There aren’t many sweeter words to hear than “hand-made Cuban cigar,” whether you’re a cigar aficionado, or even a novice at best. The Open series from Montecristo was designed with this in mind, with it’s general appeal to, pretty much anyone who just enjoys a nice smoke from time to time. Initial reviews for this one were a little harsh in my mind, perceiving it as a sort of let down for any experienced Cuban smoker, which is more of an apples to oranges comparison. Keeping in mind this was designed and geared towards beginners though, I’d say it’s another quality smoke coming from one of the industry’s titans.

Name: Monte Cristo – Open Master

Country: Cuba

Wrapper: Cuba

Binder: Cuba

Filler: Cuba

Ring Gauge: 50

Length: 4​78” (124 mm)

Format: Robusto

Initial thoughts on it’s appearance are good, not great. Slightly looser on the roll and a few more predominant veins than I would’ve liked. Nice color, somewhere between a Colorado and Colorado claro which, for aesthetic purposes is generally pleasing, but also means I expect a lighter smoke. I went with a straight cut over my usually preferred v-cut, simply for balancing out a presumably smooth draw…and went with a single match over a torch to light this delicate stick.

First 1/3 of the Cigar: Very easy to light, as noted by my use of only a single match. Took a few minutes to get rolling but clearly, right off the bat, knew I was happy I went with the straight cut. A smooth, round draw as expected quickly turned to some of those wonderful leathery tobacco notes any level of cigar smoker would enjoy.

Second 2/3 of the Cigar: The ash has stayed long and tight well into the barrel at this point. Continuing on with it’s medium-bodied draw, I was relieved the worrisome veins I noted on outer wrapper seemed to have no effect on the overall smoke. Earthy mineral notes are predominantly straight forward all the way through, with hints of oak and moss.

Last 3/3 of the Cigar: Even straight through the second band, this was one I could barely put down for more than a few seconds. It took me a little over an hour to finish and that was only because my fingers were getting close to the edge. It stayed an easy draw and medium-bodied pretty much the whole way through. Although I never had to relight, there were parts closer to the end I had to increase my pull, which is also to be expected for the most part.

Final Thoughts: I’d recommend aging these a bit for any hard-core Habana smoker, but for the everyday person it’s a great stick to pick up and smoke on a nice, warm relaxing day. The taste is never overpowering and pleasant enough to enjoy with most activities. A great gift for someone looking to get into cigars as well.



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