Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cigar Review: Montecristo No. 5 (LEM FEB-12)


An elegant brand a classic one at that, Montecristo is a brand that is made for every smoker if you ask me. Whether you are a seasoned smoker or a novice smoker, they have an offering that is not overpowering in body or strength, but still a flavorful brand. I have so many favorites in the brand, too many to keep enough in my humidors at all time, and I hit the brand up at least a couple times a month. I think they are great young, amazing with age, and whether or not there is a small or large ring gauge offering, you are bound to find it enjoyable. Today I look at a vitola that is not new to me, but one that I have not had in some time. It is one of the smallest in the brand and is great for those times that time is against you; the Montecristo No. 5.

The No. 5 has been on the market for many years now, it is a pre-Revolution offering, and it has been available in a variety of options. There was a time where this Habano was available in 100 count cabinets, but now you can get it in offerings of three, five, ten or 25. The No. 5 is classified as a Perlas and it measures 102 mm (4.0") with a 40 ring gauge. It is a small petit corona and is handmade with all long filler tobacco. It is composed of Vuelta Abajo tobacco, and production is coming out of the H. Upmann Factory. The Habano comes with a nice colored wrapper and I would classify it as being between Natural and Colorado in coloring. It has a solid triple cap and it shows small veins throughout the wrapper. It is firm in hand and it has an aroma of cedar, hay, coffee beans, cream and cocoa, and there is a smoky quality present as well.

The first half of the Habano is light and creamy, and it is showing some terrific flavors. I am picking up some soft coffee bean notes and it has a light cocoa presence that is paired with some soft smoky and meaty qualities. There is a cinnamon and cream flavor present as well and it is showing some great Montecristo flavors while remaining on the lighter side of the spectrum. This is a Habano I would begin my day with and given the size, I could smoke it all day throughout the day. In terms of body, I would classify it as being between mild and medium and the strength  is on the medium side of things as well. You name a smoker out there, and they could smoke this petit corona. The construction is decent, not great, but with a Habano of this nature, I doubt they could really roll this and screw it up so bad that it was not smokeable. I take that back, there are people who could screw it up.

I am in the second half of the Habano now and it is showing some transitioning and changes throughout. The creaminess is still present, but the chocolate notes have been replaced with a distinct hazelnut quality. The smoky flavoring is absent as well, and I am not getting any coffee bean notes. The spices have faded as well and this has become a creamy and hazelnut focused smoke. I am getting some cedar notes on the finish, and it has some light tobacco qualities with that. The construction remains as it has been throughout and while it is not perfect, it is not a complete disaster overall. The burn line is wavy and it has a dark charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool overall and it is producing a nice bit of smoke on the finish. I would classify the strength as being just below medium in this half and the body is just below medium as well, probably more mild-medium overall. The final draw is cool and it leaves a creaminess on the finish.

I really enjoyed this petit corona and found it to be a nice example of the Montecristo brand but in a lighter format. I felt that it delivered the strength and body that was present in the Edmundo offering, but it delivered a slightly bolder flavor at the same time. It is not as strong as a Petit Edmundo, No. 2 or Petit No. 2, but it is still a great Habano. I look at this as a morning Habano and one that I would have my coffee more often than not. The construction was decent, nothing great, but it had a solid charcoal ash on the end. Overall, this is a flavor focused Habano and one that I would come back to over and over again. I believe it will age well, but I don't see it changing that much over the years. I would hand this out to any smoker out there and I know everyone would enjoy it. Right now I would give it between an 89 and 91, but with age it would be at a 92 to 94 level.

Young Rating: 89-91
With Age Rating: 92-94