Monday, September 10, 2012

MONTECRISTO 520 Edicion Limitada 2012 - Review

Length: 15.5 cm
Ring Gauge: 55
Factory Name: Montecristo 520
Vitola: Maravillas No.3
Type: Robusto Extra
Release Date: 4th Quarter 2012

Following my previous posts MONTECRISTO 520 Edicion Limitada 2012 - Pre-reviewRe-Post: Announced releases of Habanos EdiciĆ³n Limitada 2012 I have finally got the chance to smoke two of the Edicion Limitada 2012 cigars The UPMANN Robustos (which I will cover in an other post soon) and the MONTECRISTO 520 prior to their market release.

I have already provided some background on the 520 in the previous post. So to avoid any inconvenience of going back and forth I have pasted it here:

A quick overview of the Montecristo 520 EL 2012 - It is one of the three limited edition cigars that were announced during the 2012 Habanos Festival in Cuba earlier this year in February. Montecristo 520 was made to commemorate the 520th year anniversary of discovering Tobacco in Cuba!  So lets take a closer look shall we...

The Construction - At first glance with this beauty shows a very smooth mesmerizing dark brown Colorado Claro (almost Colorado Maduro) wrapper with almost minimal visible veins. Construction-wise reviles an astounding 55 gauge ring (with a different Vitola than the 2005 Habanos Collection with similar gauge size and is a little bit wider than previous releases like the Sublimes and Grand Edmuno) and a fairly tight roll. The Montecristo 520 EL 2012 offers an appetizing scent of freshly ground cocoa and coffee beans!

The Draw - I used a wide gauge puncher for the cap. still unlit, the draw is smooth and you can pick up on the sweet taste of the dark chocolate and earthy scent.

The First Burn - I used a cedar stick to light this baby up (Read Light Up Your Cigars With Cedar Sticks! post) and while toasting the foot of the cigar a clear scent of roasting coffee beans starts to build up. Once the burn was even and the first draw was taken in, a soft peppery cedar notes are picked up with hints of coffee and light nutty smoke.

The smoke continues to be light but picks up a lot of flavors that can be very complex. You get the slight creaminess and sweetness of chocolate notes at the tip, nuttiness in the middle and a pleasant peppery that hits the back of the throat. Solid dark grayish ash still in tacked during the first burn.


The Middle Burn - At this point the 520 starts to build up the character of a Robusto. Smoke is smooth and abundant with a creamer feel. The peppery notes fades away to the background and a zesty cedar wood is highlighted now which can be confused by a leathery taste. A pleasant aftertaste of coffee and hazelnut lingers in the mouth after each draw. Ash continues to be solid and gray but by mid-way watch out for the fall.

The Final Burn - Sweet spicy wood notes are the highlights towards the end. The draw and smoke continues to be smooth and dark chocolate can be tasted on the lips which kicks in towards the end. 

There is a very satisfying character in this cigar that truly makes it a pleasureful smoke. Outstanding construction, great characteristics of a well bodied Robusto and pure enjoyment.

If you like smoking the MONTECRISTO Sublimes 2008 or the Grand Edmundo 2010 then definitely make room for the 520! Now this cigar I smoked was a sampler taken from the 14th Habanos Festival in Cuba back in February, so it has been resting for more than 6 months until I got the chance to light it up. You can only imagine what aging would do to this beauty...  Definitely a cigar worth aging!

The Pairing - to counter balance the woody and peppery characteristics of the 520, I have paired this with Nespresso's Dulsao do Brasil for a well rounded-ness sweet roast with medium intensity 5 to not over power the cigar but to complement the flavors.


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