Robaina's plantation

Friday 12 October 2012

Montecristo Gran Reserva Cosecha 2005 (cigar review)

                   This cigar was introduced by Habanos at the 'XIII Festival Habano' in Havana in 2011. The cigar I'm trying is from the box that was given out as a gift during this festival. Only 5000 boxes of 15 cigars each were released. All come in beautifully lacquered, numbered boxes with the cigars in a single row of 15. The presentation is quite attractive and almost in itself worth the heavy price tag. The tobacco from these cigars come from the best that the Vuelto Abajo Region had to offer in the 2005 harvest. The tobacco was aged at least 5 years before these cigars were rolled. During these 5 years the leaf was cared for and meticulously handled to be able to bring these wonderful cigars to life when the time was right. Once ready, the leaf was sorted and given to the best rollers at the H.Upmann factory for the production of the final product. These cigars are an identical copy of the Montecristo #2 (52 x 156mm) except for the special tobacco. Comparing it to a current release Montecristo #2, the Reserva was just a little darker.
                   I was originally going to review only this cigar but after smoking it I decided to do a comparison with the current release. However, after smoking the current release I thought it only fair to smoke an older one as well. So this will be the first of 3 reviews of different versions of the same cigar. It was late in the summer on a friends patio, after a steak dinner and drinking a 2008 Simi Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley in California when I had this smoke.
                  The cigar was hard to the touch with no give, smooth and with no visible veins. It was a dark cafe latte colour and perfectly rolled with a pointed cap. It was such a perfect specimen it was almost a shame to light it up. The pre-light draw was herbal and fruity. Once lit, this cigar held on to bit of the sweetness with some wood and hints of cocoa. Although the cigar seemed like it might be a tight roll, the draw was perfect and the burn was to be bang on. A very smooth and perfectly balanced cigar.
                   Past the first quarter and this cigar has been an absolute pleasure to smoke. I would consider this a mild-medium smoke with no flavours ever being overpowering. Still light wood with a hint of tea and cocoa and a whisper of nuttiness. Passing the half and the flavours don't change much.
                  Nearing the end the cigar picks up a little spice with hints of chocolate and hazelnut. This cigar is hard to put down and I try to hang on as long as I can. I found it to be incredibly smooth all the way through with not a hint of bitterness anywhere. It's hard to say anything bad about this cigar except for the price tag and maybe if you are expecting something big, this isn't a cigar for you. This is a classy cigar for people who appreciate and understand a good smoke. Don't buy it only because it's expensive. This cigar still has a ways to go before it peaks. I couldn't guess how long it would be before it does or how much better if at all it will be when it does. Only time and patience will tell.
                  The question is...."Is it worth the money?". I guess that depends on how much money you have or what your budget is for cigars. A box of 15 outside of Cuba can run you $1200 or more and in Cuba they're over $400. I thought I would try the other two Montecristo #2's to compare the same vitola before I give my opinion on that. Whatever I might think is irrelevant however, not everyone is the same and everyone's tastes are different.

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