Montecristo No. 4
As some of you may know, on July 6 I got married to a phenomenal young lady. She has been affectionately referred to as the fiance for the past 8 months or so. Now I can happily call her the wife! As part of celebrating our nuptials we took a trip to Jamaica and hit up Sandals Whitehouse. Most of you hopefully aware that Cuban cigars are illegal in the US. So when you head out of the country it’s always worthwhile to try and find some and scoop them up. If you end up finding some, hopefully they aren’t fakes and they come from a reputable source. I wasn’t exactly searching out some Cubans while at the resort, but we hit up the resort shop and low and behold they had a nice little stand up humidor chock full of Cubans. I took a long hard look at their inventory to size it up and see what was available. Then I took a look at the prices… Wow, talk about some price gauging. These cigars ranged from $22-26 which is just highway robbery to me. However, I am on vacation I am celebrating my wedding, so I’ll spend more than I like to and I’ll get some Cubans for on this trip.
The first cigar that I went with was a Montecristo No. 4. I have a couple of Monte #2’s in my humidor back home, but I had just been talking to my friend at my wedding about the Montecristo No. 4. He said it was one of the best cigars that he had ever smoked. With that kind of build up how could I not buy it? I took a look at the $22 price tag for Petite Corona and I nearly passed out. I slapped myself in the face and woke up and went and just charged it to the room. It’s just easier that way right?
Now that I’m ready to smoke this stick, I just have to find somewhere to peaceful and relaxing to smoke it. Yep, I headed to the beach. Parked down on a stretchy beach chair and I’m ready to fire this thing up.
Looking over this Montecristo No. 4 there isn’t much to really look at. The packaging is very subtle the band almost blends right into the wrapper of the cigar. It’s a dark brown band that has the Montecristo Fleur de Lis in the middle printed in white to make it pop out a bit more. There is a white outline on the band as well to make it stand out a bit. Nothing flashy, just simply Montecristo and Habana. So it lets you know a little about the cigar. Then you’re left to guess what size it is.
The wrapper on this cigar is a delicious looking chocolate brown. Not much glean to it, but it still looks like a quality wrapper. The construction doesn’t look as great as some other cigars that are being produced outside of Cuba, but I can look past that for now. One of the first things I notice about this wrapper is the amount of tooth peeking through on the outside. I’m sure it’ll show itself on the ash. There is one solid vein that runs the length of wrapper it’s not too obtrusive or anything, but definitely noticeable. Not much else to say about the looks lets dive in further and see what it has to offer.
After taking a look at the head of the cigar I can’t find a single seam for for the cap. It’s kind of interesting, I’m not sure how they do that, maybe my eyes are failing me or something. No worries, I just went ahead and nipped the head off and began testing the dry draw. Initially there was some resistance, but then it began to open up. Maybe I had forgot how to smoke in the last week or so. I didn’t have a cigar during the wedding week and maybe my motor skill had deteriorated some? Who knows… I had checked out this Montecristo No. 4 in the humidor for soft spots and I wasn’t able to find any. The filler was actually quite spongy which is a nice change of pace compared to some really packed cigars that I’ve smoked in the past. This one had a nice little bounce back to it. Enough of the pre game on this cigar lets light it up and get down to bidness.
So when I travel I don’t like to bring things that I may lose. Especially traveling internationally, I didn’t want to bring my Xikar Stratosphere lighter. I figured I could pick up matches at the resort that I could use to light my cigars. That was indeed the case, the only problem is, I forgot to get them when I bought the cigar. So once I was ready to smoke I was all settled into my beach chair and I was looking over this Montecristo No. 4 , then I realized… Damn I have to walk back to the lobby to get some matches. It’s about a 15 minute round trip walk. So by the time I got back I was in full sweat mode. Not the best way to enjoy a cigar if you ask me.
I did however cool off and then I fired up stick. It only took me 5 paper matches to get this thing going. The wife kept laughing at me and was like “have you ever lit a cigar?”. First off, it was hella windy down there. Secondly these paper matches suck something awful so it made it more difficult to light. I was pretty proud it only took 5 matches and not the entire matchbook.
Once I got the Montecristo No. 4 churning and burning I was able to really settle in and focus on this stick. The first thing I notice is how creamy and full the smoke is. During the first third the draw was exceptional and I was just burning through it like nobody’s business. I was only able to hold the first ash for about 1/2 – 3/4 of a inch though before it fell in my lap and got ash all over my white bathing suit… Again the wife is laughing at me. I told her my readers know that I always drop the ash in my lap and that it’s nothing new, in fact it’s almost become expected for me to do it with every cigar. I always try and hold the ash as long as possible, and there’s a price you pay to do that.
I continued smoking this cigar and the entire way this cigar was burning exceptionally well given the wind factor. As I said above, you can see the tooth on the outside of the wrapper but it’s very visible on the ash as well. The contrast of light and dark on the ash makes it easier to me to see. One thing that I like about this cigar is the size. It’s a very manageable smoking time about 45 minutes. It was perfect mid day smoke because I didn’t have to sit with it for too long in the heat of the day. I was able to get in enjoy it and then be done with it. So that is one thing that I prefer about smaller smokes. Enough about how this cigar smokes. Lets get into those flavors that everyone talks about.
When you hear people talk about Cuban cigars everyone always mentions how good the flavors are. They all say there is something different about this Cuban leaf. The soil obviously affects the plant and the flavors that it gives off. So how does this taste different than other cigars? Well I’m about to tell you if you’d hold on.
During the pre light on this Montecristo No. 4 I picked up a nice sweetness on my lips. The flavor was very mild in nature. Nothing too overbearing. Once I got it lit up some more flavors began to develop. What I loved is how balanced everything was. There was a nice smooth creamy texture to it. Not a ton of a flavor which was a let down for me especially after my friend hyped it up so much. But to be honest, I’m not sure how many cigars he’s smoked. I’m not trying to come off as arrogant, but I’ve prolly smoked quite a few more than he has and our palates are completely different.
There is definitely a different sort of flavor with this Cuban leaf. It’s a very easy flavor is the best way to describe it. Nothing is harsh or overbearing it’s all smooth and well balanced. Especially on the retrohale which is where I picked up the majority of the flavors on this Montecristo No. 4. The most noteable flavor was a dominant earthy note with a hint of coffee. This was the forefront flavor that was backed by a meaty savory note.
This combination seemed to follow the cigar from beginning to end. Never really building into anything more, it was just smooth and consistent all the way through. For me this cigar never really built into a full bodied cigar it was a mild-medium the entire way. It was actually very enjoyable especially given the heat of the Caribbean. It has been said this is the most widely sold cigar on the planet, I’m not sure how accurate that it is, but I can certainly see why. The flavors are consistent and not overpowering and well blended. I think this is a great cigar for almost every level of smoker. It’s a great entry level cigar that’s not too hard to smoke and you can get something out of it. The more experienced smoker is able to appreciate the consistency and harmony that it offers. Initially I wasn’t blown away by this Montecristo No. 4, but by the end I came around to appreciate it.
Would I Buy It Again?
Not for $22, but maybe for less than $10.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Certainly could be if you can find them cheap enough. I’d say it’s a very easy everyday smoke.
Would I Buy a Box?
Certainly if the price is right.
As I said above. I wasn’t initially blown away by this Montecristo No. 4, but I came around. I think I had sticker shock more than anything else. It’s a nice mild-medium cigar that practically everyone can enjoy. I’m glad I got to experience some real Cuban cigars on my trip to see what all the hype is about. It was definitely an enjoyable cigar and hopefully I’ll get to some more sooner rather than later.