Friday, August 21, 2015

Cigar Review: Montecristo 80 Aniversario


80 years ago, in the summer of 1935, a man by the name of Alonso Menéndez created the Montecristo brand at the Particulares Factory in Habana, Cuba. While the Montecristo brand had a beginning like any other brand, in a matter of years it was in high demand and one of most sought after brands in the world. To this day, it is one of the most popular brands in the world, and I would even say it is in the top three of global brands. To celebrate the brands history and its 80 years of production, CubaTabaco and Habanos S.A. announced the release of the Montecristo 80 Aniversario at the 2015 Festival Habanos. The Habanos would be a commemorative release, and would be composed of only the best tobacco from Vuelta Abajo 




Habanos: Montecristo 80 Aniversario
Country: Cuba
Factory: La Corona
Wrapper: Cuba
Binder: Cuba
Filler: Cuba
Length: 165 mm
Ring Gauge: 55
Vitola: Double Robusto
Production: Cases of 20, 30,000 cases (600,000 Habanos)


The Montecristo features a wrapper that has a lovely Colorado Maduro coloring, and it has a nice marbled chocolate brown characteristic. There are a few minor veins present throughout and it has a nice triple cap on the finish. It has a nice firmness in texture and it has a texture that is silky overall. The wrapper is giving off an aroma of warm milk chocolate, comforting spices, rich earth and tobacco, and the foot is showing notes of Mexican hot chocolate, stone fruit and tobacco notes.


The first third begins by showing some lovely cocoa powder notes and it is paired with this peanut butter quality which is lovely. There are some cedar and rich earth notes present with that, and it has a nice light spice present with that which is a great addition. It is very filling, complex and smooth, and I am in love with the flavors. I would classify the Habano as being medium in terms of body and strength, something in line with a true Montecristo, and it has a nice medium to medium-full flavor profile. It is smoking great and everything is playing off of one another perfectly. The construction is simply terrific and it is showing a great burn line with a nice charcoal ash on the end. The ash is holding on firmly and the ash itself is solid. With a cool draw, this is a terrific first third and I look forward to the second and final third.


I am in the second third of the Habano now and it is really performing beautifully. I am getting that soft nutty flavor profile in this third and it is paired with this fantastic cappuccino and mocha flavor. I am getting hints of cocoa and rich earth, and there is a nice soft cedar and spice flavor profile on top of that. Overall, this is a great smoking experience. I would classify the flavors as being medium to medium-full, and they are matching well with the strength and body which are smoking at a medium level. It has depth and complexity, and there has been some nice transitioning into this third. The construction remains perfect overall and it is delivering a razor sharp burn line with that light charcoal colored ash on the end. The ash is holding on firmly and I am getting a smooth and cool draw with a lot of flavors.


The final third shows much transitioning from the second third and with that some youth. It has a nice smokiness flavor profile present and with that are some leather and tobacco notes. There are some earthy aspects present as well, and it has a touch of coffee on the finish. It remains complex and I would classify it as being medium-full in terms of flavors. The strength and body are also at a medium-full level in this third, and it is a nice increase to wrap up a great experience thus far. It is showing some Montecristo flavors, but also some unique qualities with that. The construction remains top notch in this third and it is producing an even burn line with a solid charcoal ash on the end. The draw is a little bit warmer as I come to the nub, but nothing over the top and it continues to produce a solid amount of smoke with each draw.


The Montecristo 80 Aniversario is truly phenomenal, and for being a young Habanos, it will age incredibly. It showed so many wonderful flavors, some new to the brand, but some that are just classic Montecristo flavors. It was balanced and complex, and it was a Habanos that grew as it progressed. The construction was simply terrific, producing a cool draw and a perfect burn line throughout. It is a larger Habanos, it has a 55 ring gauge, but CubaTabaco knows how to make a great large cigar. When you think of Cuba and a Habanos you think of smaller ring gauge offerings, very traditional. They do tradition well and continue to produce amazing smaller offerings for the world. However, CubaTabaco has recently begun producing larger vitola offerings, Habanos having ring gauges around 55 or larger, and they have been successful with each release. This is one of the largest Montecristos ever produced and one of the best ones as well. I definitely look forward to smoking more and seeing where they are in a couple years. Right now, the Montecristo 80 Aniversario gets a rating between 93 and 95, but in a couple years, I know that will be higher.

Young Rating: 93-95
With Age Rating: 95+