On Friday, we unveiled our top 25 for 2017. Included in that list was the Montecristo 80 Aniversario, a cigar that should have come out in 2015. As I explained during that broadcast, the Montecristo 80 Aniversario was shown off in 2015, but it didn’t ship until late last year.
The Montecristo 80 Aniversario pays tribute to the historic brand, which was founded in 1935. It is offered in the iconic Double Edmundo vitola, though Habanos S.A. specifically says that it is blended to be stronger than the typical Montecristo.
I reviewed prerelease samples of the cigar and throughly enjoyed both of them:
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again—when Cuba wants to make the best cigar in the world, they can. While this wasn’t the greatest cigar of all time, this was one of the best new cigars I’ve smoked this year—and easily my first choice amongst cigars I’ve smoked this year that I’d like to have another. The Montecristo 80 Aniversario showed a balanced, yet rich and strong profile. For the first four-and-a-half or so inches, that was accompanied by a cigar that drew well and burned incredibly easily and evenly. There was definitely a drop off, something that I’m sure some think can or will be solved with time. Unfortunately, my one fear with “time” and this cigar is that it might negatively impact the strength. Whenever these are released, I’ll be sure to grab a few to see if the production versions match up—and if they do—I’ll probably be purchasing some for enjoyment.
The Montecristo 80 Aniversario finished #20 on our Top 25.
- Cigar Reviewed: Montecristo 80 Aniversario
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 55
- Vitola: Double Edmundo
- Est. Price: $30.40 (Boxes of 20, $608)
- Release Date: August 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: 30,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (600,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
It’s been a while since I’ve smoked one of these so I’ve forgotten just how big this cigar is. In addition, the Montecristo 80 Aniversario is rock solid. Aroma off the foot is medium with a nice floral flavor that reminds me more of an older Cuban cigar than one that is just a year old. Cold draw is a bit tight for the size with a very sweet cotton candy, some Lemonhead candy and some sharp cinnamon, though the latter disappears after just a few puffs.
The Montecristo 80 Aniversario starts medium with some woodsiness, waffle cones, acorns and a touch of burning woods. Things don’t change much through the first two inches. Woodiness still leads on top of earthiness, creaminess with some oatmeal cookie and milk stout flavors underneath. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium. That changes by the second third with body even fuller and strength picking up to medium. The earthiness picks up as the Montecristo gets less sweet, though there’s a thick vanilla creaminess through the nose. In addition, there’s coffee, some black pepper and a lot more of the leaves characteristics. By the final third, there’s zero sweetness to the cigar, though more concerning there’s a lot more harshness. The woodiness has now joined the earthiness upfront, though most of my attention is on the pepper, which increases as the cigar burns down.
There are construction woes, notably touch-ups in the second and final third. The draw is never great, though smoke production isn’t lacking, at least not out of the foot. There’s a fair amount of smoke coming off the foot, but it takes more work than I’d like to get it in my mouth.
The Montecristo 80 is still a good cigar, though the rating is not the same as the one I smoked two and a half years ago. This time it was impacted by the relights, but if I wasn’t having to score the cigar, I wouldn’t mind two touch-ups in the course of the near three and a half hours I spent with it. I made one mistake with this cigar, smoking it before dinner. I’d recommend sitting down with it after a big meal and enjoying the nearly three and a half hours to come.