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Stogie Reviews: Montecristo Reserva Negra Corona

12 Oct 2010

When I think of the non-Cuban Montecristo brand, the one made by tobacco giant Altadis, several blends come to mind. Among them are Classic, White, Cabinet Selección, and the standard self-titled line

Montecristo Reserva Negra CoronaBut there are three others, including the five-vitola Reserva Negra line. This blend was launched in 2008 as the first Montecristo to sport a maduro wrapper—a dark San Andres Marrón leaf from Mexico. As the Robb Report pointed out in 2009 when it named the Reserva Negra to its “Best of the Best” list, however, cigar enthusiasts should leave their preconceived notions about Mexican tobacco at the door.

I kept that in mind as I examined the Corona (5 x 44). With a dry, coarse exterior leaf clad with various bumps and several protruding veins, it doesn’t look like a $7 smoke. The faint pre-light aroma and tight draw are also causes for concern.

Keeping an open mind, I touched fire to the foot, igniting the Nicaraguan binder and two-country filler blend from Honduras and Nicaragua. These tobaccos, combined with the flavorful maudro wrapper, produced a high octane profile of spicy black pepper and thick espresso.

This intensity retreats after about five minutes. Here, several additions to the profile round off the hearty baseline. They include notes of sweet cocoa, cream, and a bit of caramel. The overall effect reminds me of a crème brulée, a tasty sensation that lasts until bold, meaty flavors dominate the finish.

I prefer to think of the Reserva Negra Corona as an NFL game. The opening kickoff is violent and fast, the second and third quarters feature masterful passes and a few trick plays, and the final drive is a hard-nosed running attack with big hits and some injuries.

And if this cigar is a football game, the game is played well with few penalties. The Corona, after all, boasts solid physical properties like a slow burn pace and a solid white ash. If only the draw were slightly looser and the burn slightly straighter.

While the Reserva Negra Corona has a lot going for it, it also has several deficiencies. Chief among them is a tendency to turn sour here and there. Still, serving as an example of the potential of Mexican cultivated tobacco, it’s worth a try. I award it three stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Montecristo Reserva Negra Corona”

  1. Favre's Penis Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 3:21 am #

    Excellent analogy. You have a way with words that communicates your cigar experiences well.

    As for the cigar, I agree. I was expecting a bit more from this release, especially after reading some other reviews. But it does have a sourness to it that distracts from its otherwise enjoyable profile. I'd like to see how the Reserva Negra handles age.

  2. Telly Savalas Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    I only took a few puffs, then shoved it in my cat's ass. After drinking 30 beers, I decided to reconsider and lit the cigar back up. I was pleasantly surprised that a cat's anus enhanced the flavor of my cigar. I suggest you try yours the same way!