23 Apr 2009
The Montecristo Petit Edmundo, launched in the summer of 2007, remains one of the most exciting sticks to come out of Cuba in the past few years. I was, and still am, a huge fan of that five stogie-rated masterpiece, on board with the bandwagon that ensued when Cigar Aficionado awarded the pudgy smoke a rating of 94.
Before the Petit Edmundo hit the market, though, there was the Edmundo vitola. It, like its shorter and younger offspring, was named for Edmond Dantès, hero of The Count of Montecristo. That adventure novel, as I wrote in my review of the iconic Montecristo No. 2, was the inspiration for the brand’s name because it was a popular choice of rolling floor lectors when Montecristo was established in 1935.
When the Edmundo came out in 2004, it was the first new size to be added to the Montecristo lineup in over 30 years. Composed of tobaccos from the Vuelta Abajo district in the Pinar del Río Province of Cuba, it measures 5.3 inches by 52 ring gauge and sells for approximately $11-14 per stick when bought by the box of 25 or 3-pack.
Unlike the Petit Edmundo, which boasts a fine oily sheen, the Edmundo is drier and wrinklier with a few green spots (also known as “frog eyes”). But it is by no means unattractive. The cigar has a nice reddish hue, a firm feel, a tightly rolled cross section, and a perfect cap.
Smooth spice, nuts, and leather dominate the outset—quite a bit of flavor for a cigar that has very little pre-light aroma. And, reminiscent of the Petit Edmundo, floral hints are also present. As the relatively tight draw opens up after the first inch, the flavors mellow and take on a meaty characteristic. Then, just before that taste overstays its welcome, the profile turns bolder and finishes with a full-flavored pepper spice down the stretch.
All the while the burn line weaves in and out, meandering but not causing any problems. One of the two Edmundos I smoked for this review required a few touch-ups from my torch, and both featured solid gray ashes that held firm until tapped.
I enjoyed this Cuban thoroughly, albeit not as much as the Petit Edmundo. In some ways it was a little greener, a little less complex, and not quite as creamy as its shorter cousin. While that may be due to aging differences, I’ll likely never know; I didn’t buy a whole box of Edmundos so I have no idea when they were rolled and boxed. Still, without that knowledge, I am confident in awarding the Montecristo Edmundo four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys