The name Montecristo No. 2 has to be one of the most recognized Habano names in history. The brand was founded in Cuba in 1935 and the Habanos S.A. website provides the following description of the blend;
Montecristo’s perfectly balanced blend is created exclusively with selected leaves from the Vuelta Abajo region, home of the finest tobaccos in the world. Its distinctive medium to full flavor and distinguished aroma appeal equally to both new and experienced smokers.
I recently mentioned on the show that I had never actually tried the Montecristo No. 2. Soon after, the opportunity to trade for a couple of aged No. 2's presented itself and trust me, I did not hesitate. So this past beautiful Sunday afternoon, I set flame to this iconic cigar.
Size: 6.14 x 52 (156 mm)
Age: 7 Years (2005)
Number Smoked: 2
Visually, the wrapper was light brown and veiny, and the cigar as a whole had a lumpy appearance. The pre-light aroma on the wrapper and foot of the cigar was full of earthy tobacco and made me salivate.
The initial draw began perfectly and there was a fare amount of smoke on each pull. The smoke continued to smolder for about ten seconds after each draw and enveloped the cigar. Earth, cedar, and spice appeared with some of that classic Cuban, citrus like, twang in the background. Thus far the cigar was enjoyable but it felt like the flavors were fighting each other for dominance. The strength was a solid medium and the finish, medium in length.
About an inch into the smoke, the spice settled down and I detected more of that twang. The profile seemed to become more balanced and the body of the cigar was very toasty. I was really enjoying the smoke at this point. The burn which began a bit wavy had straighten out and the draw remained good. The ash was deeply striated and held for about an inch and half before falling.
During the second third, I was presented with a nice balance of cedar and spice. The spice seemed to take turns with some citrus occasionally. No complaints about performance and I was really digging the subtle changes the tapered vitola seemed to be bringing to the table.
The spice, toastiness, and strength really picked up on the last third and I found myself slowing down between draws to compensate (I had not eaten anything yet). I smoked the stick down to about the band where things began to heat up. Smoking time a bit more than 60 minutes.
First let me begin by stating that the second sample I smoked did not draw as perfectly. It was a bit tighter than I prefer but was still manageable and opened up during the second third. I enjoyed both samples and feel lucky to have had the opportunity to smoke this classic cigar. Moreover, with an appropriate amount of age on it. In conclusion, I am going to give the Montecristo No. 2 a Stogie Geeks Rating of "Box Split". I think I would reach for these when I am looking for a Habano with some boldness to the profile and I have no doubt these will continue to age well.