Montecristo Number 2
Created in July of 1935 at the Particulares factory in Cuba by Alonso Menendez (Benji), Montecristos were rolled there until 1937 when production was transferred to the H.Upmann factory, also owned at that point by Menendez. Montecristo cigars’ little known claim to fame is that they were the first cigar ever blended to focus on a core of flavors besides the typical tobacco & spice flavors. Being dubbed “new school havana flavor”, they started a revolution that continues today with many notable blends from all over the world. The #2 is the most famous of the line, though not the best selling, and undoubtedly thought of as the world’s greatest torpedo.
- Outside of FDA items and post-tradeshow details, there isn’t a ton of NEW news this week…so I thought I’d kick around a couple things I’ve had from the show.
- Dunhill Aged Maduro. I believe this is the first time a true maduro has carried the Dunhill name. It has a Sungrown Ligero wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and Dominican/Nicaraguan filler mix. I smoked the 4”x54 short robusto, but it’s also available in 5.125”x42 Marevas and 5.5”x54 short churchill. I had mixed results with this one. After smoking two I’m torn. The first was a bit monotone, with an occasional foray into some slight bitterness. I wasn’t a fan. Giving it a second try, though, was rewarding. I still had some occasional tannic notes, but overall was much better. I’ll report back once I’ve had the last one…but for smallish cigars that will run $9.50-12 at retail, I’ll have to be pretty impressed.
- Sticking with the General Cigar theme, I also had the CAO Consigliere. This, for those who haven’t heard, is unofficially a re-introduction of the Sopranos, sans series nomenclature. The company says this allows for a much lower MSRP than the Sopranos (now $7-9 in 3 vitolas). I smoked the 5”x52 Associate (also comes in 6”x54 Soldier and 7”x56 Boss). I had better luck with this than the Dunhill mentioned above. I played Craig just for a few minutes and trimmed away some of the wrapper. Removing the wrapper gave it a very sweet essence – akin to root beer, in fact. I’ll be trying these at least once more when they hit shelves. Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper over Honduran binder and Colombian/Nica/DR fillers.
- JC Newman, even in the face of new legislation and regulatory oversight, launched a new “boutique” division – 4th Generation. The company has already begun shipping (to beat the 8/8 deadline) three lines – The American, The Admiration, and The 1954. Interestingly, the cigars will be produced at their Ybor city factory rather than their Nicaraguan operations – although production is in NIcaragua until the factory has been readied for production. The company will be headed by Eric’s son Drew and wife Ariel. The American will be an American puro, featuring the FSG wrapper grown by Jeff Borysiewicz in central Florida. It will also have CT broadleaf, CT habano, and PA. The Admiration is a mix of American and NIcaraguan tobacco. Finally, the 1954 is an attempt at recreating Stanford’s Cuesta Rey 95. 1954 commemorates JC Newman’s move to Ybor. I’m interested in seeing how these lines are received, as they all carry pricing from $16-20 per stick.
- The FDA lost a lawsuit this week. A district court judge sided with the tobacco companies and deemed that new packaging does NOT necessarily mean a new tobacco product. This was specifically in regard to a cigarette suit, but should cover cigars as well. FDA asserted previously that a change in any packaging would start a new application process. Notably, the judge also deemed a change in package quantity DOES signify a new tobacco product.
- Kevin Talley – Sr. Directory of Legislative Affairs – has left IPCPR. No reasoning was given, but I’m intrigued by sheer curiosity of the timing…
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
- Craig – A GREAT couple of weeks for me
- ECCJ 20th was the dog of the show. That should tell you something
- Reynaldo Canonazo 2014 from Zedman
- 1998 Montecristo Especials
- L‘Atelier Racine – How polar opposite this experience was… from itself
- Avo Syncro Fogata
- Davidoff Yamasa
- JC Newman Perla del Mar Maduro
- The revived Oliveros from Aging Room