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.

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Espada Estoque

Vital Stats:

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Espada Estoque

Blind Cigar Review: | Espada Estoque

Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin:
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cuban Seed Viso Jalapa Vintage 2013
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo Seco Jalapa Vintage 2002
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo Seco Esteli, Vintage 2009 Nicaraguan Criollo Viso Ometepe Vintage 2013, and Nicaraguan Criollo Viso Condega Vintage 2013
Number of reviewers: 4 —– (McGreggor57) (NavyPiper) (Youngryan216) (Throck)
Price: $14.59
Age: 6 Months
Release Date: July 2015
Contributed by: Altadis U.S.A.

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Espada Estoque

Blind Cigar Review: | Espada Estoque

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 94

“This was a beautiful maduro with extremely thick veins. There was a slight tear on the foot end of the cigar that followed the curve of the vein. In addition, part of the wrapper was also ever so slightly untucked.” - (Throck)

Aroma: 91

“Leather comes off the wrapper with a bit of barnyard at the foot. The cold draw has a nuttiness that accompanies some leather.” - (McGreggor57)

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Espada Estoque

Blind Cigar Review: | Espada Estoque

First Third

Flavor: 93
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“A lot of straight up tobacco and leather with a hint of chocolate on the finish. The flavors of this third are simple and clean. A bit of spice on the retrohale keeps the opening moments interesting.” - (McGreggor57)

“Wow what a start! Tobacco, leather, cedar, spice, and mild pepper dance around my taste buds. It’s a delight- an amazing set of flavors. Ash was tight and lasted 1 1/2″ before dropping. Burn was pretty straight. Only downside was the draw- there wasn’t one put in! So tight I couldn’t get anything out of it. Had to ream it a bit to get any kind of draw. Opened up ok, but kept wanting to close down requiring repeated reaming. But even with that, it was a heck of a third!” - (NavyPiper)

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Espada Estoque

Blind Cigar Review: | Espada Estoque

Second Third

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“The tobacco and leather are taking on a little char as dark roast coffee replaces the earlier chocolate on the finish. At the halfway mark some vegetal notes appear. This provides a nice transition from the simple flavors of the first third.” - (McGreggor57)

“As the second third begins, I notice the musty taste smoothing out into a more amped-up honey. There is some nice flavor blending going on here. I am really enjoying this portion of the smoke. The flavors are all singing in harmony at this point, and other than the somewhat tight draw this is right up my alley. The mouthfeel is oily and never dry. I have a feeling I am going to find out someone with some history in the industry blended this one, because it has a classic feel, but with a complexity unachievable by a more novice blender.” - (Youngryan216)

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Espada Estoque

Blind Cigar Review: | Espada Estoque

Final Third

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“Ah the final third. In this third, it became a little stronger, and really couldn’t detect as much of the spice & pepper as before. Still had good flavor, but it seemed that the cedar was a bit stronger than the rest. Still reaming it throughout the smoke. A minor inconvenience, but is there. If I’d a smoked it a little slower, I probably got a few more minutes out of it, but hey, I did say it was really, really good didn’t I?” - (NavyPiper)

“The final third is a bit sad, but only because the cigar is almost done. I could have easily smoked another hour of this without getting nicotine sick or getting bored with the flavor profile. The transformation of the flavors was more of a maturation of the main profile except for the red bell pepper, which disappeared after the first third. The retrohale has a graham cracker sweetness that brought me back for more each time instead of stinging me.” - (Youngryan216)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 90

“Even after a couple of cuts the draw remained a bit firm.” - (McGreggor57)

Burn: 93

“Great slow burn. The ash fell off in big, two-inch chunks and only needed one minor touch-up throughout. I would have liked some more smoke production, but I am guessing that has more to do with the firm pack than the tobacco itself.” - (Youngryan216)

Construction: 88

“This was a really well put together cigar aside from the snug draw. In my opinion, this came from a factory with history in the industry.” - (Youngryan216)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Overall Experience: 91

“The minimalist flavors of tobacco and leather during the first third provided an enjoyable start to the cigar. The transition into the second third was nice with the addition of some char, coffee and grassy notes. Unfortunately not much more developed leaving me wanting an additional dimension or two.” – (McGreggor57)

“Overall, it was very, very good. I’d smoke them daily if I could. What brought it down was the draw, or lack there of. Maybe I got the one that was the fluke. I hope so, it was a bloody fine stogie otherwise!” – (NavyPiper)

“There’s just not much bad I can say about this blend. It was incredibly round and full in terms of the overall profile. And what I mean by that is balance. This was a well-executed, medium strength cigar that had nuance and balance as well as a slow burn. One negative for me was obviously the tight draw, but I was more offended by the musty first inch of the cigar. There was a flavor that seemed young and underdeveloped on the finish that eventually smoothed out very nicely. I am interested to see what this one was, because I could definitely see myself firing one of these up with an iced coffee on a summer afternoon without destroying my palate for the rest of the day. In fact, I think a corona of this blend would be pretty boss.” – (Youngryan216)

“This was a fairly enjoyable cigar. The first third was the most memorable as this had a pleasant light smoke. The flavors continuously intensified as the cigar was smoked, eventually ending with a flavor bomb and a bit of harshness. I would likely not smoke this a second time, but others may find the flavors more in tune with their desires.” – (Throck)


Smoking Time (in minutes): 63

  • Appearance 94% 94%
  • Aroma 91% 91%
  • First Third 93% 93%
  • Second Third 91% 91%
  • Final Third 91% 91%
  • Draw 90% 90%
  • Burn 93% 93%
  • Construction 88% 88%
  • Overall Experience 91% 91%

Total Score - Very Good

To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: | Espada Estoque