Montecristo No. 2 - Cuban Cigar Review
A true Cuban classic, everyone should at least have one or more Montecristo No. 2's in their humidor. But what about recent production? Does the vitola have plenty to offer for novice and experienced smokers?
This Cigar really does not need an introduction. Cuba's most famous and most respected Cigar, the Montecristo #2 is big and proud. The flagship Cigar; it has enthralled smokers for decades. However, the last ten years have not been kind for the Montecristo #2 story. Inconsistency problems that are rooted from the Cigar boom of the late nineties still haunt this Montecristo vitola. Quality seems to vary significantly from box to box, thus making it difficult for smokers to make a commitment to buying a box or more of these Cigars.
The last couple of years have seen a lot of other brands overtake the Monty #2 for the best Cuban Torpedo. Due to the inconsistencies spoken about above, I've found from my own experience and from others that the Montecristo #2 doesn't bode well when young so a somewhat average stick will need to be left to age for quite a while before it should be smoked. In my opinion, the Partagas P2 rules the roost at this time; the quality of this brand has stolen the Monty #2 thunder due to better quality right out of the blocks. You can get away with smoking a young Partagas #2 and with only a year of age, it's an outstanding smoke.
I was in the Bear Shop in Cardiff this morning, and decided to take the plunge and bought one. I haven't smoked a Monty #2 for over a year; there are better sticks for better value, but sometimes heart overrules head. I've smoked around 30 of these in my Cigar journey, and found them very hit and miss. When they're on, they are one of the best smokes you'll ever have the privilege in smoking. But often than not you're wondering whether the Cigar should have offered you just a little bit more.
Tonight I'm teaming the Montecristo #2 with some Carn Mor Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. I was at the Cardiff International Food Festival last evening and like the sucker I am, I just had to sample some of the Whiskeys that were on sale in one of the stalls. This one is a 12 year old Scotch, with no added colour with a very plain label. I had a tipple of this last night and was very impressed with it's bouquet of chocolate and honey.
The construction on the Cigar is magnificent. There is very little to criticise with the appearance. Nicely wrapped, no big veins, with a dark, appealing wrapper. As I had brought this Cigar as a single I did not know it's age and therefore I'm stabbing at a guess that this is either a 2006 or 2007 production. But I could possibly be very wrong!
After clipping the Montecristo, I sampled the easy-going draw and lit it up. This Cigar has quite a large girth so it took me a good two minutes using some cedar splits to get it lighted the way I wanted it to. The first few puffs gave me a warm, light pepper taste with some toasted undertones. Once the Cigar go t running properly the light pepper notes faded and the toast came the more prominent flavour with hints of mocha.
Fifteen minutes in the toasted flavour kept going nice and steadily, with the classic Montecristo .twang' revealing itself subtly. The main problem I was having with the smoke was unfortunately the burn. It wanted to go uneven many times during the smoking period, and this was becoming a major hassle that was making a negative impact on the smoke. Correcting the problems would help the Cigar along a fair way, but I would find myself trying to correct the burn again not too long.
The flavour of the Cigar did not change much during the smoking. Toast and mocha with a little bit of the Monty twang. The flavour was quite enjoyable but I think I was expecting just a little more progression for such a big Cigar.
After an hour and twenty minutes it was time to put this Cigar to rest. A mixed bag; I enjoyed the flavour profile and the overall smoke but the burn issues spoilt it slightly for me. There are many reasons for burn issues. Is the Cigar too young? Was there a breeze? Was the Cigar over humidified? I can only say that I was smoking this inside so I'd have to say my guess would be the Cigar might have been too young. The real reason, I don't think I'll ever know.
If you had the option of a Montecristo #2 from, lets say, 2008, would you buy it? I think you'd be better off spending your money on a different stick, like a Romeo y Julieta Belicosos, Bolivar Bolicosos Fino or Partagas P2. These are smoking better today than the Montecristo #2 and are cheaper to boot too!
- Appearance: 14/15
- Draw & Burn: 11/20
- Flavour & Complexity: 24/30
- Overall: 28/35
- Total: 77/100
One of the iconic Cuban Cigars, the Montecristo No. 2 is well known for it's size and torpedo shape.
Montecristo No. 2 box of ten
Introduced in mid-2000's, the Montecristo No. 2 packaged in boxes of ten gives the aficionado the option of purchasing this iconic cigar without breaking the bank by buying a full box of the more common twenty five count.
New Montecristo bands
In February 2015, shipments of the Montecristo No. 2 began to arrive in the Asia Pacific markets with the new Montecristo band, that was first introduced in 2013 with the Montecristo Double Edmundo and Petit No. 2.