In December, Cigar Aficionado released its list of the top 25 cigars of 2014. Number 9 on the list was the Monte by Montecristo Jacopo. We added this cigar to our lineup after the 2013 IPCPR show and it hit the shelves late in 2013 but never seemed to get a lot of hype or attention. Now, with a 93 rating from Cigar Aficionado and making it into their top 10, this stick certainly deserves a much closer look!
Let’s take look at the basics. We’ve got a 6 1/8″ x 54 ring box pressed torpedo. The wrapper is not the Connecticut shade wrapper you usually see on a Montecristo. This one is Ecuador Habano, and I know just by looking at it that it’s going to have a much fuller taste than the normal Montecristo. This smoke also has a double binder: Dominican Olor and Nicaraguan Corojo. That is definitely going to step up the flavor profile from the mild strength we expect from a Montecristo. The filler is Dominican, but what we have here is Altadis USA retooling some of their landmark blends for today’s cigar market. A great example of this was seen several years ago by Altadis USA with their introduction of the Romeo by Romeo line, creating an outstanding new blend that made it up to number 3 on Cigar Aficionado top cigar list!
So I take off the cello too look at this beauty. It’s a smooth and silky wrapper with an aroma of cocoa and nuts with a bit of hay and dry leaves. It almost reminds me of an autumn day aroma. Has a nice cold draw of cocoa and nuts. The construction of this cigar is outstanding….just the right feel and very consistent. I put torch to cigar and the first thing I notice is the great draw, nice and open with just the right amount of resistance. The flavor is very toasty–a hint of nuts and cocoa and just a bit of spice coming through from that Nicaraguan binder. It is not overly complex but is highly enjoyable. There is no predominant flavor pushing through, but it is just complex enough to make all the subtle flavors work together in unison. This cigar is mellow and smooth and a real joy to smoke. The cigar burned absolutely perfect and never needed a touch up. The smoke never got hot and essentially remained cool right to the end. I paired this cigar with a nice glass of Port on a cool evening; it was a great match.
So what are my final thoughts on this cigar? As much as I enjoyed the smoke it left me somewhat confused. It was very smooth, it burned perfectly, and I smoked it all the way to the end since it was so smooth. Perhaps with a 93 rating I was waiting for that blockbuster flavor to come out and give me that WOW factor. That WOW factor never did appear but yet this was really a nice smoke and I would definitely smoke it again. Sometimes you don’t need the WOW factor when everything else just works so well. I recommend trying this cigar–it is definitely worth it!
Steve Mungeer, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Gourmet Supervisor/Certified Retail Tobacconist
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