Once upon a time Montecristos were one of my favourite brands and I used to buy them in large quantity. With some trepidation I just tried a No.1 after years of not smoking them and unfortunately the trepidation was justified. The draw on this cigar was ridiculously tight and so the first two inches were really quite miserable. After that poor start things did improve though and there was 10-15 minutes worth of reasonable enjoyment when the draw normalised and the flavours calmed down to a mellow nuttiness. Nevertheless poor value for money if that really is representative of the brand now.
Reviewed by Bill Liberman, Illinois (May 2003)
Appearance: This was a beautiful . 6 . 5 x 42 cigar with a perfectly flat front and back and ever so slightly rounded sides . The wrapper had some prominent veining but not so bad as to detract from the elegance of this cigar . It had a very nice sheen to it . I'm sure some time spent in the humidor would bring out a nice oiliness to the wrapper . I would categorize the color as a light shade of Colorado.
Construction: I have always heard that torpedo shaped cigars are the hardest to roll because you can't really use a mold on them . But to me, I would think the Lonsdale and Panetela sizes would be harder to roll due to their length and smaller ring gauge . As I said earlier, this cigar was beautifully done . It was very firm the entire length with absolutely no soft spots and a beautifully applied cap that cut perfectly.
Pre-light aroma: This was not like any Montecristo I've had before . This one had a light and sweet floral aroma where all the other Montecristos I've had, had that great "barnyard" aroma to them. Quite a pleasant change.
Draw: As with most Lonsdales that I've smoked, this one had a less than perfect draw that was just a little on the tight side . Even so, it gave an ample amount of smoke with each puff . Usually as a cigar warms up the draw will get looser . Not the case with this cigar as it smoked extremely cool down to the very end . And that was a nice change of pace . I enjoyed the coolness much more than having a cigar get too warm just to loosen up the draw . Another pleasant surprise.
Flavor: Just like the pre-light aroma, this cigar started off with a very light floral taste . A very clean and refined taste . This lasted for about the first 1/3 of the cigar . From there until the halfway point the taste became more complex with subtle tastes of leather and cocoa . Almost a semi-sweet chocolate flavor . From the halfway point to the last inch and a half, the flavors became very earthy and spicy . These are the flavors I so look forward to when smoking a cigar . After that point, the cigar started to turn a little sour . But that's about as far as I usually like to go with a cigar . So laying it down at that point was to be expected . And even at an inch and a half length, it never got hot . The nice thing about this cigar was that it was complex without being too complex . What I'm trying to say is, it was not like smoking a Montecristo #2 where the flavors change with almost every puff . Not that there is anything wrong with that . But it's nice to have a cigar like this that will consistently give you the flavors you are looking for.
Aroma: Again, as with the pre-light aroma, this cigar gave off a very pleasant, floral aroma . I never got that "what are you smoking" look that I sometimes get with other cigars . And that's always nice.
Ash: This cigar had the typical medium to dark gray ash that Cuban cigars have . A nice firm ash with no flaking that took a pretty good tap to knock off.
Finish: A surprisingly short finish for a Montecristo . A very pleasant taste that made me wish for more . And to me, that's better than not wanting more.
Final thoughts: I was totally impressed with this cigar . It burned perfectly straight so no touching up was required . The feel, aroma, flavors, ash, burn and finish were everything I look for in a cigar . The only minor flaw was the slightly tight draw but that was expected . If I were to rate this cigar on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, I would easily give these a 9 . 5 . I think I have found my favorite Montecristo vitola. Yes, even more than the Montecristo #2.
Always a big fan of the no. 4, my first time with the no. 1. My brother in law brought some over for Easter Sunday dinner, Purchased at Robert Grahams in Edinburgh. They say what you eat and drink before your cigar changes the experience... Scallops followed by roast lamb washed down with full bodied red wine and mature cheese, finished with virage port and a Monte No.1. Wow! pouring outside, so the kitchen is now cloudy with the fragrant sublime smoke from these beauties. I will definitely be getting some more of these. Pronounced hints of vanilla and chocolate, getting stronger and spicier towards the end. A delight from start to finish. Cheers bro!
superbly made ciger. tight, it smokes perfetly, even burn. half whey through it invites you in its full smoke. truly a sensational cigar and an excellent service. by rosco
A well made cigar with a nice oily wrapper. However, the burn was a little uneven, and the draw tight. Once you are able to get into the smoke there are rich creamy, very sweet flavors to the smoke, and hints of leather and sweet fruit on the finish.
written by Michael