When we think of legendary cigars, the name Montecristo is one of the few that comes to mind. It is has its roots deep in the Cuban cigar world and has been an iconic brand for decades. The brand was founded in 1937 in Cuba, but after the Cuban revolution, Montecristo founder, Alonso Menendez and his business partner, José “Pepe” Garcia fled the country to start new operations in the Canary Islands.
The operation failed and the two migrated to the Dominican Republic and started the Tabacalera de Garcia factory in La Romana, Dominican Republic where the current U.S. Montecristo cigars cigars have been produced since 1971. Today the Dominican Montecristo brand is distributed by Altadis U.S.A., a subsidiary of Tabacalera USA. Altidas U.S.A is now owned by Imperial Brands PLC of Great Britain.
In 2018, Altidas U.S.A. collaborated with A.J. Fernandez to create a Montecristo Puro which would go by the name “Montecristo Nicaragua Series”. Although they have collaborated before, this time the collaboration included the company’s head of product capability, Rafael Nodal. The result of the this collaboration of two cigar greats resulted in a unique Montecristo cigar.
The company describes the blend simply as:
- Wrapper – Nicaragua
- Binder – Nicaragua
- Filler – Nicaragua
The Montecristo Nicaragua Series is available in 4 vitolas and come packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Robusto (5 x 54) MSRP $10.58
- Toro (6 x 54) MSRP $11.03
- No. 2 Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52) MSRP $11.43
- Churchill (7 x 56) MSRP $12.33
For this review, I sampled the Montecristo Nicaragua Series No.2 Torpedo which I received as part of the package from attending the Miami Mega Herf late in 2018.
The Montecristo Nicaragua Series is a beautifully smooth medium tan cigar that has a perfectly finished torpedo cap. The cigar is solid to the touch, has a decent oily sheen to the wrapper, and has minimal veins.
There are two bands that adorn the cigar. The primary band uses the classic Montecristo logo with the word “Montecristo” in red on top and the “Nicaragua Series” in gold on the bottom. There is a secondary band right below that boldly declares this as the Nicaragua Series.
Running the cigar along the nose, I picked up a pungent fermented leaf aroma along the barrel and light baking spice notes off the foot.
I chose to cut the cap on a 45 degree angle like I do with most torpedoes and gave it some cold draw puffs. The draw was perfect to my liking and delivered notes of earth to start and then developed peppery spice on the lips and palate.
I used my triple torch lighter to ignite this one and was greeted with a thick and creamy smoke that tingled the nasals with a decent dose of pepper.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper on the nose during first few puffs
- Thick creamy smoke
- Grassy notes enter as the pepper receded
- White ash develops on a fairly thick char line
- A fruit lingers on the palate
- Sweetness presents itself on the tip of the tongue
- Smoke is smooth and easy on the palate
- Light lemon grass enters along with a sweet roasted nut aroma
- Ash falls gently revealing a perfect burn cone
- Flavors have blended well so far
- Sweetness is predominant with a light Nicaragua earth component beginning to grow in the profile
- Burn starts to get slightly wavy before the second band
- Strength increases to medium
- Cedar notes appear midway through the second third
- Bitterness enters in the final ending the journey
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking time was 1 hour and 30 minutes
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Bitterness in the final
Overall, I have to say I really enjoyed the Montecristo Nicaragua Series No.2 and I rate it a 94. I feel the blend on this is spot on with the mild exception of the bitter notes that entered in the final third. It was not laden with Nicaragua earthy notes, although some did appear as expected considered this is a Nicaraguan puro. From a construction perspective this was a solid cigar that had a bit of a wavy burn once it got into the second third but never needed a touch up. I have to commend A.J. and Rafael for making a terrific cigar and I would suggest buying a fiver of these to add to your rotation. I also think this is one that will age well.