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Montecristo No.5 Cuban Cigar Review

General Info

  • Price: $9.00
  • Made by: Habanos S.A.
  • Made in: Cuba
  • Dimensions: 4” by 40 ring gauge
  • Shape: Petit Corona
  • Strength: Medium to Full
  • Filler: Cuba
  • Binder: Cuba
  • Wrapper: Cuba
  • Cold Draw: Natural Tobacco, Vanilla, Chocolate
  • First Third: Buttered Popcorn, Fresh Wood, Sweet Cream
  • Second Third: Stronger Vanilla, Chocolate
  • Final Third: Chocolate, Cocoa, Dry Cedar
Montecristo No. 5 Review

Appearance


The Montecristo No. 5 Cuban cigar has the rustic look we all love in a Cuban stick, but don’t let that lead you astray into thinking that this baby doesn’t perform. Sure the box is that irresistible yellow with the wicked Montecristo six sword logo, but the cigar itself, with such a solid reputation, doesn’t need any extra bells and whistles. The Montecristo No. 5 is wrapped in a milk chocolate brown leaf with tight seams, minimal veins, and a basic brown to maroon Montecristo band with a white font.

Montecristo No. 5 Cuban Cigar

Measuring in at 4” by 40 ring gauge, it’s a Petit Corona which delivers around 30 minutes of smoke. While this isn’t our first choice, we do love this shape as it allows one to fully enjoy a cigar when running short on time. While smaller than other Montecristo cigars, it is just as enjoyable despite its acceleration. 

Montecristo No. 5 Cigar

Taste & Draw


The draw on the Montecristo No. 5 is firm. While many see this as an issue, we see it as another chance to interact with the cigar. After massaging the stick gently for a bit, the draw improves, and we’re back in business. This short stogie produces a good amount of smoke, and there are many Cuban gifts waiting within. 

Lighting Montecristo No. 5

The cigar’s leading notes are vanilla, chocolate, and fresh wood that transitions into a delightful dry cedar. Other notes like cocoa and sweet cream make welcome appearances. Finally, important flavor cameos like natural tobacco and buttered popcorn help balance the blend further.

Man Smoking Montecristo No. 5

Cold Draw 

Natural Tobacco, Vanilla, Chocolate

When enjoying a Cuban cigar, everything seems heightened. There is a sense of occasion, and the cold draw is no exception. The cold draw here is sweet and pleasant. A chocolate note is instantly apparent, as is vanilla after another cold draw. Both of these hint at similar notes found in the cold draw of the Deadwood Leather Rose cigar.  

Montecristo No. 5 Cuban Cigar Review

There’s also a gentle nutty flavor hiding behind a natural tobacco note. It’ll be interesting to see which makes it to that big time once we add fire.

First Third 

Buttered Popcorn, Fresh Wood, Sweet Cream

Once burning, the Montecristo No. 5 delivers subtle hints of nutty and wood flavors. After a few pulls, a refreshing sweet cream introduces itself, serving up a nice counterbalance to the introductory notes still swirling around the mix. There’s also a buttered popcorn thing taking place, which is also apparent in other Montecristo cigars.

Man Lighting Montecristo No. 5

So far, the burn line is nice and even. The smoke output is thick and a cool shade of white. The ash stays intact for a reasonable amount of time and looks great against the lively cherry.

Montecristo No. 5 Cigar Lounge

Second Third

Stronger Vanilla, Chocolate
 
Moving into the second third, flavors from the cold draw join the cast of active notes. The vanilla, without a doubt, is on the scene and stronger than before. We can say the same for the chocolate note as it digs in and sends the fresh wood and sweet cream from the first third running for the hills. Well, not all the way to the hills, but you catch our drift. By the way, that chocolate flavor is not unlike that in the stellar La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull cigar.

Montecristo No. 5 with Ash

Further down the stick, the strong vanilla and chocolate have firmly laid claim to the second third. While this section is indeed sweeter, knowing a well-blended cigar like this one, a balance is sure to return shortly.

Montecristo No. 5 Smoking
Montecristo No. 5 in Hand

Final Third

Chocolate, Cocoa, Dry Cedar

Now barreling down the homestretch, the sweet side of the Montecristo No. 5 Cuban cigar is still heavily present. That said, the fresh wood from the first third lurks in the background giving it’s all in an effort to join the main cast. Chocolate and cocoa are running the show, and that fresh wood note with the big dreams picks up speed about halfway through the final third, but it’s more of a dry cedar by now, which is, in our book, one hell of a classic, irresistible note.

Montecristo No. 5 Final Third

Montecristo No. 5 Cuban Cigar Summary

There’s a good reason why the medium to full strength Montecristo No. 5 Cuban cigar holds the prime spot in the humidors of so many seasoned smokers. Beyond the convenience of fitting this smoke in over a 30-minute lunch break, it brings the spicy and the sweet together in a way only a Cuban Montecristo can.

Montecristo No. 5 in Ash Tray with Cigar Band


The cigar starts a bit spicy, as one would expect. Then it quickly calms down to deliver an enjoyable, balanced experience. The sharp burn line and gorgeous smoke clouds are a sight to behold. The 30 minute smoking duration is perfect for yard work, a phone call with an old friend, or catching up on some reading. The cigar’s overall vibe is similar to other Montecristo cigars in terms of taste and aroma and gives you the complete signature experience for which this iconic brand is known.

Cuban Montecristo No. 5 Cigar

Montecristo No. 5 Cuban Cigar Pairing Notes

There are numerous methods to pairing a cigar with the right drink. Some take the “let’s try anything” approach, which can, at times, uncover a mind-blowing pairing you would never have discovered otherwise. A more common approach is finding a drink that has notes that match or contrast those of the cigar. The idea here is to provide extra balance to the blend by either amplifying this note or attempting to dampen that note. For this pairing, we went with a bit of each method.

  • Peruvian Coffee
  • Tea
  • Cream Soda
  • Cognac
  • Rum
  • Single Malt Whiskey
  • Bourbon
Montecristo No. 5 Cigar Band

Montecristo No. 5 Cuban Cigar History

The Montecristo brand is relatively new compared to other renowned Cuban cigar brands. Established in 1935 by Alonso Menendez, the brand got its name from the widely celebrated The Count of Monte Cristo written by Alexandre Dumas. In those days, to keep the cigar rollers productive and their overall morale high, a lector read from a book. It just so happened that the book mentioned above was their favorite. Menendez combined “Monte” and “Cristo” into one to make the name his own.

Within one year of its inception, the company was the largest producer of cigars in Havana, which helped them cement their success faster than other brands. During the Cuban nationalization wave in 1960, 16 cigar factories were seized, including that of Montecristo. The Menendez family had to leave everything behind and flee Cuba without a cent to their name.

In 1961, the son of Alonso Menendez, Benjamin, established a new cigar company in the Canary Islands and began making Montecruz, which went on to be the highest selling cigars in the United States. Things continued smoothly, and in 1972, a case allowed cigar manufacturers in exile to sell their original Cuban cigar brands in the international market. Until 1990, Cuban Cigar Brands NV owned the trademarks to Montecristo and two other brands. After that, the non-Cuban version of Montecristos became available in the American market.