Montecristo No5

(Size: 4″ x 40  —  Time: 30mins)

I’ll admit that this review from the archives has some legs on it. It was written pretty much a whole year ago. I hope you enjoy it though.

On our way up to the Lake District for a family holiday we had a stop over in Lancashire for my sister to do some diving. With little else to do, I ordered a coffee and sat down with a Monte No5. Now, Montecristo’s not at the top of my list of favourite brands, especially not after a horrific encounter with a Monte Open Regata, but the No5 was almost certain to be a different kettle of fish…

Appearance /15

The Monte No5 had a light wrapper, which was very neatly put together. There were very few veins, and those that were present were quite small. The cap was very well applied and looked very tidy. However, there were a few, very small cracks in the wrapper – possibly related to the lack of a sheen that most of my recent cigars have had. But for this last point, it would have been a perfect score. Either way, a very nice looking stick. 13

Smoking Characteristics /25

Pre-light there were hints at a nutty (perhaps slightly woody), chocolately smell – which seems to be quite a commonplace aroma. Lighting this stick was quite straightforward (as one would hope so with such little to light…) The burn was very good – it was quite even throughout and was generally very consistent. As a result, the ash was very solid… You can see from the photo (above) that the ash wasn’t the most attractive, being dark and flaky, but it always instilled a confidence that it wouldn’t suddenly drop in one’s lap. The draw was fairly decent – it was slightly firm, but still quite comfortable. Unfortunately though, the No5 had one minor downfall – the aroma of the smoke was not fantastic, it was quite powerful, but there was little aroma. Overall, however, for such a small stick, this was excellently put together, and as a result it displayed some excellent characteristics. 22

Flavour /25

An odd cigar, the No5. It’s a small stick, so hits you with its variations in quick succession. Straight off there was a distinct woodiness, tempered very early with some fresh toastiness. The wood gave way to some more vegetal notes, which soon took on a very slightly harsh bitterness, giving cocoa and espresso impressions. As these died away towards the end, the woodiness came back to the fore, this time having lost the toasty edge, to be replaced with a slightly more ‘slap you round the face with a haddock’ straightforwardness. Despite the bish-bash-bosh end, there were never the very harsh, acrid notes you get when the cigar is overly hot – so yet another testament to this cigar’s construction. Overall, pretty good for such a small stick. 21

Overall Impression /35

This is no bad cigar… within twenty-five minutes you can enjoy a cigar and a coffee or a coke, yet you will still have been taken on a bit of a journey. The complexity of a robusto, or even some petit coronas is not there, but you do have some distinct changes to give you something to think about. Having said all of this, there was just something about this stick which didn’t quite click with me… it didn’t quite meld together as I might have hoped, and it was a little rough around the edges – which is a shame, as it is a delightfully constructed cigar. Something that I will definintely be giving another shot – but I shall be trying some others as competition in the quick smoke category. 29

Grand total… 85/100

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