By Nick Hendry
There are few names in the world of Cuban Cigars as highly regarded as Montecristo, and none as popular. It is Habanos SA’s biggest-selling line and celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2020. The No 5 is a mainstay of the range and, at only 40RG by 4” in length, the perfect smoke for those who are short of time. It provides around 20-30 minutes of enjoyment – perfect to punctuate a quick break in the middle of a working day.
The presentation of this cigar is in the classic Cuban style, the famous yellow livery of the Montecristo brand wrapped around a cedar box. Few sights will please an aficionado more than that of 25 sticks lined up in this manner to be chosen, and the Montecristo No 5 is a perfect example of this.
The Montecristo No 5 Cuban Cigar with a beautiful ST Dupont Ligne 2 lighter, available from EGM Cigars.
• The colorado wrapper of the cigar smoked for this review was a smooth, fine grain and the classic parejo shape perfectly formed. There were no faults or cracks and an even bounce to the touch all the way along the body.
• A slim cigar can often suffer issues with draw if rolled too tight, overfilled or over humidified. This was not the case here; from the first draw to the last wonderful amounts of smoke flowed effortlessly through the stick.
• As with the draw, flawless. An even burn throughout – no tunnelling, no need for a re-touch with my lighter. There was no need to re-light at any stage, nor did the cigar burn too fast, despite the breeze as I smoked in the garden. The burn we all hope for every time we light up.
• The ash on this particular example was a dark grey and did flake in a couple of places. With such strong construction and burn I had expected the ash to remain solid, indeed I had hopes of keeping the ash intact for the duration of the smoke! Fall it did, however, although not so regularly it spoiled my enjoyment.
• The amount of smoke which flowed from such a small cigar was frankly incredible. Aromatic and pungent, with no trace of bitterness, it was a pleasing sight as it floated around the table.
The author, Nick Hendry, enjoys the flavours from the Montecristo No 5 cigar.
• I paired this cigar with a Peruvian coffee as I felt the marriage with the cocoa and coffee notes I usually expect from a Montecristo would be perfect, and I was not disappointed. The No 5 is traditionally a punchy stick, lots of medium-full strength flavours packed into such a short smoke, and this was a fine example. A touch of spice at the outset gave way to pure dark-roast coffee by the end. Delicious.
The Montecristo No 5 after its 30 minute lifespan has been fully savoured.
Overall Impressions: 32/35
• There is no surprise this brand and vitola are so popular: the Montecristo blend provides a robust strength and flavour profile that will please any experienced smoker and the size of the No 5 ensures they can enjoy this blend when time is short.
Final Score: 92/100
Overall this is a fantastic smoke, perfect for when time is tight. It has been a mainstay of the Habanos offering since the Montecristo brand was launched and will remain so for years to come. A must for any home humidor.