Reviewed by Brent Metcalfe ( November 2000)
It was a rainy, fall day when the Cubans arrived at my door. As I unwrapped the complex packaging, I was struck with that 'anticipation' feeling of wondering what cigar I was going to receive. I reached into the box and to my delight withdrew a cigar band that was noticeable to anyone who smokes cigars. I'm referring to the Montecristo band, except this one with the Habana label! The wrapping was perfect with no visible veins or scarring of any kind and had a visible oily hue. It is one of those cigars that the smell (unlit, of course) is enough to start the salivary glands going.
In my haste, I couldn't wait to try one. I did however wait until after I had a nice non-filling dinner to fully appreciate the 'afterglow' of the evening. The Montecristo #4 (5", 42 ring), lit fairly easy. I struggled with the draw though, and attempted to alter my cut just enough to give me a little more. I ran the cigar along my fingers and noted that the foot of the cigar was rolled a little tight, hence, the difficult draw. The flavor however, was just what I expected in a Cuban. Notes of spiciness that continued until I was about half-way through the cigar. The flavor intensified as I smoked it but it still didn't loosen up, to my disappointment. Perhaps #2 would be a little looser. Cigar #2 was everything I had hoped it would be . A beautiful smoke with rich spicy flavors from the shade-grown wrapper. The draw and the burn were equally consistent. Obviously this cigar roller was a true professional. I am always pleasantly surprised by the volume of smoke that a good Cuban cigar has. It is one of the things lacking in Nicaraguan or Dominican cigars, although I have had some full-bodied cigars that were worthy of a Cuban in terms of volume. The other difference of course is the flavor and complexity. One of the qualities of a Cuban that is unlike anything, anywhere in the world. More than likely, it is the soil, rich in minerals just right for tobacco growing. It is no secret that Cuban seeds grow best in Cuban soil!
Cigar #3 was a little like the first although not quite a jaw-buster. The flavor and consistency was there. I enjoyed my last Montecristo with a cup of rich dark coffee that I am sure will keep me up late tonight as there is much studying to do (I'm getting my Bachelor's Degree in Nursing!). I would have preferred a larger size cigar, like a Toro, but this Petit Corona was just enough to top off my evening. I would HIGHLY recommend the Montecristo #4. A fine cigar in terms of great flavor, volume of smoke, consistency and a perfect burn. It will go down as one of my personal favorites. Thanks for this opportunity Cgarsltd! I will not forget it, and I look forward to my next purchase from you!
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: Friday 03 June, 2016
Reviewed by Mihai - Box Date: September 2002
This review, I'm glad to say, is not based on old tasting notes, nor is it conceived with the proverbial popularity of this cigar in mind. I am writing it while smoking the cigar this sunny afternoon in my garden. This is why the review is written in the present tense. So here it goes: Year of manufacture: 2002 (September)
Wrapper colour: Colorado (aka English Market Selection). In concrete terms, the colour is that of coffee with a touch of milk.
Appearance: smooth wrapper with very few, unobtrusive veins. After four months in the humidor, it feels slightly oily to the touch with a healthy sheen. Unlit, it carries the bouquet of wood and sweet vanilla.
Construction: uniform, no hard or weak spots, with brilliant draw all the way. Its burn is reasonably even (not perfect, though). The wrapper and binder seem to burn slightly faster than the filler.
Flavour/taste: the dominant notes are clearly earth mixed with fresh wood and spice. A touch of salty weed. Its strength is, to me, on the fuller side of medium.
Aroma: roasted nuts, combined with just a touch of vanilla and, perhaps, cinnamon. Rich, hugely pleasing.
Taste at different intervals of smoke. First puffs are satisfyingly voluptuous, the smoke is cool. Solid, round flavour and aroma. 1 inch in, the taste becomes more mature and develops a sweeter (delightful!) note. 2 inches in, the cigar releases a flavour of salty weed which is not at all overpowering. At the beginning of the 3rd inch, a tangy sensation appears, while a slightly stingy feel develops around the cap. Half-way through, there is a distinct bitterness and tanginess. The smoke itself becomes noticeably hot. 2 and a half inches to the end, the draw is indeed hot, harsh and stingy and I'm thinking of abandoning this Monte. I'm in fact doing so about 5 puffs later.
Ash colour: overall, it is light grey sometimes layered with mildly darker shades. In detail, the ash of the wrapper is almost white, while the filler is darker grey. The colour remains consistent throughout.
Finish / After-taste: I can detect the taste of salty earthiness persisting for about 5 minutes.
Overall impression: without any doubt, the Montecristo No. 4 is a prime example of the quality of Cuban petit coronas. It has the famous spiciness of Havana's soil, it is well constructed (it never went out) and benefits from the easiest draw in the world. Its flavour is good, sufficiently complex if not hugely sophisticated: a 'no non-sense' havana, in other words. I find that it also ages reasonably well and the maturing process does improve the whole smoking experience. Due to its medium strength, it appeals to the beginner and seasoned smokers alike (although they must be fans of spice in flavour). If, as a beginner, you like spice, then I wholeheartedly recommend this cigar. And, finally, my rating is 3.8 / 5.
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: Friday 03 June, 2016
Reviewed by Jody Brown (May 2003)
Smoked a 1984 Monti #4 and thought I would share my experience with everyone.
Prelight - nice chocolate brown smooth wrapper that had a semi-oily sheen and no veins. This beauty was perfectly constructed, just the right 'feel' and had an awesome smell!
First light - smacked me on the head with a total full flavor right from the get go and a perfect draw. Very interesting roasted nuts, roasted chocolate and the old blend isom earthy tastes.
First 1/4 - pure full flavor continues and a little more chocolate coffee and more tastes of several spices. Ash is still intact and all I see is black coal. First 1/2 - continues full flavor. The classic old isom blend really comes through on this one. I would call it muddy earthy taste. Also continues with a strong (not harsh) coffee and nutty tastes. Developing more indescribable spices that are simply amazing.
Last 1/4 - nothing has changed - thankfully!!! Final thoughts - it is interesting to me how full flavor these cigars are, and yet not a trace of harshness or bitterness. The ash was coal black and it burnt perfect all the way down. Very consistent and enjoyable to say the least! Overall - by far the best cigar of the weekend or of the year and ranks up with one of the best I've had in my life. Needless to say - it's highly recommend! IMHO simply pure heaven, not sure how this one could be topped for what it had to offer.
NOTE: When I finished this I was 'glassy' eyed and I only wished I had a full box waiting for me somewhere!
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: Friday 03 June, 2016
Reviewed by Russell Jones (July 2003)
The cigar was part of a gift from my sister. I have been sort of waiting for a decent occasion to smoke one of these. This was to be my very first time with an ISOM and I wanted it to be perfect. Also, I have been a little concerned with some of the life-altering effects of the ISOMs I have read on this and other boards.
I decided my expectations were unrealistic and threw caution to the wind....The story begins with me on my back stoop on a gorgeous sunny evening around 7:15 pm EST. It was about 73 degrees and a slight breeze blowing almost perfect, but my chair was wet from morning rain so I was forced to stand. I also had a nice cup Kenyan coffee to compliment the cigar.......
The construction was very nice with a few veins, but what the hell do I know about that stuff....The cut, with a cheap-ass two-blade guillotine cutter, was without incident and the pre-light draw was very nice. There was an unfamiliar earthy/leathery taste mixed with a rush of anticipation to fire that baby up! The light went well and I was engulfed with a mountain of beautiful grey smoke.
There was a hint of woody-ness mixed with the leathery earth taste that was surprisingly appealing. As the first third began to melt way with a dark grey ash that refused to crack and fall, I noticed a blue jay dive-bombing my neighbours cats right in front of me, that was hilarious...but I digress... The first half ended with a shift in the taste to a more pepper and spicy taste with only a hint of the leathery-wood remaining.
The descriptions of these tastes always made me think it was not an appealing taste, but as usual I was dead wrong...There was a tremendous volume of smoke that never thought about being harsh, no matter how quickly I drew on that baby.
The spicy flavor began to over power the other flavors by the last two inches or so. I was very much pleased with the smoke to this point. i wish I had taken it a little easier earlier in the smoke as my head was beginning to spin slightly. I noticed the 'buzz' as I was searching for something to hold the cigars as my fingers were charred. I finally decided enough and let the last inch and a half die a quiet death by itself.
I thoroughly enjoyed me very first ISOM. I would rate this cigar itself around an 88. I rate the overall experience and the relaxation a 200. I shall surely have to try more ISOMs, but where does a guy start. I certainly would recommend this cigar to a newbie at ISOMs. It spun my head a little, but probably because I was too impatient with the last couple of inches. It was a medium bodied, full-flavored smoke IMHO. I shall be back with another review real soon.
This was a very nice review. There was a good description of flavors and character of the cigar, with a pleasant background of the cigar. Additional info (time, temp, conditions, etc) was a nice touch.
Rated 8.5 of 10
Rated by Frodo
ISOM" is insulting to some, and it the reviewer's repeated use of it, rather than "Cuban cigar" taints the entire review.
Reviewed by Van55
I like that someone new to cubans comes right out and says it, and doesn't pretend to have experience with them that he doesn't have. As I look over the description, I find all of the information that I would look for, though it possibly could have been organized a bit better.
Reviewed by James R aka John Shaft
OVERALL SCORE: 20.5/30
Rating: [3 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: Friday 03 June, 2016
Reviewed by Don Ciambotti (August 2003)
I just smoked a Montecristo #4 from Feb. 03. First of all, I admit. I suck at reviews. But, if I was any good at reviews, I could say...
I went to the patio to watch the All-Star game. I poured a glass of wine, an Italian white. A pinot grigio from Mezza Corona to be exact. Then I could tell you about the wrapper. Shiny, oily, a nice reddish brown color. No veins. To the touch, somewhat springy. I punched the signature triple cap. I prefer to punch corona sizes. I get a better taste of the wrapper that way.
I could tell you about the aroma, which was rich, warm and pleasant. I could go on to tell you that the ash was flaky, kind of greyish black. Reminiscent of a piece of charred maple at the end of a campfire.
If I was any good at reviews, I'd tell you that the taste was very complex for such a young cigar. The first third had overtones of caramel with hints of vanilla. The second third changed to sweet cocoa, dark chocolate, and I swear I tasted hints of cinnamon. The last third - WOW- opened up into a very intense cedar taste with the unmistakable 'twang' that we all know.
Now, remember I suck at this...I'll could tell you about the smoke. Not hoards of smoke, but rather a rich, white-grey color. Burn, a slight canoe effect that rectified itself about an inch in then burned very straight.
If I'd done this before, I'd tell you that the strength was more medium than full. The flavor of this petite corona never exploded, but I didn't really expect it to. Give it a year or two and it will.
If I had done a review before, I'd explain that this young cocoon of the leaf will be fabulous in a year, and is very good right now. A sweet mix of flavors that I will have a hard time laying off of, even though I know that I will be rewarded handsomely if I do.
But, since I suck at review I'll just say this. Smoke 'em up
A great review which I would agree with wholeheartedly...covered all the basic clearly strength,flavour,aroma and construction.Well written...humorous and concise -
Reviewed by Smokeymo
Wish Don had been more descriptive about the cigar since the Montecristo # 4 is one of my go to cigars. All I could remember is that he sucks at reviews. Possibly a tongue in cheek approach but I found it to be distracting.
Reviewed by Stephen Mazzuca
Yep, he sucks at writing cigar reviews.
Reviewed by Matt Rousey
OVERALL SCORE: 17/30