The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2004
Montecristo No. 2
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 full-bodied 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.