forum (smaller torpedo)
Size : 5.3 x 46 (135 x 18.26 mm)
Price : $8 each
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When I first learnt about the new Montecristo Open blend, the Regata was the one I wanted to try the most. I fell in love with the format (it's a shorter and thinner torpedo, basically) at first sight. Then bad reviews started pouring in and I also personally contributed by describing how the Montecristo Open Master didn't live up to my expectations. I was so disappointed that I called this blend "disappointment of the year" in my recent list of the best Cuban cigars of 2009.
However, I kept some Regatas in the humidor in order to revisit the blend a couple of month after its release and give it a second chance. This is precisely what I did this week. I took it out of the humidor and a quick inspection indicated that there were no visible flaws to the cigar. On the contrary, it looked quite good with its nice shiny wrapper and the double band. The smell was typical Cuban (sweet & sour), just like one would expect a Monte to smell like. So, it made me almost forget my bad experience with the Master and I was looking forward to a pleasant smoke. I clipped the cap and discovered a spicy pre-draw, which didn't surprise me much.
When I was done toasting the foot and took the first pulls, an aggressive spicy taste took over my palate. The smoke, not abundant at all, was dry and not exactly pleasing. As soon as the initial spice dissipated, plain woody flavors made their way in and I immediately recognized them... Open. Sighing loudly, I continued to smoke, wishing for a sudden change of pace but it never occurred. I quickly got bored with the cigar which, I must admit, was well-constructed. In order to salve my conscience, I lit another one the next day and it resulted in a pretty similar experience.
My conclusion is that, unfortunately, Montecristo Open defended its title of the "disappointment of the year".