Montecristo Open Regata

Montecristo Open Regata

Origin : CubaMontecristo
Format : Forum (smaller torpedo)
Size : 5.3 x 46 (135 x 18.26 mm)
Price : $8 each
More info about purchasing Montecristo cigars...

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".

18 Comments on “Montecristo Open Regata”

  1. You are a brave and optimistic person, giving the Open another chance :-)

  2. If Debbie Downer did cigar reviews I expect it would go much like this one. Sorry for the bummer smoke but thanks for the warning.

  3. Cuba. Eight bones. That hurts.

  4. Methinks Inspector got lucky as I got unlucky and got one with no draw. I could actually feel that the rolling was too tight and no amount of playing would loosed it. Result – a bit of a Montecristo spiciness but no smoke at the business end. Perfect for doctors and oncologists. I have since found out that the shop these (Master and Regata) were purchased in is receiving a dodgy supply but no matter – they were recommended to my wife as a good Christmas gift for a cigar smoker. Thank God I had a couple of Edmundos put aside.

    Anyway – fully second Inspectors assessment – these are little more than stage props for non-smokers as they would do little to encourage the beginner to venture further.


  5. Really bad to hear that this was a disappointing cigar. Though it looks awesome looks can be deceiving–sorry to ear of your disappointment.I was hoping this would be a great smoke!

  6. My local cigar specialist is of the opinion that these could be like the Edmundo – initially not great but they later hit on a winning blend – and reckons his current batch are far better than the earlier shipments.
    Best wait for others to review the later batches before committing again. There are far more reputable smokes available for the money. Maybe Montecristo could send out free tasting samples ???

  7. I got a box of these Open Ragata from Everything looks legit but I don’t really like the taste of those. I don’t know if I got a box of fakes or it is just not that good! Anyone uses I even ran the black light to get the seal, it does have the watermark on it…. Just the cigars don’t taste that great compare to other cubans I tried!

  8. @J.H
    Well, as you can see from my review, I didn’t really like those cigars. And neither did other aficionados I know. I don’t think the cigars are fake, that’s just how they taste.

  9. cigardentist says:

    I received a box of Punch Double Coronas from Puro Express March 24,2010.I am a long time smoker of cuban cigars & bought a lot of my cigars everywhere I travel at La Casa del Habanos.The box that I got did not close properly & the cigas are have a slightly bigger ring gauge.The markings on the bottom are ink stamps instead of the depressed heat seals.The parch paper inside the box is smooth & should have a texture & the lettering should be felt when you run your fingers over them.Also the goverment seal is slightly off-color & again smooth to touch.The cigars are rolled with Cuban tobacco but are not “factory” issue.Do not be fooled by the cheap prices.These do not taste like the boxes of Punch double coronas that I have smoked. If any of these show on your order,then they are not legit.
    Dr N

  10. I had the same experience with the Open Junior.
    Totally tasteless, uninspiring and blad smoke. I was SO disappointed. Looks like they screwed up this blend BIG TIME!!

  11. Just a bad copy of Monte2,too mild for a MC,evanescent,maybe a good Dominican…like all the open regata line,a good smoke for beginers

  12. Is it better than Dominicans, nicaraguans, etc.. Yes
    Is it close to an Edmundo…like walking from your house to Neptune…
    I got a box, first ones were ok, after some months in humi, got ok+, last ones just sitting there as “use in case of emergency” cigar. Get Edmundos, much better”

  13. I had it lately, and I almost got sick of it.. I never smoked a cuban cigar, and I planned never to do it agian.. Good to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t like it :)

  14. I’ll second the opinion that it is a horrible cigar.
    I tried them fresh out of the box, then I had a couple after keeping them for 2 months in the humi and then another two after 6 months in the humidor.
    The last 2 that I smoked where OK, but not nearly as good as the original Montecristo n. 2 even straight out of the box.
    Great looks, overly tight draw, blah taste.
    I gave away the rest, for life is too short to waste it on bad cigars.

  15. These are not that great have 2 more but more likly to give away and keep the Cohibas for me.

  16. Seedeater56 says:

    Ok, I have resolved to give all the Open Series a shot and I want to continue with the Open Regatta here (I’ve posted on the Master):

    Appearance and build quality both were very nice. The wrapper had a pleasant sheen to it and the pre light aroma was great.

    I tend to use a punch for the end cap on my smokes and that was perhaps an error on this occasion, as the torpedo tip really needs to be cut a fair little way in.

    The toast was easy, the burn ready and very even. A beautifully cool and smooth smoke with the cigar keeping together wonderfully (unlike the Master!). As I said, I’d used a punch and consequently not gone down the cap particularly far. As a result, the narrow opening dis get soggy and the draw became laborious. I used a knife to take another quarter inch off and everything got beautifully smooth again.

    The flavour is actually quite uncomplicated. A little salty on the lips and some sweet notes coming through, but there was not a great deal going on and I kept looking to see if I was actually drawing anything in; I was, it’s just that it was a little bit bland.

    Maybe ideal for a beginner or early afternoon smoke with a gentle drink. Definitely not a contender for a big after dinner event.

  17. Oddly, I have found that the Tubos version of these are slightly better. Both the Master and Eagle were awesome out of the tubes. The box version however fell flat. I bought a box of the Masters and it was not the same cigar (yes it was a real box of cubans). It’s weird how some cigars out of the tube can differ so much from the box version.

  18. My review of the Montecristo Open Regata

    It has been more than three years since my first and last encounter with a Montecristo Open, and I cant say I have been eager to smoke it again… They were launched with doom and gloom presentations, targeting the novice smokers and outdoor activities. But I am not a novice smoker, and I like my cigar to have a bit of “ooomph”, so I gathered that the Montecristo Open was not for me.

    Montecristo Open Regata

    A lot has been said since; some say the blend has changed and others say that they are now great, so I decided to give it another try. I was recently given a Montecristo Regata Tubo by a friend, who also said he likes them, so I will be smoking this one tonight. The Regata is a “forum” size, an unusual thin petit belicoso, with a ring gauge of 46 and 5.3″ in length. So, lets light it up and see if the Open blend has changed at all.

    The new yellow and green tubes may be nice looking, but I am not blown away by the appearance of the cigar. The wrapper has a light brown shade and a rough, grainy feel. There are plently of prominent veins, a couple of small cracks on the leaf, and the triple cap is sloppy. The cigar feels solid, almost like a broomstick and I am starting to worry. Upon cutting it, I realize it draws like a broomstick too… Bummer! Lets light it up and see if it loosens up.

    The Regata kicks of with a pleasant sweet, coffee flavour. The draw is not helping me out at all; getting a good draw requires quite an effort, but there are some flavours there. Only a few drags and a distinctive pepperiness also shows up. But there is more surprises further down the road; a woody flavour also chimes in, covering most of the pepper, and all these within the first inch! But its not all so great; the wrapper has started to crack near the coal, with the split extending more as I smoke it. I am trying hard to get a decent draw and my jaws are already sore, but I am determined to give it a chance!

    In the second third, the Regata picks up the pace a little bit. Although tight, the draw is a bit more bearable. The body is medium and the flavours are balanced harmonically. The cigar is neither too sweet, too spicy or too woody, it has a bit of everything, without alternating dominant flavours. The ash is solid as expected and light grey in colour and falls off almost half way in the cigar, hitting a bullseye on my keyboard as usual! I wouldn’t say it s bad so far, but it seems to have started to lose some of its flavours.

    Smoking in the last third, the Regata doesn’t change much. It is still pleasant, but the more you smoke the flatter and less exciting it gets. The woody flavours are now more prominent, while a little bitterness also appears. Towards the end, the Regata starts having some burn issues and the continuous relighting affects the flavours even more. As it has started to get unpleasant, its time to put it to rest.

    Although this Montecristo Open was not as bad as the one I had when they were first launched, it’s still not great. It started of showing some promise, but it all started to go south from there on. Surely, a better draw would have helped it deliver more flavours, but it still wouldn’t have changed the fact that like all the Opens, the Regata is a tame cigar!

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