Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Pilotico No. 2Cigar Info

The is a collaboration between Altadis’ team and Jose Mendez & Company, the family owned operation by the Pepe Mendez’s family. Last year, the Dominican tobacco was first used as a component in the filler of the 80th Anniversary.

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.

With the new Pepe Mendez, this features a completely different blend from the 80th. The cigar utilizes an Ecuadorian wrapper, a Dominican binder and a filler consisting of both the Dominican tobacco as well as Nicaraguan filler. The cigar is available in three sizes. The cigars are available in 20 count boxes.

The brand was originally established in Cuba by Alonso Menendez and José Manuel Pepe Garcia. Following the Cuban revolution, Menendez and Garcia fled to the Canary Islands and then to . While the brand still exists in Cuba, Menendez and Garcia would eventually re-establish the brand. When the duo settled in the , they met another Cuban refugee named Pepe Mendez with whom the started sourcing tobacco from.

When Mendez had fled Cuba, he took some seeds with him where they were set aside. Recently the Mendez family grew some tobacco in the Navarrese region of the from those seeds. When Mendez settled in the , he incorporated classic Cuban methods to process the tobacco. This process included special selection and grading of tobacco. Pepe Mendez established more than 20 different grades based on specific criteria of tobacco leaf uniformity and quality. Pepe extended the fermentation process that enhanced the richness and complexity of Dominican tobaccos. Mendez established strict controls over the environmental factors during the curing and aging processes, which yielded tobaccos of better consistency and cleanliness of flavors.

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Pilotico No. 2Vital Stats:

Vitola:
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican , Nicaraguan
Factory:
Blender:
Number of reviewers: 4 Eric (smalls29) (Jokey Smurf) Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd) Matt C. (Big Matt)
Price: $17.60
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: July 2016
Contributed by: Altadis U.S.A.

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Pilotico No. 2Initial Impressions

Appearance: 92

“This cigar has a very unique pyramide shape, with a strong taper from head to foot. Also a soft box press look as it nears the foot. The seams are hidden nicely and it has an even medium brown color. A light sandy tooth is on the wrapper, and a light sheen of oil.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)

Aroma: 91

“The aroma of this cigar before lighting is full of leather and rich tobacco. It smells inviting, and it’s boldness is invigorating.” – (Jokey Smurf)

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Pilotico No. 2First Third

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“I was immediately met with a wonderful peppery tingle. It almost is a numbing sensation in the mouth. However, I do taste hints of cinnamon and coffee. I am sad though because the wet grass and peat from the pre light smell are not there. Still wonderful and loving it. There is hardly any after taste so it is hard to determine the flavors.” –Eric (smalls29)

“Smoke pours immensely from the foot. Exhale we have earth, leather, peat, nuts and wet shore wood. An enjoyable salty sour note appears after 12-15 pulls that is surprisingly pleasant. I believe this blend to have Costa Rican or Peruvian tobacco present in the blend. Retro is citrus, salt, and warm earth.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)

Second Third

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Pilotico No. 2Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“At this point the dominant flavor is the pepper and the tingle it gives. I am still tasting wonderful hints of coffee and cinnamon but not much else. I am beginning to detect an after-taste of a cinnamon latte. Very enjoyable so far.” –Eric (smalls29)

“As this cigar progressed into the second half it has remained quite spicy but instead of black pepper, it is now more of a white pepper with a smokey chipotle finish. The earth notes have faded, leaving me with clean tobacco and slight honey note.” – (Jokey Smurf)

Final Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The final third of this cigar was really quite different than the previous sections. The spice and pepper has faded completely and the flavor smoothed out, primarily consisting of a creamy roasted honey peanut. I can only imagine that this would pair extremely well with a quality piece of chocolate or a premium port.” – (Jokey Smurf)

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Pilotico No. 2“Exhale remains the same with the salt, citrus, cream, wet wood, and peat; Retro is cream, citrus with a sugar sweetness.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 88

“The draw was slightly spongey but still sufficient.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)

Burn: 88

“The burn was very nice and consistent. No problems.” –Eric (smalls29)

Blind Cigar Review: Montecristo | Pilotico No. 2Construction: 89

“The cigar was very visually appealing but didn’t perform as well as I’d expected. Over all it was acceptable but not exceptional.” – (Jokey Smurf)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Overall Experience: 91

“The cigar started off with just a peppery tingle. However, in time flavors of cinnamon and coffee showed up. When they arrived it made the flavors even better. I liked the consistency and balance of flavors. In the end the best part was that the bitter sour taste never happened. Too many times that ruins the end of a good cigar. This would be a nice addition to the humidor and pair well with coffee.” –Eric (smalls29)

“This was a cigar that took me on a pleasant flavor journey. From spicy and bold to creamy and mild. There was something for everyone, and that is nice. I liked the shape, and the box press was nice since I forgot my cigar stand in the house and I didn’t have to worry about it rolling away from me when I set it down! It will be interesting to see what this cigar is….” – (Jokey Smurf)

“This one cigar was purely awful. It may be a highly regarded brand with great history and love around the cigar industry. That doesn’t change the fact that this one stick was pure garbage. I did, however, smoke it all the way down. I should have tossed it.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)

“This cigar was never in my wheelhouse, but I am happy I got the opportunity to smoke it. This cigar expands the palate from prelight to the nub of what a premium cigar can offer in terms of flavor. Maybe my palate is broken.. I have no idea, but the exhale/retro was interesting delivering the wet wood, peat, earth, citrus, salt and flighty cream. I would happily have a few of these on hand to enjoy with some rye whiskey.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)

“This was a cigar that took me on a pleasant flavor journey. From spicy and bold to creamy and mild. There was something for everyone, and that is nice. I liked the shape, and the box press was nice since I forgot my cigar stand in the house and I didn’t have to worry about it rolling away from me when I set it down! It will be interesting to see what this cigar is….” – (Jokey Smurf)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 72

  • Appearance 92% 92%
  • Aroma 91% 91%
  • First Third 91% 91%
  • Second Third 90% 90%
  • Final Third 90% 90%
  • Draw 88% 88%
  • Burn 88% 88%
  • Construction 89% 89%
  • Overall Experience 91% 91%

Total Score - Very Good

 

Reviewer
Appearance
Aroma
1/3
2/3
3/3
Draw
Burn
Constr.
Overall
Experience
Eric888888888883909090
959595929590889095
Matthew T.908880788578888075
Matt C.908888888887958885
959595929590889095
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

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