30 Jul 2015
First Smoke is a new series of Quick Smoke reviews each evaluating a single pre-release cigar. Like the Quick Smokes we publish each Saturday and Sunday, each First Smoke is not quite a full review, just our brief take on a single cigar.
As a follow-up to last year’s all-Nicaraguan Montecristo Espada line, Altadis USA announced the limited Montecristo Espada Estoque at this year’s IPCPR Trade Show. The one-size blend (6 x 50 torpedo) is made by the Plasencia Family in Nicaragua and only 5,000 boxes of 10 will be made. The cigar uses a 2013 Jalapa wrapper, a 2002 Criollo Jalapa binder, and three filler tobaccos from Esteli (Corojo 2009), Ometepe (Criollo 2013) and Condega (Criollo 2013).
Once lit, the cigar has a notably sweet edge, along with a nice balance of coffee bean, earth, baking spices, and leather notes. It starts off medium- to full-bodied, although towards the second half it develops a gritty edge as it ramps up to full-bodied with some black pepper on the finish. Despite a slightly jagged burn line, construction was good with a firm draw and sturdy ash. While I found the first half more enjoyable than the more one-dimensional second half, the Estoque ($14.50) is an interesting cigar that is worlds away from the Dominican Montecristos that most Americans are familiar with.
Verdict = Hold.
photo credit: Stogie Guys