It’s hard not to get past all the hype around Cuban cigars these days. Everyone seems to be asking the question “Are Cubans really better, are they worth it?” Etc and so forth. One of the most talked about and Cubans that I can remember hearing about is the Montecristo #2. This cigar has made countless (actually they can be counted) appearances in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 and always garnering a top rating when it comes to their blind tasting. I can easily say it’s a staple in the Cuban cigar market. It’s on nearly every Cuban cigar retailer’s list of cigars to try. So to say the least it’s one that needed to be sampled.
The Monte #2 that I’m smoking for this review was picked up from our sponsor Cigar Terminal! They’ve been great to work with and always deliver the cigars in tip top shape, and they’re all legit Cubans. So I never have to worry about the authenticity of the product. I can’t recommend Cigar Terminal enough. If you’re looking to get some Cuban cigars they are the place to go!
This Montecristo #2 is one of the original sizes created by the Cuban Montecristo brand which got it’s start back in 1935. Believed to have been inspired by the novel ‘The Count of Montecristo’ you can see swords built into a triangle shape on the cover of most of the boxes. This particular blend adorns the Fleur de Lis in the center of the band and has become a symbol throughout the cigar community for the Montecristo brand.
This Montecristo #2 has a now common torpedo shape to it. The heads come to a nice sharp point. The wrapper is a deep chocolate brown with a just a bit of texture that gives it a worn leather look to it. The seams are easily noticeable yet, give the idea that they would come apart or unravel.
The band is simple, it’s a semi-dark brown with a white piping around it and the comes together in the center of the band. As mentioned above this cigar adorns the Fleur de Lis and encircling that symbol are the words Montecristo & Habana.
Over the years I’ve started using more of a diagonal cut on torpedo cigars. I love how it opens up the head of the cigar and allows a bit more of an open draw. That’s exactly what I do for this Montecristo #2. The cold draw is nice and open and I’m getting a good dose of the flavors to come.
The barrel rolls nicely between my fingers. Giving a good bounce back and sponginess to the filler tobacco. The foot looks well packed and I can’t notice any stems being present. Placing my torch on the foot this cigar takes off producing a good bit of smoke and a nice even curl to start the ash.
As I get through the first third this Montecristo #2 begins to open up. The burn becomes a little uneven so I touched it up with the lighter. Nothing that really concerns me. The draw is great creating a big bellow of smoke that is filling up the garage. I love how it permeates and creates a relaxing environment.
Throughout this entire smoke I never had an issue with the burn. I made sure to purge it at a few points to keep the flavors from building up that awful tar flavor. Other than that it was delightful smoke from front to back.
The flavors on this Montecristo #2 is supposedly what separates it from other cigars in the category. Obviously, that has to be the case or otherwise it would just the same cigar right? I’m ready to dive in and see what these flavors are all about.
On the cold draw I picked up a lot of sweet mocha notes and hints of earth. That strong mocha / chocolate note was the dominate one and I expected throughout. However, once I got the cigar lit it all but disappeared. The most dominate note throughout was leather. There were some subtle hints of sweetness that mocha came through every now and again. I got bits of cinnamon throughout that gave it a nice bit of complexity as well.
For me this cigar never built to more than a medium bodied smoke. It was absolutely delicious though. That nice medium level of strength but the complexity of flavors gave it a very rich flavor profile which never made it boring. This Montecristo #2 never tried to overpower me instead, it gave me something that I could enjoy over and over.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Man, I hope one day it can be!
Would I Buy a Box?
With absolute certainty.
Sometimes, cigars come with a bit too much hype and they can’t deliver. Other times they hit the ball right on the mark and leave you wanting more. To me that’s what this Montecristo #2 did. I loved every single puff on this cigar. I could easily smoke one of these every day. It has enough complexity to keep it interesting, but not it’s so powerful that you have to eat a large meal afterwards to recover. It’s just an fantastic cigar all around.