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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


While in Germany, I picked up a box of Montecristo Edicion Limitada 2003 C cigars to bring back home to the US. Everywhere you hear the mantra about Cuban cigars being "the best in the world", so I jumped at the chance to pick up a full sealed box of this well-known brand. It's a limited edition, no less, how could I go wrong? Out of paranoia, I took the bands off of them to thwart the customs agents, but they didn't even look in my bag. Go figure.

I've had a few of these Montecristo EL's on and off for the past few months, but didn't pay much attention to them while smoking them, nor was I left with any lasting impression (good or bad). So it was time to have another shot at it, paying more attention to the taste for a formal review.

The cigar itself is roughly (but not quite) robusto size, has immaculate construction, and has a gorgeous reddish-brown wrapper that looks so appealing in the sunlight. However, despite me wanting to love this smoke -- especially after all of the effort I went through to bring it back -- I just couldn't get excited about it.

Sure, it burned wonderfully, with a straight and true ash, but the draw was a bit difficult. More important were the flavors that came through on each draw: quite a mild nutty/leathery taste, with some very fleeting hints of spice. The aftertaste was somewhat unpleasant, with notes of ashtray mingling freely with a whispers of pesticide/soap. It's not as bad as it sounds, the aftertaste wasn't horrible, it just wasn't pleasant either.

About halfway through the smoke, I was just going through the motions, smoking it just to finish it. About 3/4 of the way through, I decided to put it out of its misery and toss it. I don't think this is just a case of a bad cigar, because it smoked similarly to the other cigars I've had from the box. History repeated itself.

And yes, I am quite sure these were real Cubans, and not fakes/knockoffs. I almost wish they were. Padrón/Fuente have nothing to fear from this particular cigar: while it isn't bad, it isn't something I'd look forward to pulling out of the humidor and smoking, Cuban moniker or not. Limited edition or not. Oh well.

Smoking it was like having a conversation with a rather dull person: not unpleasant, but rather superficial, uninteresting, and not something you look forward to in the future.
 

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what was the humidity of the humidor you pulled it from? how old were they?

if you keep them with your non-cubans, you might have your humidity way too high. if it's not around 63-65%, you probably will have a harder draw, burn problems and it won't taste like it should.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IHT said:
what was the humidity of the humidor you pulled it from? how old were they?

if you keep them with your non-cubans, you might have your humidity way too high. if it's not around 63-65%, you probably will have a harder draw, burn problems and it won't taste like it should.
According to my gauge, it is at 65% humidity.
 

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What is the box date on the bottom? Most Cubans don't taste very good with only a few months age. Also I feel a tight draw ruins the taste of a cigar. You don't get enough smoke volume to get the true flavor, and it ends up getting hot which is even worse. If you are sure they are legit, wait a few months and try again. You may be pleasantly surprised.
 

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I had a similar experience when i smoked one of my "fresh" Monte LE "C's". I am letting them rest for 6 - 12 months before I try them again. I often run into draw and flavor problems with fresh Cubans, and have found over and over that a years (or sometimes more) ageing does them wonders.

The only hard part is waiting!
 

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I've only had 2 in sampler packs, and I thought they were both very good. The youth wasn't apparent much until a tad past half way. It turned a bit early. They taste a lot like a #2, leathery tangy, and a touch of spice. I think these have great potential. For whatever reason Monte's in general don't smoke well young. It's funny how some brands are not bad at all young.
 

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The Padron anniversario is a good smoke for a non-cuban. I like the torpedo the best. However I can get a Monte #2 for the same money that blows it away, but like you said different strokes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fredster said:
The Padron anniversario is a good smoke for a non-cuban. I like the torpedo the best. However I can get a Monte #2 for the same money that blows it away, but like you said different strokes.
Yeah, I had a Monte #2 the other day -- a very nice smoke. I'd put it on par with a Padrón 1964 Anni.
 

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Moki

Sorry about the stick. For what it's worth, I had a similar experience with the Monte LE Robusto a while back which I hear is smoking well now. Burry those sticks in the back of the humi for a couple of years and try them again then.
 

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i just had a monte C the other day. it had what i can only imagine people reffer to as the "sick" taste to it. didn't hate it, but didn't enjoy it like i know i should have.

i guess and hope some more sitting around time will bring them back, because the first one i had when it was totally fresh was good.

jimmy
 

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the last monte C i smoked was great. It was a very rounded, full flavor with whispers of cocoa and almost brown sugar. It was nothing spectacular but a definate quality smoke.
 

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I have smoked 3 of the Monte C's, I purchased two samplers of the 03 El's.. I gifted two of the C's after I smoked my first one... I then tried the last one of the samplers and it was pretty much like the first one I smoked... Lacking in any real noticable flavors or profiles... I did pull the trigger on a box, I set them down for about two months in the humi, tried another and pretty much the same as the other two...just ho hum nothing special... I've put this box down for a least a couple years... I really hope they come around... I could have bought a box of RYJ Hermosa # 1's, Hoyo Piramides, or Partagas D-3 01's for a lot less money...... I also have a box of Monte Robusto EL's that just don't flip my wig... I don't know if I've just lost the taste for the Monte's

Bman
 

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Re: Montecristo Edicion Limitada 2003 C (ISOM) review

I have a box of these in my humi since early Jan. I thought they were ok even young . The draw was firm but by no means tight, a cigar with good age potential I say. Mine will sit awhile before passing any great judgement.
 

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Re: Montecristo Edicion Limitada 2003 C (ISOM) review

Reviving this old thread (2004)...

Let me start by saying that I do not consider myself among the gifted few who are able to write a great review (either positive or negative).

Now, with that said, I was received two of these cigars from Viesturs (an interesting coincidence that the last person to post to this old thread was Viesturs!) in a trade not too long ago. I lit one up tonight to watch the Red Wings school the Penguins (again) and I enjoyed the smoke as much as I enjoyed the game.

The construction was spot on, the wrapper was dark and oily. Definitely a handsome cigar (does anyone ever describe a cigar that way?). The draw was a little tight, no so tight that you have to work for it too hard, but that seems to be the way I'm liking my cigars lately (as opposed to some that the draw is too fast, or as the more eloquent will say, generous).

So like I said at the beginning, I'm not so good with discerning flavors and this is what makes me IMO a sub-par reviewer (about as sub-par as Pittsburgh's defense tonight :D), but I liked this cigar... I can't say that it had this or that flavor, but this one did it for me. Definitely one of the better cigars I've smoked in the past few weeks.

If possible, I'd like to ask the OP (Moki) and subsequent posters Fredster and Viesturs to perhaps re-visit this one to see if their opinions have changed since they last reviewed this EL. It's not that anyone else's opinion is going to change my opinion about this one, but I sure would like to know if I'm still in the minority from having a positive experience with it.

Sorry for the poor quality review, but it's been said here before (and will surely be said again) smoke what you like and like what you smoke... I liked it!
 

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Re: Montecristo Edicion Limitada 2003 C (ISOM) review

Thanks for the review. It sucks when you go through all the time money and effort to procure some of the best cigars in the world, only to realize that you got stuck with the inconsistency plague that every Cuban runs into sooner or later.

Sucks big time! :mad:

I feel your pain.
 

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Re: Montecristo Edicion Limitada 2003 C (ISOM) review

I actually passed on purchasing these, other than a few singles. However, those who did purchase a box and tried them recently report that this cigar has improved substantially over the past three years. Still, I'll stick with the original release Montecristo Robustos EL vs. these. JMHO, though.
 

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Re: Montecristo Edicion Limitada 2003 C (ISOM) review

It would be interesting to get Moki's take on these now, with 4+ years age as opposed to the couple months they had when he reviewed them in the original post.
 

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Re: Montecristo Edicion Limitada 2003 C (ISOM) review

I enjoyed these when I got them ROTT. I keep coming back to revisit them and I'm about half way through the box. At no time did I find anything unpleasant about them. Nice development here. They have been consistently good to me.

I do have to agree with the comparison to the Monte 2000 LE Robusto. I smoked a lot of young ones and I'm waiting until 2010 to crack the last box. My favorite LE to date.
 

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Re: Montecristo Edicion Limitada 2003 C (ISOM) review

I have revisited this cigar recently and they are damn good with 5 years age now. It's a strong smoke, and they just were too young to smoke in 2004.

Reviving this old thread (2004)...

Let me start by saying that I do not consider myself among the gifted few who are able to write a great review (either positive or negative).

Now, with that said, I was received two of these cigars from Viesturs (an interesting coincidence that the last person to post to this old thread was Viesturs!) in a trade not too long ago. I lit one up tonight to watch the Red Wings school the Penguins (again) and I enjoyed the smoke as much as I enjoyed the game.

The construction was spot on, the wrapper was dark and oily. Definitely a handsome cigar (does anyone ever describe a cigar that way?). The draw was a little tight, no so tight that you have to work for it too hard, but that seems to be the way I'm liking my cigars lately (as opposed to some that the draw is too fast, or as the more eloquent will say, generous).

So like I said at the beginning, I'm not so good with discerning flavors and this is what makes me IMO a sub-par reviewer (about as sub-par as Pittsburgh's defense tonight :D), but I liked this cigar... I can't say that it had this or that flavor, but this one did it for me. Definitely one of the better cigars I've smoked in the past few weeks.

If possible, I'd like to ask the OP (Moki) and subsequent posters Fredster and Viesturs to perhaps re-visit this one to see if their opinions have changed since they last reviewed this EL. It's not that anyone else's opinion is going to change my opinion about this one, but I sure would like to know if I'm still in the minority from having a positive experience with it.

Sorry for the poor quality review, but it's been said here before (and will surely be said again) smoke what you like and like what you smoke... I liked it!
 
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