Montecristo Sublimes (EL 2008)

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In 2008, Habanos S.A. released the sixth of what is now eight Edición Limitadas for the Montecristo brand., the Sublimes. The 6 1/2 x 54 cigar has become known for a few things, large, dark and generally well-liked.

The sublimes vitola is no stranger to the Edición Limitada series, debuting in 2004 as the Cohiba Sublimes. As is standard fare, the Montecristo Sublimes was part of a trio of Edición Limitadas. Habanos S.A.’s press release reads a follows:

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Montecristo Sublimes, Cuaba Pirámides and Partagás Serie D No 5: 2008 Limited Editions.
Havana, April 2008. Montecristo Sublimes , Cuaba Pirámides and Partagás Serie D No 5, 2008 are the brands and sizes selected for this year’s Limited Editions which will be at the markets by the end of the year.
Cuaba Pirámides (Girth 52 x 156 mm in the length). In keeping with the rest of the tapered sizes of the brand, Cuaba is having a Limited Edition for the first time, and it´s releasing the pyramids which are packed in Semi Plain boxes with 10 sticks in two layers.
Montecristo Sublimes (Girth 54 x 164 mm in the length) This size was first presented as part of the 2004 Limited Edition in the Cohiba brand. Now, Montecristo brings it back with its characteristic blend. A Habano to remember, respectfully long, with a proper draw and ready to show forth the notably medium to full flavour of said brand. Cigars will be packaged in SBN boxes comprising 10 units.
Partagás Serie D No 5 (Girth 50 x 110 mm in the length) All the flavour of Partagás locked in this small yet powerful smoke allowing us to feel the Partagás taste. The Series Lines from Partagás have become a guide due to the recognition of Serie D No 4 and the most recent pyramid: the Serie P No 2. Presented in SBN boxes with 25 cigars placed in two layers.
Since 2000, Habanos s.a. has been releasing Limited Editions within the most prestigious brands such as Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagás, Hoyo de Monterrey and H.Upmann.
The Limited Edition distinguishes itself for the inclusion of sizes which are not part of the usual range of the brand, and is characterized by a special manufacture. The careful selection of a two-year aged wrapper from the upper level of the plant grants it a darker color and turns this product into something unique. Binder and filler leaves used for the making of the Limited Editions cigars have been aged for two years as well. Because of its very special features, the Limited Edition is manufactured in small quantities, which makes it a particularly appreciated pleasure for the most demanding smokers.
The 2008 Limited Editions must be commercialized through the markets by the last trimester of the year. 

As is mentioned towards the bottom of the press release, what makes the Edición Limitadas special is two things. First, the cigars are non-regular production sizes. Second, the wrappers used are from the upper primings—making the cigars presumably stronger—and aged for two years. Because of the change in priming, the cigars also tend to be darker.

Montecristo Sublimes  EL 2008 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Montecristo Sublimes Edición Limitada 2008
  • Country of Origin: Cuba
  • Factory: Varies
  • Wrapper: Cuba
  • Binder: Cuba
  • Filler: Cuba
  • Size: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Sublimes
  • Est. Price: $25.00 (Boxes of 10, $250.00)
  • Date Released: 2008
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

Even in the era of 6 x 60s, this cigar looks massive. I am not sure why, as it’s only a half inch longer and quite a bit thinner than the aforementioned gordo vitola, but I suppose looks are deceiving. The dark wrapper is definitely on the above average side as far as Edición Limitadas, but shines for its oiliness. It’s a fairly clean roll with only a bit of discoloration on the wrapper, although very noticeable vein structures. I get quite a bit of barnyard from the wrapper and sweetness, tart and peppermint from the foot. There’s a distinct black licorice with a touch of perfume on the cold draw. On one sample there was a familiar peppermint note, on the other—I couldn’t find it.

There’s not really anything particularly out there as far as the beginning of the first of the Sublimes. Sweet woods, earthy, a strong spice on the tongue and some lemon and earth on the finish. While developed, it’s somewhat generic. As the first third progresses, there’s sweet caramel, nuts, coffee and earthiness. Through the nose, there’s an added pepper—adding to the fullness. While the draw is a bit tight and the smoke production average, my main issue is with the burn—tunneling after the first inch and a half on both samples.

Montecristo Sublimes  EL 2008 2

As the second third develops, the Montecristo continues to get stronger now close to the full mark. It does seem to plateau, but the flavor continues to develop. The coffee note comes to the forefront of the Sublimes with the earth underneath. The pepper remains a solid part of both the tongue and nose, although the latter has a sweet chocolate cake-like note. Tunneling remains an issue, a disappointment, and my lighter is getting an unexpected workout.

Montecristo Sublimes  EL 2008 3

On the first sample, the peppermint comes back very unexpectedly. On the second sample? I was ready for it and was pleased to once again finding it. The final third is the most complex part of the Montecristo Sublimes: sweet woods, coffee, a bit of bourbon smokiness—not full on scotch—the aforementioned peppermint and bit of a stale ginger ale-like sweetness. I would recommend keeping some sort of palate cleaning beverage handy, because the first two thirds of the Montecristo Sublimes don’t make finding these notes any easier. 

Montecristo Sublimes  EL 2008 4

Final Notes:

  • There’s still a decent bit of availability as per a few quick internet searches. As is common, not every result I returned would be a vendor I am familiar with, but there were some. 
  • In addition, pricing seems to fluctuate quite a bit. I’d expect to pay around $25 depending on the vendor, although there are some people offering them for list. Whether or not they are legitimate is a different story.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve had a cigar tunnel this badly and this consistently. On both samples, after the first inch, I began needed to dump the ash every inch or so and touch-up the cigar. It was annoying, although I managed to keep the cigar from going out.
  • If I had to guess, we will see more of the sublimes vitola as Habanos S.A. continues to add bigger ring gauge cigars.
  • This is a great celebration-cigar size, although my fondness for lanceros and churchills might override my ability to smoke these.
  • I have smoked the Cohiba Sublimes, for me, the Montecristo is where I would turn. Both are great cigars and I would be hard-pressed to pick one off a table. However, the Montecristo is in significant supply compared to the Cohiba and the pricing is dramatically better. 
  • There is still a fair bit of strength left, somewhere in the medium-full range. 
  • The cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by a reader, something we appreciated a lot.
  • Final smoking time on both samples was around one hour and 50 minutes. 
90 Overall Score

I liked this cigar. The Edición Limitada series is not the Edición Regional series. While the prices are higher than standard production Cuban cigars, it’s at least justifiable as the cigars in the series tend to be good. That being said, I seem to like the cigars within their first two years than with some age on them. That’s clear here. The Montecristo Sublimes is aging well, but I can’t help but think that this cigar was before it began softening up as far as the profile goes. I’m torn as to what I would recommend. Some part of me thinks as the profile becomes more and more medium, there might be distinct notes that emerge, but ultimately, why waste a great cigar, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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