Montecristo Espada Guard
For some reason I have been drawn to a lot of the ‘big brands’ lately. Cigars produced by Altadis, General, etc. I stopped back into the Nashville Casa de Montecristo one night and chatted with a new employee and I got his take on what he had been smoking recently. He told me that he was smoking the Montecristo Espada Guard most often. I had always seen it on the shelf but never paid it much attention. So I thought what the heck might as well give it a try. The cigar was right around $10 for the stick so it’s near the top of what I prefer to pay but I figured what the heck might as well right?
So there is a really cool story behind this cigar. This is another collaboration on the part of Altadis and another cigar company. This time they have paired up with Plasencia cigars. It uses 100% Nicaraguan tobacco which is unlike most of their cigars, if not all of them. They even formed a special team called the Grupo de Maestros which is a special blending group composed of both Altadis & Plasencia employees. They worked on the blend for this Montecristo Espada Guard, which by the way Espada is Spanish for sword. You’ll notice that they’re paying homage to the swords in the traditional Montecristo logo.
One thing that certainly stands out about this Montecristo Espada Guard is the packaging. The box that these cigars come in is very impressive. It has a nice suede outer presentation. With embellished brass corners to protect the sharp edges. I’m always impressed with the amount of detail and thought put into each package layout on the cigars from Altadis, it’s clearly something that they take very serious.
It’s also pretty awesome that for this Montecristo Espada Guard they included the actual leaf used in the blend on the inside of the box. It specifically states the following:
Wrapper: Habano Jalapa Vintage 2010
Binder: Habano Jalapa Vintage 2009
Filler: Habano Jalapa Seco Vintage 2008, Habano Jalapa Viso Ometepe Vintage 2008, Habano Condega Ligero Vintage 2008
Rarely do you get that much detail and info on the blend. Personally I love seeing that sort of information it gives you some insight into what’s going on with the blend and some behind the scenes peek into their world.
Well it’s time to actually get into this cigar and see if it stacks up to the build up that I’ve put around it thus far. This Montecristo Espada Guard stands at 6″ x 50 in stature. Once I nip the top of the cap off I’m ready to get some fire to the foot and get it rolling. Before I do that, I end up taking both the foot band and the barrel band off. They really adorned this cigar with some extra packaging which I love, but I’m not going to chance setting them on fire just to keep them on.
While smoking through this Montecristo Espada Guard I never had a single draw issue or burn issue. The ash never made it longer than a half inch though. I actually dropped it at least 2 times right on my jeans. So that is a little concerning regarding the construction of the cigar, but other than dinging my pride. It never was an issue that affected my smoking experience.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect with this Montecristo Espada Guard. I didn’t do any research before smoking the cigar. As I said above it was recommended by an employee and other than quickly looking at the packaging I didn’t know anything about it. My first couple of sniffs of the barrel and the foot produced some nice aromas of leather, grass, and what I felt like was green tea. That was something interesting that I’m pretty sure that I’ve never picked up on a cigar.
Once this Montecristo Espada Guard was lit and started producing some the flavor profile began a pretty drastic shift. Instantly I was hit with a dose of pepper, to me it was a blend of red pepper flakes and that more potent black pepper that makes me need to sneeze. Occasionally, I would pick up on a sweet spice something similar to cinnamon that brought a nice bit of balance to the overall flavor profile.
Now, I usually tend to gravitate to a cigar that is more balanced and isn’t dominated by one particular flavor arena. However, I have to say that this Montecristo Espada Guard spent most of it’s time in the spice arena, but I was totally ok with it! I really enjoyed the overall experience it gave something that I had no preconceived notions about going into and it delivered a great flavor profile.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
At $10 a stick, not for me.
Would I Buy a Box?
I honestly think I would consider a box purchase here. I love the packaging, the cigar is great if you can find it for around $7 a cigar it would certainly be a deal!
Overall, this Montecristo Espada Guard was pretty fantastic. I think Altadis and the Plasencia folks did a great job with this blend. It offers up a lot of spice on the flavor wheel but nothing that is overbearing to where it becomes a distraction to your enjoyment. I keep saying it, but the packaging is just fantastic, I can’t say enough about it. I certainly think if you’re on the fence about this cigar then pick it up and give a try and you won’t be disappointed.