Thanks to everyone who entered the contest this week, the images will be up for voting on Sunday with the Sunday Links. Today’s smoke comes courtesy of the Altadis VIP program and according to the Altadis website all cigars in this line come “square pressed”.
Cigar: Montecristo Reserve Negra
Size: 6 1/8 x 52 (Belicoso)
Wrapper: San Andres Morron (Mexico)
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Appearance & Construction (18/20): A “square pressed” cigar with a nice amount of oils sports a chocolate colored wrapper with minimal veins. The foot reveals a well packed smoke with a nice weight to the cigar. The label is the classic Montecristo logo in black and gold and it is evident that the color combination is the best of the Montecristo line.
Flavor & Notes (28/30): I love a cigar with a strong scent from the foot and this cigar does not disappoint. The stick has strong notes of a very sweet caramel on both the foot and the prelight draw. The first third of the smoke is wonderfully rich and pleasant with notes of chocolate and caramel that explode on your palate. The notes of this smoke remain strong in the second half with chocolate becoming the dominant note with a hint of caramel. As we approach the final third of the smoke there are some really incredibly defined notes of licorice that were pure heaven.
Burn/Ash/Draw (18/25): The cigar has a draw with a slight resistance that is amplified somewhat from the fact is a belicoso and pressed. The ash is a dark gray that is flaky and doesn’t hold well, as I lost a 1/2 inch ash a couple of times on its own accord. The burn was uneven at times and needed a couple of corrections, which is annoying and reflects in the point total for the category
Overall (22/25): It is a shame this smoke had some serious burn issues and the cigar has a really nice flavor profile. The price point is a little high, and you can find a similar profile in other cigars, but there is something about this smoke that I really like. The flavor profile suits me really well, and the cigar is on the stronger side of medium bodied so it is for the seasoned cigar smoker, not the cigar newbie.