It was time again for the Pipe & Cigar Club meeting. I usually take an opportunity to smoke a bigger cigar at these times, and I thought that the fat Montecristo Relentless Toro would fit the bill perfectly. I was a little uncertain as, being Canadian, I’m used to Cuban Montecristos and this is an American cigar, but I didn’t want to pre-judge anything.
The Relentless Magnum is a Montecristo exclusive to Famous-Smoke.com, who kindly provided us with a couple to review. It’s a heavyweight; six inches long and a sixty ring gauge. Its enormous, exceptionally bright, fire-engine red and honeybee yellow-and-black label draws the eye away from the smooth, veinless matte beige Ecuadoran shade-grown Connecticut wrapper; but that would be a mistake to permit, because the colouration is beautiful. A textbook Connecticut, actually. Inside I’m told we can find Nicaraguan and Brazilian Mata Fina long-fillers, and a Mexican San Andres binder. I was encouraged because I tend to enjoy Brazilian tobacco a great deal and I am usually rather fond of Nicaraguans too.
Mine was capped by a well-constructed double cap which clipped perfectly with my double guillotine cutter. The wrapper note was mostly of cedar. I found myself removing the label almost immediately since it was so big and so high up on the cigar that I found my lips were touching it when I drew.
The foot toasted, again, to perfection, leaving a lingering burning cedar odour in the air. It lit evenly and easily with my cedar spill and the draw was just right, almost effortless. The first draws were of hay and a lighter sort of wood, settling into a smooth rich taste that reminded me of Frangelico liquor in a latte. Within the first third a pronounced wood taste came through; I thought of applewood or maybe oak. It’s billed as a medium bodied stick but it errs on the side of caution as far as that goes; not at all overpowering. It was even pleasant on the lips, leaving just a hint of the spice and tobacco. I found myself steadily puffing it so I went through it rather quickly. The first third only lasted about half an hour.
But what a half hour! I have to tell you, after all the construction problems I’ve had in cigars lately, it was refreshing to find a cigar that was a model of construction! It burnt with perfect evenness, left a lovely long white ash, and continued burning steadily after I’d left it for almost ten minutes. This is what I want out of a cigar’s construction; something I can smoke as cold as I like.
As an interesting side note, this was the first time in my history with cigars that I brought my fingers to my face after I’d let go of the cigar I’d been holding, and instead of smelling burnt ashes, I smelled an applewood campfire scent.
The second third went even more quickly; only about twenty-five minutes. The hazelnut element faded somewhat and the wood became more pronounced. You could even detect an overtone of cinnamon.
The final third took forty-five minutes and revealed a hint of white pepper and butter near the end. The burn actually did lose some momentum but with a strong puff or two it was right back in tip-top shape. It eventually went out, but I managed to re-light it, which is when it cracked; but even so, I got another ten minutes out of it before it went out beyond all recall; and I liked it enough that I was determined to get the last draw out of it.
What an outstanding cigar! Okay, it’s not a Cuban, but it really is delicious, and the fine features of its relatively mild-medum body, the ideal construction, and its pleasant light flavours make it an outstanding beginner’s cigar; though I would suggest going with a smaller size. Fortunately Famous Smoke offers them in a variety of sizes; from Churchills to Robustos. The Magnum will run you $97.99 USD (regular $112.99 USD) for a box of ten (including a fancy, quality cutter) or $52.99 USD for five. Or you can get them as part of the 6 x 60 Wingman No. 2 set; five of them along with five Rocky Patel Vintage ’03 Cameroons, which is what I asked Erin to order for me so that I can try the RPs while making sure I have some of these babies on hand.
I absolutely loved it. If someone asked me, “How do I make a good Connecticut?” I would hold up one of these and say, “Study this.” A perfect score!
That’s a lady’s perspective!