10/31/17

Montecristo Crafted by AJ Fernandez - Cigar Review

I'm surprised by this Montecristo Crafted by AJ Fernandez, and it happens prior to lighting the thing. No, I'm not surprised to see another legacy brand flashing the AJF insignia -- that's the norm these days. My surprise is on account'a how the thing looks. Its uneven tautness of seams, some stretching of top-leaf, a short cap set flimsily atop, and last but not least: a sloppy divot at the 1/2-way mark. One that looks to hath occurred at the rolling table and not via shipping/handling. Upon light, I am thankful that there's no leak in smoke there.

I do not recall leaving trick to be an option. I'm far too neurotic for that. I assumed, as always, treat. Lettuce see. There is about the biggest bouquet of cold-nose I recall schnozzing as of late, coming off the thing -- a sweet leather brown sugar cinnamon. It's very autumnal. Verily fitting. I should really consider raking my yard. There, I considered it.

Fresh outta the gate, a Bic-flick re-touch is necessitated and no small-one at that. One long-side of the press saw its top-leaf pull away from burn. Seems corrected, now. Flavors on the draw are that sweet leather brown sugar cinnamon melange jockeying with a mulling spice featuring a rather forward citrus tick. Cranberries? Maybe I'm letting Fall get the best'a me. A bit of dark chocolate comes in, fleetingly. Underbelly is pumpkin and maize. Just kidding. It's earth, rather simply-so. Less simple is a honey-malt on-board at the opening stanza's close. Retro-hale adds a nicely-offered piquant up-swing and drops smoothly to a sweet palate. Finish is a nigh long extension of draw featuring a neat tongue-tingle.

We seem to have hit a decent stride at a decent pacing, performance-wise. Line is even. Draw is smoothly medium-tension'd. Box-press doth hold and seams seem tighter now. The burnt-offerings cling in a firm inch of silvery sheath with a vein-or-two of charcoal marblings. Pack density is sans hard/soft spots and ain't budged much 'gainst progression. I am reminded of myself, there.

& that is how we gallivant on toward and to the mid-point. Not much ado which hasn't already been addressed. Bupkis booming transitions tho not linear. A slowing of pace is the only difference. Balance is excellent, although it ain't a huge menu or myriad of nuances to align. Strength is medium, flavors medium-full, and body... body is of note... so's I shall. It's rather liquidy and a bit less oomph-y than would seem preferable. Therein, I 'spose balance doth wobble. Mayhaps it's that lack of sticking-to-ribs that precipitates the legs of the finish to pull back, shorten. It does end quite cleanly, and that's nice.

Mixed nuts, lightly candied are into the profile now, as the second-third comes to an end. (That divot smoked cleanly-through.) Some sweet bread cooked in a wood-stove and really, it's getting rather good now. Still not very 'filling,' humsoever. Flavors, whilst added to, dial back to a medium. Dried pineapple? Papaya? Interesting. It's all yellow and brown and orange hue'd.

I sit back and smoke on-through till Snack Tray, 7, asks me when he should get dressed in his Darth Vader costume. It's noon-thirty. Later, I say. We're both excited. This year we decided to go full-sized bar hunting in a nicer neighborhood than our own. Montecristo is a nicer neighborhood than my own. I didn't quite get my full-sized bar. You always want better for the next generation... the spoiled entitled snowflakes.

WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Sumatra
BINDER: San Andres
FILLER: Nicaraguan

FORMAT: Robusto (552) Box-press
ORIGIN: Nicaragua
STRENGTH: Medium-Full

FINAL GRADE: B+
A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79 D 60-69 F 0-59

Get yer own Montecristo Crafted by AJ Fernandez at Cigars City today. Treat, don't trick yerself, this HELLoween.

Seriously though, be safe out there. I hope yous all get king-sized.

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"THE MONK REPLIED"