This would be the last of three cigars that I reviewed to compare with one another. All three were Montecristo #2's but two were regular release from different dates and the other the Gran Reserva of the same vitola. My reason for smoking and comparing the three, besides simply for the enjoyment, was to give my opinion on whether or not the Reserva is worth all the money it costs.
This cigar was purchased as part of a large bunch of loose singles. I don't have a box date but the band on this Montecristo was only used until 2003 so it's at least 9 years old.
It wasn't a pretty cigar with it's faded band and dry bumpy wrapper. The colour on the wrapper wasn't even either being different shades of light brown throughout. It was as hard as a rock and slightly veiny. It wasn't appealing at all but looks can be deceiving. The pre-light draw was a little firm, not bad but I couldn't pick up any flavours. Once lit, wood fills the palate after the first few puffs. The draw's just a bit firm but very smokeable and opens up a little more past the first 1/2 inch. This isn't a complicated cigar, very smooth with a slightly uneven burn. Oaky flavour with a hint of floral through the nose. The flavours are somewhat similar to the current release I smoked before this but they seem to have dissipated. In my opinion this cigar has past it's prime, it tasted as if the flavours had faded away. It felt like the ash was stifling the cigar so I flicked it and touched it up with my torch.
Going past the first third and picking up earth and wood. The burn continues to be off. Nearing the halfway mark and the cigar is burning a bit hot and I keep having to touch it up. It's a rather dry smoke that's getting bitter and stronger.
Past the half and the draw is still a little firm. Now becoming musty, very rustic. I slowed down my smoking at this point. I have a tendency to smoke my cigars quickly and can sometimes overheat a tightly rolled cigar. By slowing down my smoking it cooled down the cigar and took that bitterness away. Earthy on the last quarter.
Although it was a pleasure to smoke, to be able to compare, this cigar was nothing special. I felt like it had seen better days and would have been better a few years earlier. It wasn't terrible but if I had to choose, the younger one was more enjoyable. As far as comparing either one of the regular releases with the Reserva, there is no comparison. The Reserva is not even in the same category but is it worth the money. In my opinion I would have to say, if you could find a box (of 15) in Cuba for the selling price of $485 then yes, it's definitely worth the money. However, paying $1200 or more on-line is a little steep for me. I suppose if you have that kind of money to spend on cigars it would be worth it for you as well. I have had cigars worth as much that were garbage, so in that respect I suppose it's worth the price tag.
After all is said and done and we're done analyzing and over analyzing, the Montecristo Gran Reserva Cosecha 2005 is a fantastic cigar that still has to show it's full potential. If you can find this cigar and can afford to buy it, you won't be disappointed.