PROLOGUEMy wife's Chihuahua is expecting company. Sexy company. A hot lil French thing. Poodle. Some guys have all the luck.
Monte by Montecristo
Jacopo No. 2
6 1/8 x 54 Square-pressed Torpedo
w. Ecuadorian Habano
b. Dominican Olor/Vintage Nicaraguan
Buy this stick HERE at Cigars City, whom I thank for the sampling.
PRE-LIGHTMight I engage firstly in a bit of nitpickery? The bands. Love love the classic primary Montecristo band here. Not so much the in yer face bold modern secondary Monte band. Nor do I like the way they don't go together. That aside... Wait... One more thing on the primary band: it's crookedly affixed and glue hath runneth over unto leaf.
Rich chocolate even complexuin with under-hues and depths of further rich chocolate. If ya look far 'nuff into the decadent abyss, a goldenrod radiates. Easier to see is the silky-smooth hand-feel and a lovely semi-gloss luster. Nary a vein as large as a medium-sized spiderweb varietal. Scant trace a' espresso bean marbling. Seams are tight, even. Cap is well-constructed and at the other end, the foot shows a medium+ density of tobaccy. Kinda mousy brown with an occasional dirty blonde hint. Square press is a rigid one with one corner pressed as sharp as a matzoh.
Hand-feel is the already mentioned silky-smooth velveteen. Great balance in a tricky 'nuff format to accomplish that task. Heft is nice. Oils transfer in a baby oil way to finagling fingertips. Charmin squeeze is an even medium+ tension with a snappy spring-back. Lively. It does thunk a tick hollow against my thumbnail...
Cold draw, gentlepersons! Oy vey, the suspense is suspending me. Chocolate with a citrus under-belly. Goldenrod, remember? Like that but in my mouth. White pepper. Berry. Bracing hardwood that cold finishes by softening in a sweet cream. Draw tension is a medium+.
LIGHTVery woody toasting aroma. Eager to light without lending itself to burn. Smooth character. First hot tug is toasted oak growing out of an espresso led soil. Berries come on at end of draw to sweeten medium legg'd finish and high-light a strongly brewed coffee-cum-espresso there. Mouth-feel is perfect moisture and texture is smooth a silk. Bready more than creamy, but verily creamy. Second hottie is retro-haled and black pepper joins the white. Lots of dark bread. Berries are a curious and distinct flavor underneath. Espresso is syrupy and its crema sweet. Third hot pull brings up a dark floral note which seems to tease the berries higher-up. Positively zilch of a tongue-tingle on a medium start to body/flavors. Strength is a -medium nod outta the gate.
Combustion is leisurely pace but not boringly so. Above average smoke off foot is building a toasted sweet hardwood room-note. Smoke-hole could use a rounder filling, but such a smooth texture oft leaves one feeling thatta way. Ash is pale grey and forming a teeny 1/2 inch of sheath. burn is even and its line a medium thickness. There is some loosening of pack after lighting and the combusted corners are rounded; down the shaft -- the press holds.
ACT IToasted sweet hardwood with a fruit attachment... yup -- wine cask. Sorta. A berry wine. Very distinct berry note continues to hold my interest. It's lightening up as the rest of the profile darkens. Strawberry. Acidic thing flits in on a lemon rind and I'm more strawberry lemonade than wine cask a couple puffs thereafter. Almost in a separate profile entirely, that espresso led earth spurns out more and more woods. Black pepper seems bye-bye and white pepper bakes in a dark breadiness felt on the mouth. A doughy darkness, hearty and soft. A new herbal seasoning comes in to bridge the two islands.
Burn blisters a surprising tick and strength is a rising sharp medium now. Ash is flaky, somewhat airy, and this might be a two schmatta offering, gentlepersons. One to whisk, one to set in my lap. Lemon rind soars and some of its yellow flesh is added. There's a new pale nuttiness that's in the soil underneath and sunnying it up a bit. Finish is pulling in its legs and sweetening. Strawberries. Dead on strawberries. Strawberry wine. Lemon has moved to the dark dough and is almost aping a fruitcake with a new molasses attachment.
Combustion has slowed and a tick of top-leaf again lags. Profile is medium+ across-the-board. Notes are more and more fluid and the once two distinct profiles are now one. Very wide and silk-laden landscape.
ACT IISmoke out-put opens up right as the second act starts. Room-note is wood and strawberry. I'm enthralled with this dang strawberry, gentlepersons. White pepper gets a buttery addition. I'm re-touching the burn a second time. Suddenly, the butter creams and spins out a cedar note which attracts the seasonings. Leather joins the under-belly and adds a savory quality. Supremely balanced. A Swiss Miss packet flits in, sidles up to bread. Very distinct notes. Insanely nuanced and excellent complexities.
Draw is a tick hesitant on onset, but satiating afterwards. Very clean post-finish. I'm disappointed somewhat by a flaky ash and occasionally lagging top-leaf. Shaft has noticeably softened and corners have gone fishing. Espresso moistens the field in a lip-smacking syrupy fashion. The profile of this Monte is deceptively robust.
Burn has evened at the mid-point and ash is prettier. Seams loosen a tick. At the end of the second act, profile dips down to a medium. Strawberry dries even as espresso continually moistens. Lemony bits pull back and earth soars. Less complex now, but nuances doth hold. Cedar is even with oak, but the two are far apart from one another.
ACT IIIChocolate gets absorbed into an espresso transitioning into a soda delivery. Nuts end in a sweet softly roasted macadamia. The Monte nigh goes out on me and I need another touch a' torching. Odd. New ash is dense and moist, a shade darker. Now the smoke billows. Room note has a new acidic quality added. Finishes so cleanly on the ol' palate that there's almost nothing there but silkiness. Strength is still at medium, but delivers a zetz to my kishka. Lemonade returns and zeroes in on strawberries. Woods fall to earth and there we are -- a Sunday drive through the country-side. My wife's driving. I'm a tick woozy.
I feel the construction/combustion are not on typical Montecristo par. Humsoever, the flavors are well above that same high bar. At the band, there is still a semblance of press and smoke is so cool and smooth I barely register it in my smoke-hole. I can't say I feel completely satiated, but I can say I am completely curious -- and delightfully so. Tantalizing and leaves me wanting more. An excellent showman. Although I think its a woman. A smokeable burlesque show, this.
Concord grape Manischewitz.
EPILOGUEThe bitch was in a false heat. We'll try again in about a week. Typical pouty French stuffs.
EDITOR'S NOTESThis sampling had a good year of age on it.
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