When other kids dreamt of being super heroes, I had aspirations of being a ninja. As G.I. Joe inspired millions of kids to battle against evil, I was intrigued by the way of the Samurai. X-ray vision and super strength did nothing for me. Handcrafted swords were my fascination.
As soon as I reached an age of “accountability”, I purchased a real sword. I caught the collection bug and before I knew it I had shelves full of traditional and unique Japanese swords. When it was no longer safe to have these sharp blades on display in my home due to small, curious, toddler eyes and hands, another passion had to fill my void.
I traded my fascination with swords and sheaths for an interest in premium cigars and the way of the aficionado. From one expertly crafted masterpiece to another, these items served as symbols of sophistication, honor, and inspiration for me. The same way swords inspired me early on, their beauty and boldness inspired Montecristo to create cigars that were worthy to brandish the legendary symbol strength and fortitude.
Blended by an elite team of Master Blenders at the Tabacalera de Garcia in the Dominican Republic, the Grupo de Maestros (with over 160 years of combined experience) created a new Nicaraguan puro (manufactured by Don Nestor Placencia) to take the popular Montecristo Espada cigar to another level. The Estoque, which is the sword of choice for Bullfighters, comes garnished in the same eye-catching, elaborate banding as the Espada but with black as the primary color instead of brown.
Wrapper: Upper Priming Nicaraguan Cuban Seed Viso Jalapa Vintage 2013
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo Seco
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo Seco Estelì Vintage 2009, Nicaraguan Criollo Viso Ometepe Vintage 2013, Nicaraguan Corojo Criollo Viso Condega Vintage 2013
Available Vitola: 6 x 50
- Dark, sweet notes of raisin and cocoa on the cold draw.
- Sweet molasses, espresso, and mild spice through the 1st third
- Black pepper, smoked hickory on 2nd third
- Espresso and cocoa notes on the finish
The Estoque was an easy light and extremely smooth draw for a torpedo. I was able to guillotine cut a minimal amount of the head to get the flow of air I needed without running the risk of unravelling.
A single flamed torch was used and the burn was impeccable on the first sample smoked. From start to finish the burn line was razor-sharp and clean. The second sample’s burn was good (a little wavy), not great, and no touch-ups were needed. Both produced a pasty, grey ash with fine layers and no tooth. As the Estoque burned I noticed that there was always a series of lighter color specks or dots right above the burn line. This posed no problem but it was interesting to watch the color change from the heat. Halfway through the Estoque, the draw opened up considerably allowing for more pronounced flavors from the second to final third.
In my opinion, this Montecristo is one of the line’s fuller body smokes with a pleasantly complex and a savory flavor profile. The strength speaks to the inspiration, as you can’t very well have a mild cigar named after an iconic instrument of coolness and bullfighting carnage! Of the two “sword themed” Montecristos, the Estoque is definitely my favorite as I believe it is definitely an improvement over the first. For a retail price of around $15, this wouldn’t be an everyday smoke for me, but one that I’d pick up if I couldn’t easily decide on something when walking into my Brick and Mortar’s humidor and I had a little extra to spend. While fuller in body, the Estoque won’t leave you feeling like a bull gored you in the butt. Give it a try, but don’t wear red while smoking it.
The Montecristo Estoques for this eval were purchased at UPtown’s Smoke Shop.
This post can also be viewed at BOTL.org.