Review – Montecristo Media Corona

MontecristoOrigin : Cuba
Size : 44 x 90 mm (3.5" in)
Brand Strength : Medium to Full
Box Year : 2016
Price : ~ € 6,60 / $ 7.05
More info about purchasing Montecristo cigars...

The Montecristo Media Corona is an impressive, flavour-rich short stick introduced only recently by Cuba's most popular cigar marque, giving a much more fulfilling cigar experience than one might guess from its rather nub-like length.

Readers will quickly notice that the vitola here, is the same as the Herman Upmann Half Corona, though for the Montecristo, Habanos chose to use the Spanish word for 'half' ('media') instead.

The Montecristo Media Corona is a bit under the radar, given that, although Habanos announced this cigar as a standard catalogue item when introduced in 2015, the Media Corona still does not show amidst the regular Montecristo listing on the Habanos official website (which has a few other glitches on Habanos current output as well).

Buying the tail end of a 2015 box of Media Coronas that had been open & mellowing in the small humidor room of a cigar shop, I discovered a short smoke here that was even more joyous than I anticipated.

Part of the thought behind the thicker 44 ring gauge for the Half Coronas, may be a wish to avoid the tight draw issue often found in small-format Cubans, & the Montecristos quite shine here, drawing easily with more consistency than the 40 ring gauge Montecristo No. 5.

But where the Montecristo Media Coronas really wowed me, was in the flavour experience. They tend to have some prominent spice notes just at the very beginning, & then not too long after, some really superb waves of flavour start to build - nuts, honey, chocolate - coming in un-predictable surges, & sometimes so pleasingly intense I could not help but grin & chuckle a bit. These little sticks have been giving me some really perfect cigar moments, where you are reminded why you like cigars so much & why some Cubans are really worth the money.

Toward the end of the middle third, there tend to be some moments where the flavour recedes or the stick gets slightly harsh, but then you can have all the flavour rushing back in again too. Ash has tended to be uneven, but with the great flavour palette that's not something I would complain about.

There's a striking amount of evolution & fun in this short stogie, which also seems to burn slowly. Despite puffing the Media Coronas a bit more rapidly than my usual leisurely pace, because they taste so good, I typically get more than 30 minutes out of these baby-length Montecristos. And at the end, you've travelled so much flavour-wise & had such a good experience, it doesn't really feel like a super-short cigar to me.

Still, I wish it was a bit longer, partly for appearance sake. To my eye, a cigar should be at least slightly longer, 3 7/8" or 98mm, to start looking like a cigar & not like a nub.

Maybe I lucked out with the box I bought, but my impression is that the Media Corona can make you believe again in the glories of Montecristo if you've been doubting it. This may be a candidate for the best entreacto-length Cuban short smoke. In shops near me, the same-size Upmann Half Corona is 2/3 the price, but the Montecristo in this vitola is a much more exalted cigar to my view.

The rival to the Media Corona is the often quite excellent No 5 Perla also from Montecristo, another shortie at about the same price. The Perla is a vitola I've always liked ... but the flavour richness of the Media Corona will draw me to it despite my own preference for 34-43 ring gauges.

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2 Comments on “Review – Montecristo Media Corona”

  1. Excellent review. For me and those I know who have smoked the Media Coronas, they are big surprises. Much richer than the #5. Typically I don’t like the value proposition of such small cigar, but these are worth it to me.

  2. Good review – the Media Coronas are a good shorter smoke.

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