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Stogie Reviews: Monte Pascoal Robusto

9 Feb 2010

“Brazilian cigars have never really gained traction with American cigar smokers, something that I can’t understand just thinking about the Brazilian tobacco tradition…” So said Lorenzo Orsi in a December 2008 interview.

Monte Pascoal RobustoFive months before, Orsi introduced Monte Pascoal at the IPCPR Trade Show. This blend, named to honor the mountain that was the first piece of land spotted by Brazil discoverer Pedro Álvares Cabral, is a Brazilian puro.

It is constructed almost entirely from mata fina tobaccos with some mata norte mixed in the filler to provide power. The difference between the two, aside from the region in which they are grown, is mata fina is sungrown in sandy soil and barn-dried to yield a sweet smoke, while mata norte is planted later in the year and dried in the open air to yield a full-bodied taste of coffee and nuts.

To manufacture his creation, Orsi, a native of Italy currently living in São Paulo, bought the Brazilian factory that once produced Caravelas cigars. He then built a cedar aging room, invested in new cigar molds, and refined the system of production while retaining all of the rollers—a nine-month process that no doubt benefited from his expertise as an industrial manager in the steel industry.

Today, Monte Pascoal’s distribution in the U.S. is limited but growing. Found at select tobacconists and occasionally available online, the blend comes in six traditional sizes, two of which have earned ratings at or above 9.0 in Smoke Magazine.

The five inch by 50 ring gauge Robusto sells for $7 apiece and sports a firm feel, a gorgeous triple cap, and a pre-light aroma of cocoa. Handsome, albeit coarse, Monte Pascoal helps dispel the myth that Brazilian cigars are less attractive than their Caribbean counterparts.

The foot of the dark, reddish cigar takes to a wooden match easily to establish an easy light. From there, a dry profile of espresso, walnut, and peat emerges. Rustic and resinous with some sweetness on the finish for complexity.

While this flavor is enjoyable, it’s nothing like the chocolate cake taste I often associate with mata fina tobacco (most notably in the Alonso Menendez, another Brazilian puro). No, the Monte Pascoal has a profile all its own, and one that’s sure to please cigar enthusiasts who are looking for something a little different.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that this review is based off a single sample—a temptation I rarely indulge and one that I don’t plan to make into a habit. But I did test-drive this blend in several sizes, each of which exhibited similar flavors and outstanding combustion qualities. So I can heartily recommend the Monte Pascoal Robusto if you’re ready to delve into Brazilian tobacco. It earns four stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

3 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Monte Pascoal Robusto”

  1. Gary J. Arzt Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Patrick, a very fine review. I think, as you well know, very highly of the cigar and Lorenzo.What you say about Brazilian cigars and the U.S. market is true – it is a difficult sell. But, while it will be a slow process; Monte Pascoal will gain both respect and shelf space in the U.S. market

  2. kbomb Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    How does this compare to the Dona Flor? I like that cigar.

  3. Patrick A Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Quite similar, actually. It has been awhile since I fired up a Dona Flor but, if you’re a fan of those sticks, I’d recommend trying Monte Pascoal.