Line: No. 4
Size: 5 1/8″ x 42
Shape: Petit Corona
Price: $22 CAD
I had about five of these great Cuban babies sitting in my humidor for the past two years; I think they have waited long enough to have earned the honour of being smoked. Since today was a nice day, with relatively no wind, I decided to finally take one of these sticks for a test drive. The wrapper was very smooth, and the oils, because of the long aging, have come to the surface of the cigar. Many newbies when encountering a cigar with the essential oils on the surface misconstrue it as some form of mold or other malady. They usually respond by throwing them out, or in one case I heard of, they threw a whole box of Cuban Cohiba Esplendido’s (about $1700 CAD) in the garberator….BLASPHEMY!!!
All that aside, I was excited to finally have such a nicely aged Cuban cigar. I cut the tip of with my table cutter and lit the baby up with a cedar cigar match. The initial flavours were a soft leather and a long finish of spanish cedar and toasted brazil nuts.
First Third (1/3) – 10 min
Its not all that often that I get to smoke a cigar with such a small ring gauge. This is mostly due to the fact that I don’t buy them! Nonetheless, the flavours developed marvellously and the smoke was distinctly that of a Habanos. The cedar taste persisted throughout and I picked up notes of sweet port and vermouth. Its not all that often that I pick up those particular notes, but when I do they are almost exclusively in Cuban cigars. The taste almost seemed refreshing, as If it cleansed my palette. The port/vermouth taste lasted long on the finish, and it coated my lips and tongue with an oily slickness.
Second Third (2/3) – 10 min
The cigar seems to be going by quickly, and one could form the belief that this is a good cigar for a quick smoke when you don’t have a lot of time. However, this is in fact not the case. A cigar such as this requires time to sit and decipher the complex array of flavours that the smoke provides. I think that this cigar, like any, should not be puffed simply for its own sake, but to enjoy the tastes and hone in ones sense of flavour perception.
I digress however. The sweetness of the port started to diminish and was replaced with a hay aroma and the taste of leather and almond on the finish. These are relatively common tastes, except for the hint of mint that I got at the end of what was a long finish. This mint is a note that I have only seldom crossed, and my memory does not serve me well regarding which stick it was that introduced me to it. However, since it is so distinct from the other flavours it was easy to pick out.
Final Third (3/3) – 10 min
The cigar burned beautifully with a razor sharp edge and a voluptuous amount of smoke. The smaller ring gauge typically ensures such a uniform burn. As the cigar heated up however, I started to get notes of espresso and burnt wood with the hint of cedar returning on the finish. The mint started to fade, but it was an excellent compliment to the espresso notes while it lasted. As the cigar got to hot to hold (usually the smaller cigars do get quite hot) I laid it down to rest in my stinky ashtray where it deserved!
Total Smoke Time: 30 min
Any cigar smoker knows that when s/he picks up a cigar bearing the authentic Montecristo brand they are in for a great time. This cigar was no exception to this rule and I am glad for it. Although the smoke was short, it was sweet; and I would choose such quality over quantity any day. The burn remained sharp throughout the duration of the smoke, and the burn time between transitions remained uniform. The flavour profiles per transition were delicate yet complex and required careful deliberation to distinguish the subtleties; and thus is the pleasure of cigar smoking. Because of all these excellent characteristics and the perfection of construction I give the Montecristo No.4 on the Leather Library 10-Point Stogie Scale a:
Although I have smoked many Cuban cigars, and I own many, I am far from being a connoisseur of Cuban cigars. They all have their distinct tastes and Cuban cigars are totally distinct from non-Cuban cigars. If one has enough experience s/he can distinguish Cuban smoke without even seeing the smoker. I look forward to reviewing more Cuban cigars in the future, and I hoped that you enjoyed this one.
By: Steven Umbrello
Steven Umbrello is a student of philosophy and an avid cigar and pipe smoker. He has been smoking cigars and pipes for over five years and has made it his mission to learn as much about the industry as possible. He has attended some high profile cigar events and is a leading member of the Toronto Cigar Club. You can find more from Steven at his blog The Leather Library Blog.