Blind Cigar Review: Monte by Montecristo | AJ Fernandez BelicosoCigar Info

Altadis and announced the earlier this year. This is the fourth cigar blended and rolled by A.J. Fernández for Altadis U.S.A.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

The utilizes an Ecuadorian wrapper, a corojo 98 binder and criollo 98 and Dominican piloto cubano fillers.

It is available in four viotlas: Corona (5 x 44) — $10.50 (Boxes of 20, $210), (6 1/8 x 54) — $11.25 (Boxes of 20, $225), Robusto (4 1/4 x 54) — $10.80 (Boxes of 20, $216). Toro (6 x 55) — $11 (Boxes of 20, $220).

The cigars is produced at Tabacalera Cigars de S.A. and distributed by Altadis U.S.A. A.J. Fernández has blended a few other cigars for Altadis U.S.A. such as, Montecristo, H. Upmann and Gispert.

Blind Cigar Review: Monte by Montecristo | AJ Fernandez BelicosoVital Stats:

Length: 6″ 1/8
Ring Gauge: 54
Country of Origin:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo 98
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo 98, Piloto Cubano
Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez S.A.
Number of reviewers: 5 (ThaGreatWazoo) () Stefan (Stefan) (A Huge Nerd) (Zane)
Price: $11.25
Age: 2 Months
Release Date: July 2017
Contributed by: Altadis USA

Blind Cigar Review: Monte by Montecristo | AJ Fernandez BelicosoInitial Impressions

Appearance: 90

“Really nice looking box pressed torpedo style cigar. Deep, medium brown. Wrapper seams are readily apparent, but aside from that this is a big handsome fella.” – ()

Aroma: 88

“Thin crisp notes of hay and barnyard. Smells a little like fall.” – ()

First Third

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The first third immediately kicks off with a high pepper output. Subtle notes of hay and oats can be found ever-so-slightly on the tip of the tongue. The retrohale is very overpowering and needs to be abandoned very fast. The amount of smoke and aroma coming off of this cigar is a sight to see. Heavy and thick smoke fills the air and the aromas are sticking to anything and everything. Very strong and powerful.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

“The cigar stomps out of the gate with bold black pepper and charred oak. As it warms up, the flavors mellow, but not much. It is still bold and punchy, but rounded out a bit by flavors of roasted nuts. ” – (A Huge Nerd)

Second Third

Flavor: 88
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The notes pick up a little bit to go with the strength. Still a heavy pepper front begins the second third. The burn is quite nice and a slight touchup is needed. The aroma is still heavy and smells like oak wood burning mixed in with heavy earth notes. The profile is nice, but very one dimensional with the pepper.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

“Second third transitions with the sweetness and strong pepper from the first third. Also getting a bit of saltiness as the 2nd third progresses. ” – (Zane)

Final Third

Flavor: 88
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The burn cleans up in this final third. That allows the flavors to settle back into a pretty good place. Some dark roast coffee notes and mild anise flavors are present. The toasted oak and leather are still there, but more on the retrohale and the finish. Some dry mineral notes rounded out the profile. ” – (A Huge Nerd)

“The last third adds rich cocoa notes to the bready profile, and an undercurrent of soft white pepper. Strength gets bumped up to medium-full.” –Stefan (Stefan)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 94

“Great draw on this one. Just the right resistance but lots of smoke. ” – (Zane)

Burn: 84

“The burn was very good and easy to manage. The ash held firm for a large part of the cigar and had a nice texture to it. As noted earlier, the burn and smoke output was dynamic and powerful.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

Construction: 91

“This section was tough to choose. The burn of the cigar elevated this up a little. The construction was nice, but the wrapper appeared flaky in some spots. The earlier mentioned issue with the wrapper did not cause any negative effects to the cigar, but did knock down the overall appearance. In all, a nice level build with no fancy gimmicks.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 88

“This cigar morphed a little too late to really stick with me. It was very pepper forward, but had no subtle changes to it to keep me intrigued. It would be a decent everyday smoke while working in the yard or tinkering around in the shop. Again, nothing to fancy and nothing to sit on and smoke expecting a tremendous overall experience.” – (ThaGreatWazoo)

“Hopefully the construction problems with this cigar were the exception rather than the rule. Even the best of brands have a cigar here and there that is a lemon. Based on appearances, this looked like it would have been an enjoyable cigar. I hope others have a better experience. (I noted mediums across the board in my review as a default as I really couldn’t get a good sense of strength or flavor, scores of “unsmokable” reflect the construction issues exclusively.)” – ()

“I wasn’t sold by the flavor profile, but I can see this appealing to people looking to step up from mild-to-medium Connecticuts. Construction was nevertheless outstanding on all fronts.” –Stefan (Stefan)

“Not a bad cigar, not a great cigar. I will say that the burn issues in the middle might have been a fluke, so I would try this one again. It did have some enjoyable flavors and characteristics that I typically like in a cigar. ” – (A Huge Nerd)

“This was a good looking cigar that was enjoyable for the first two thirds. The final third fell a bit short as the cigar got hot and bitter. Would be interested too see what some age does to these. ” – (Zane)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 87

To view the complete scores and notes, click here.




Blind Cigar Review: |

Overall Score – 89 – Good

  • Appearance 90% 90%
  • Aroma 88% 88%
  • First Third 89% 89%
  • Second Third 88% 88%
  • Final Third 88% 88%
  • Draw 94% 94%
  • Burn 84% 84%
  • Construction 91% 91%
  • Overall Experience 88% 88%