As I’ve mentioned before, a cool label catches my eye long before a cool blend, but in the case of the Montecristo Estoque, there is both a cool label and a cool blend. What luck!

I’m like a kid at Christmas, unless that kid is Jewish, in which case I’m like a kid at Hannukah.

An estoque is a long, flat sword used in bullfighting. I’m hoping that the name is indicative of the burn: sharp, stabbing, biting. Basically, spicy enough to slay a bull.

Let’s take a look at the sword-like blend featured in the (hopefully) appropriately named Montecristo Estoque.

Montecristo Estoque Cigar Review

Montecristo EstoqueSize: 6″ x 50 ring gauge
Style: Torpedo
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cuban Seed Jalapa Vintage 2013
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo Seco
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo 2009, Nicaraguan Criollo 2013, Nicaraguan Corojo Criollo 2013

This blend has me all hot and bothered. Nicaraguan everything, a mix of Jalapa, Criollo, and Corojo. Really, what could go wrong here? Nothing. I’m seeing some grass, some hay, and some PUNCH ME IN THE MOUTH pepper in my future.

Don’t punch me in the mouth. Unless you’re gentle and I haven’t screamed the safe-word yet. Ahem.

Initial Observations

Montecristo Estoque LabelMontecristo Estoque BandMontecristo Estoque Espada

Appearance: After removing the eighteen thousand bands, the wrapper is smooth with no sheen. Rustic look.
Aroma: Smells sweet and of hay.

Pairing, Cutting, and Lighting

Drink Pairing: None
Lighter: Xikar single-flame butane
Cutter: Xikar guillotine

Cutting and Cold Draw

Easy cut (high up for a fairly loose draw). Cold draw of earth: dirt and grass.

The First Third

Montecristo Estoque First ThirdThe first hit of the Montecristo Estoque is solid spicy red pepper all over my virgin tongue. Kinky. After the initial spice attack, the cigar mellows into an earthy pleasntness: grass and leather dominate. It’s like a motorcycle gang playing soccer. Get it? Grass and leather? Guys? You get it? Are those crickets that I hear?

Not picking up much else at this point. Maybe espresso? But a weak espresso. Maybe not even espresso. Once scoop of Folgers in a cup of cold water. Yup.

A decent amount of smoke is being produced so far. Not Liga levels, but enough to keep me chewing.

The Second Third

Montecristo Estoque Second ThirdBoom. There it is. French press coffee. Rich and delicious. Now I want tiramisu and a French press coffee. Hmm. Hershey’s chocolate and Keurig coffee counts, I believe. Black pepper notes coming through the fog as well. I loves me some pepper, and am surprised that it hasn’t hit yet–the blend seemed to indicate that this smoke would be spicy.

The burn is unnaturally cool at this point. I prefer a hot burn, but the seemingly un-burning nature of the smoke is pushing through some unusual, musty notes. Not a bad thing, just different. A bit like entering an unfinished basement or ancient wine cellar (because those are both totally common things to do).

Touched up the burn a bit with the torch and received a burst of thick, engulfing caramel. Yum.

SO MUCH PEPPER. HOLY WOW. That came out of nowhere. My tongue is burning and reaching the point of numbness. I like it.

The Final Third

Montecristo Estoque Final ThirdHeavy. Duty. Pepper. The Montecristo Estoque started out a bit earthy and mellow, but wow, yeah, it is ALL black pepper now. No room for anything else going on on my palate.

Mellowing out for a bit now–smooth, inoffensive. Pepper is building. It’s building like… a building.  Slowly but surely.  And hopefully not in too much rain.

The Last Inch

All pepper, all the time. That could be the slogan for a pepper company. I’d buy their pepper, because they’re all about pepper, all the time. Much like Meghan Trainor is all about that bass, the Montecristo Estoque is all about that pepper.

Final Impressions and Rating

This cigar surprised me. I’m not a regular smoker of Montecristos, but the heavy Nicaraguan blend listed for the Estoque piqued my masochistic flavor tendencies. I’m happy I gave this cigar a shot (even at a cost of $15, less my lovely local retail store’s member discount).

The immediate transition from earth and coffee in the first half to black pepper in the second half is intriguing, but I wish the second half were a bit less one dimensional. Not a huge issue, but for the price point, I want a little more.

Rating (Seek out and buy again, Smoke if I happen to find one, Avoid at all costs): Smoke if I happen to find one

Definitely not a cigar to ignore–give it a shot for yourself. But start out with one or two before committing to the full box (just like marriage, right guys?!?!?!! Oh boy, I need to sleep–I’m getting loopy).



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