Way back in 2015, Habanos S.A. previewed the Monecristo 80 Aniversario to commemorate the marca's founding in 1935 by Alonso Menéndez. Of course, as is often the case with the Cuban company, while the cigars were shown off in 2015 at the the Festival del Habano XVII, the production versions did not actually ship until more than a year later, thus the reason it is showing up on this year's list.
The special edition Montecriso was only released in one vitola, a 6 1/2 x 55 double robusto, a size that is slightly longer to the Double Edmundo. Habanos S.A. is on record as saying the cigar incorporates tobaccos exclusively grown in the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba and that it is blended to be stronger than a typical Montecristo.
I actually was able to smoke the cigar at the festival and found it to be one dimensional, harsh on the palate and extremely underwhelming, so I was pleasantly surprised when the production version featured a creamy and nutty base profile interspersed with a great caramel sweetness and white pepper on the retrohale. Habanos S.A. may have issues getting releases to the market on time, but if they are as good as the Monecristo 80 Aniversario, fans will continue to forgive them. — Brooks Whittington.