Tasting Note



No. 2

A nutty pyramid that gains intensity as it smokes, picking up coffee bean and earthy flavors. The aftertaste is sweet and woody.

Additional tasting notes for Montecristo

Issue: Jan 01, 2014
Score: 96
The undisputed king of torpedoes is the Montecristo No. 2. The stately smoke with the pointy tip is known the world over and ranks as one of the best-selling cigars in the Cuban cigar portfolio. And unlike some things that sell well, Monte 2s combine commercial success with critical acclaim. We have rated Montecristo No. 2s dozens of times in Cigar Aficionado blind tastings. The first time was more than 20 years ago, when we gave it a score of 94 points. This score of 96 is the highest rating we have ever bestowed on the cigar in a blind taste test. Recent production Monte 2s (those we smoked were from April 2013) are extraordinary, teeming with rich but not overwhelming flavors of leather, such sweet spices as cinnamon and nutmeg and the cigar's trademark tangy wood note. They have enough flavor and power to satisfy those who smoke cigars on a regular basis without overwhelming those who puff less frequently. The Montecristo No. 2 is anything but new. The cigar is one of the original sizes of the Montecristo brand, which was created in Cuba by Alonso Menendez in 1935 and became the best-known of all the cigars rolled at Menendez, Garcia y Cia., the biggest cigar company in pre-Castro Cuba. The Count of Monte Cristo, the 1844 work of French novelist Alexandre Dumas that culminates in a dramatic sword fight, is believed to have inspired the name. Today, the Montecristo box features swords crossed in a triangular pattern, and the band has a majestic fleur-de-lis, a symbol of the French monarchy, in its center. While Montecristo No. 2s smoke beautifully in their youth, they also make superb aging cigars for those with the patience. We have smoked Montecristos that have been stored for 10 to 50 years in a humidor, and they only get better over time. The Montecristo No. 2 is a classic, and Cigar Aficionado's best cigar of 2013.

Issue: Oct 01, 2013
Score: 93
This leathery smoke delivers notes of orange peel and espresso in excellent balance. Some inconsistencies were noted during the tasting.

Issue: Jun 25, 2013
Score: 93
This leathery smoke delivers notes of orange peel and espresso in excellent balance. Some inconsistencies were noted during the tasting.

Issue: Aug 01, 2012
Score: 90
Medium bodied and earthy with touches of ground coffee and wheat that linger on the palate.

Issue: Jul 26, 2011
Score: 92
A nutty pyramid that gains intensity as it smokes, picking up coffee bean and earthy flavors. The aftertaste is sweet and woody.

Issue: Jun 01, 2010
Score: 90
A symmetrically rolled torpedo with a firm but even draw that delivers lots of rich nutty, coffee flavors and an earthy finish.

Issue: Aug 01, 2009
Score: 91
An attractive belicoso with an uneven burn but very good draw. The smoke is bold and profoundly leathery with spicy, toasty notes throughout and a toasty finish.

Issue: Dec 01, 2007
Score: 92
A gorgeous pyramid that is earthy and right. Full bodied and spicy, with rich texture and perfect mouth feel to the smoke. Great now, but this cigar should age very well.

Issue: Feb 20, 2007
Score: 93
Oily and well made, this chunky torpedo opens with dusty cocoa and caramel notes, then warms to show a complex range of spice, wood and leather flavors.

Issue: Jun 01, 2006
Score: 92
A chunky torpedo with some veins that has a fine draw. It has wonderful flavor: sweet cedar, toasted vanilla, and some mineral notes. It’s rich now, and should blossom into a classic with age. Medium to full bodied.

Issue: Aug 01, 2005
Score: 90
A good looking torpedo that has a fine burn and draw. It’s rich, sweet and leathery, with some toast and cocoa on the palate. The finish is spicy. Medium bodied.

Issue: Apr 01, 2005
Score: 91
While this torpedo has a dry wrapper, the flavor is extraordinary. It has sweet chocolate and leather notes and a long cocoa finish. A full-bodied cigar.

Issue: Jan 25, 2005
Score: 91
This attractive, golden-brown torpedo has a mostly even burn and a fine draw. It's creamy, chewy and woody. It has a light ginger note and a spicy finish.

Issue: Jun 01, 2004
Score: 92
A good-looking torpedo with superb color and oils. It has an earthy, leathery flavor, with notes of spice and nuts, and improves with each puff. Medium to full bodied.

Issue: Mar 01, 2004
Score: 89
This attractive belicoso is strong and aromatic. It has balanced flavors of cedar and leather. The finish smacks of light pepper and wood.

Issue: May 01, 2003
Score: 88
Silky and golden brown, this figurado suffers from a tight draw. It has bready, peppery notes. The finish has hints of spice and wood. Medium to full body.

Issue: Apr 01, 2003
Score: 94
Truly attractive, this pyramid has slight draw problems, but overcomes them with superb flavor. The smoke is extremely complex, with hints of toast, leather, coffee, black pepper and nuts. Intensely flavorful, and full in body.

Issue: Jun 01, 2002
Score: 92
This box-pressed torpedo is simply gorgeous. It burns and draws well, showing off medium- to full-bodied flavors of chocolate, vanilla, coffee and cocoa bean. A delicious smoke that's hard to put down.

Issue: Feb 01, 2002
Score: 85
This figurado has some construction flaws, and the draw is tight. The smoke is bready, chewy and cedary. Medium bodied.

Issue: Apr 01, 2001
Score: 91
A silky, golden-brown cigar that has hints of leather and wood. Medium to full bodied. Some inconsistency was noted.

Issue: Nov 01, 2000
Score: 91
Well made, with an oily but veiny wrapper. The smoke is earthy and toasty, with notes of leather, honey and nuts. Medium bodied. Some inconsistency was noted in the draw.

Issue: Jun 01, 2000
Score: 95
A classic smoke. Mellow yet rich with a full body and a velvety texture. Draws extremely well. Long chocolate and coffee flavors, and a spicy finish.

Issue: Jul 01, 1999
Score: 92
A dark, box-pressed torpedo with an oily wrapper. It's a strong, muscular smoke with hints of dark coffee, toasted nuts and burnt caramel.

Issue: Mar 01, 1998
Score: 90
A full-bodied cigar with a excellent core of earthy flavors, and a some vivid pepper spice notes on the palate. Not up to previous standards.

Issue: Feb 01, 1998
Score: 90
This cigar has a superb draw and burn, with a flaky gray ash. It's a full-bodied powerhouse with rich coffee, toasted almond and leather flavors. A blockbuster cigar.

Issue: Jun 01, 1997
Score: 92
A well-made cigar that is strong and earthy. It has a chalky, dry finish and some cedar notes. Should improve with age.

Issue: Nov 01, 1996
Score: 92
A perfectly crafted torpedo with a fine draw and burn. It has a solid tobacco core framed by hints of leather. Rich and round, with a long finish.

Issue: Jun 01, 1996
Score: 92
This box-pressed pyramid is beautifully formed. It burns unevenly, but the draw is superb, providing thick smoke that combines power and spice. It shows signs of youth and should improve with age.

Issue: Apr 01, 1996
Score: 92
A well-made pyramid that draws well and leaves a gray ash. The smoke has a sweet cocoa and toffee flavor, with a hint of pepper and an earthy finish.

Issue: Dec 01, 1995
Score: 94
The benchmark torpedo. It is loaded with rich, complex flavors such as cinnamon, with strong full-bodied notes of chocolate and leather, and a long spicy finish.

Issue: Jun 01, 1993
Score: 90
Inconsistent for the benchmark pyramid from Havana. A good one is firm and well-crafted with rich, spicy aromas and flavors.

Issue: Jan 01, 1970
Score: 94
This renowned torpedo is an icon among Cuban cigars and remains one of the most popular smokes among aficionados around the world. At one time, production of the cigar was limited to the H. Upmann factory in Old Havana, but the cigar’s recent popularity has caused Habanos to expand its production to other key export factories in the city, and today about 3 million Montecristo No. 2s are made each year. The new H. Upmann factory in Nueva Vedado oversees the production of the cigar, and only top-ranked rollers on the island are allowed to make it. The Montecristo No. 2 has always been a favorite of the CIGAR AFICIONADO editors. It was one of the magazine’s star cigars in a 1992 article on the best cigars of Cuba, and it has ranked highly in just about every tasting for the magazine ever since. The 6 1/8-inch x 52-ring cigar is one of the most flavorful, best drawing smokes ever. It delivers loads of earthy and tobacco character with a full body and lots of spicy undertones. It’s great to smoke now, but will improve with age. We have had 50-year-old Monte No. 2s that were still rich, cedary and delicious to smoke.

Issue: Jan 01, 1970
Score: 92
The Montecristo No. 2 is the gold standard in shaped Cuban cigars, and is often great. It’s a considerable cigar, 6 1/8 inches long with a hefty 52 ring gauge, and an unmistakable pointed head that channels the smoke onto the palate. There are more Monte 2s made per year than any other cigar on this list, and they are rolled in several Cuban cigar factories, so there’s the occasional problem with quality and consistency, but at their best Monte 2s are masterpieces of fullbodied flavor, loaded with leather, earth and coffee notes. This is one of the reasons that the Monte 2 is one of the few smokes to ever rate 95 points in CIGAR AFICIONADO, classic on our 100-point scale. When aged, they’re even better.

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