There is no other cigar in the world as famous as the Montecristo No. 2. While other well-known Cuban names such as Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas might rank amongst the greats, none can compete with the legend of the Montecristo No. 2.
Is it worth the hype? Here is the Montecristo smoking experience.
Montecristo No 2 Overview
The Montecristo No 2 is a cigar smoking experience that has become a rite of passage for all cigar aficionados.
Binder and filler tobaccos are selected from Cuba’s famed Vuelta Abajo region located in the province of Pinar del Rio, where climate and soil are ideal for growing rich and flavorful tobacco. A distinctive Colorado wrapper leaf is added to the blend to finish off the Montecristo No. 2’s signature character.
Montecristo No. 2 The Factories
Montecristo’s high-grade tobacco is not destined for a single “Montecristo” factory but several factories throughout Cuba. The H. Upmann factory in Nueva Vedado near Old Havana, however, specializes in crafting the Montecristo No. 2. Master cigar makers are skilled in creating elaborate cigar shapes. They assemble the tobacco and place the cigars in specially designed molds to help maintain the No. 2’s unique shape.
Montecristo No. 2 The Size and Shape
The Montecristo No. 2’s iconic “pyramid” shape and balanced 6 1/8” x 52 size not only makes for one of the most recognizable cigars in the world, but the shape helps amplify the tobacco’s richness and complexity as the smoke meets your palate.
Smoking a Montecristo No 2
Setting alight a Montecristo No. 2 is a highly anticipated moment that announces your arrival to the cigar world. As you settle into the hour-plus smoke, appreciate the experience by taking note of each step of the journey.
There is much to behold with a Montecristo No. 2, and it is easy to get lost in its alluring shape, understated band, and oily Colorado wrapper leaf. It is highly recommended to give the cigar a once over before sparking up. This allows you to admire the craftsmanship. You can also perform an authenticity check and look for any damage to the outer leaf if you have not already done so.
A properly humidified Montecristo No. 2 feels hefty yet balanced in the hand, with the outer wrapper that is both velvety and pleasing to the touch. A sweet, woody, and spicy aroma joins the cold draw, which teases the senses with cocoa, espresso, licorice, and nut flavors.
Take your time with the cigar lighting ritual and enjoy the dancing flame and billowing white smoke that emerges from the foot of the Montecristo No. 2. The draw is firm yet effortless, allowing the cigar’s initial wave of flavor to easily find your palate.
The Montecristo No. 2 offers up touches of wood, spice, sweet cream, anise, and wet hay aromas that only intensify once the cigar is underway. Thick aromas of earth and green chestnuts join the mix to create a scent that is heavy yet intriguing. While the aroma can be off-putting for the uninitiated, most will find it pleasingly nostalgic and inviting.
Body and Taste
The Montecristo No. 2 begins with a gentle, mellow character, touched with hints of earth, cedar, coffee, vanilla cream, mocha, and all-spice. The smoke becomes meatier and more complex towards the midway point, with a slight increase in body. The addition of dried fruit, licorice, dark cocoa and red pepper add to the complexity and pave the way for a bolder push towards the finish.
The Montecristo No 2 builds to an impressively refined grand finale that is never overly boisterous but always entertaining. A similarly structured spirit, such as brandy, rum, or scotch whisky, helps at this point to draw out every lasting bit of taste and body. Each of the Montecristo No. 2’s complex flavors make a curtain call before coming together for one last flourish that brings the medium-full smoke to a satisfying close.
Part of the charm of a Montecristo No 2 is that it delivers an incredibly flavorful and rich smoke yet manages a balanced character throughout. With its idyllic blend of flavor, body, and complexity, it is easy to see why the Montecristo No 2 maintains its fame. While not for all tastes, the Montecristo No. 2 is a wholly engaging experience that shows off the very best Cuba has to offer.
Montecristo No 2 Cigar Value
Montecristo has earned the right to be called a legend, yet how does it translate to value? The good news is Montecristo No 2 cigars are not the most expensive Cuban cigars available. The bad news, however, is they are by no means cheap. Yet, there is great value to be found in a Montecristo No. 2. The level of quality of the smoking experience is tough to beat.
There are alternatives to consider if you are on a budget or want something a little different. The H. Upmann No. 2 is equally gratifying and easier on the wallet. For a shorter smoke, try Montecristo Petite No. 2 cigars. Of lesser-known shaped cigars, the Vegas Robaina Unicos is favored by Montecristo No. 2 fans due to its immensely flavorful and rewarding smoke.
Montecristo No. 2 Experience
The Montecristo No. 2 continues to maintain its place as the most iconic Cuban cigar in the world. While perhaps best suited for experienced connoisseurs, the legendary cigar eventually finds its way onto every cigar lover’s bucket list. So, why wait? Start the unforgettable journey today with authentic Montecristo No. 2 cigars from the best online Cuban cigar shop.