Cigar Review: Montecristo Monte
At this year’s trade show Altadis U.S.A. introduced Monte, a new Montecristo cigar blend with an updated look and feel, much like the recent H. Upmann Legacy and St. Luis Rey Gen 2 releases. Blended by Tabacalera de Garcias’ renowned Grupo de Maestros production team, Monte features two binders: Dominican Olor and Nicaraguan Corojo , along with aged Dominican fillers and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. For today’s review I sparked up the Monte’s signature big ring “Monte” vitola (6×60.)
The Monte was constructed flawlessly with its light brown wrapper sporting two bands, one with the traditional Montecristo logo and a secondary band bearing the “Monte” name. Pre-light draws produced a sweet and slightly citrus tobacco taste
The smoke started off fairly mellow with a creamy and woody taste and a healthy dose of black pepper in the mix. Ensuing draws brought about notes of cinnamon and graham. Smoke production was ample, the draw was wide open, and the burn line was consistent all the way around. Right around the 1″ mark the cigars creaminess began to drown out the spice, though I could still taste it pretty vividly on my palate.
Smoke continued to pour generously from the Monte as I burned into the 2nd third. I was now rocking a thick light grey ash and the cigar remained straight-burning with clean and creamy flavor. The profile here was of silky-smooth cedar with lingering background notes of baking spice and hints of subtle sweetness.
Flavors became just slightly “heavier” in the last third. The cedar was now a deep, smoky taste and the spice was most apparent on the finish. The burn had gone just a little bit jagged on me, which is actually pretty common with big-ringers like this. The smoke was still about as creamy and plentiful as it gets, and it stayed this way for the remainder of the session.
The Monte turned out to be a flavorful smoke with a really nice balance of flavor and strength. The cigar’s profile, while definitely different from the brand’s other offerings, was still within the “classic” range in my opinion. This was, for the most part, a “big teddy bear” of a cigar- big, smooth, and creamy, with just enough complexity and strength to keep things lively. The guys at Montecristo haven’t re-invented the wheel here, they just put some tasty and slick, big-ass 6×60 rims on it. I give the Monte a well-deserved B+ grade, and I highly recommend it to those who like em’ large, full-flavored and smooth. For maximum enjoyment, light one up with a tall cup of good, black coffee.