Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez
AJ Fernandez has certainly made a name for himself in the industry and this has not gone unnoticed by the cigar giants and newcomers alike. He may be the most sought after manufacturer right now as several 2017 releases from Altadis USA would attest to. A few weeks back, I lit up the original Monte and was very pleased with the results. Since neither Tony nor Jeff got around to the Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez, I figured I would take this opportunity to share my thoughts on the latest addition to the line.
Manufactured in Nicaragua at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua, the new Monte is available in four vitolas: Corona (4 by 44), Robusto (4 1/4 by 54), Toro (6 by 55), and Belicoso (6 1/8 by 54). The cigars come packaged in 20 counts boxes and will range from $10.50 and $11.25 per cigar.
You can purchase the Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez from our good friends over at Famous Smoke Shop. Use coupon code “CASASAVINGS” to get $15 off your order of $100 or more.
Size: 6 by 55
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo ’98
Filler:Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 and Dominican Piloto Cubano
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 20 Minutes
The Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez is dressed in a medium brown Ecuadorian Habano leaf that is consistent in color. Some light oils and small veins can be seen on the box-pressed cigar. The cigar is very smooth to the touch and evenly filled from head to foot with only a slight give.
Bringing the wrapper of the cigar to my nose, I pick up an aroma of cardboard, earth, and sweet grass. The cardboard and earth are on the foot of the cigar with an added touch of black pepper. The lines on the double cap are nice and straight. Upon clipping, the draw has hardly any resistance as flavors of cardboard, rich cedar, and cinnamon greet my palate. A medium heat lingers in the mouth after the cold draw.
The rich cedar from the cold draw translates right over to the smoke followed by some sweetness and a sharp pepper. There is also salt and citrus flavors. The Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez is producing a crazy amount of resting smoke. Even though the flavors and spice are full, the smoke feels somewhat thin in the mouth. As I make my way through the first third, the wrapper struggles to burn with the rest of the tobaccos.
As I enter the second third of the Monte, the rich cedar has evolved to more of a pine flavor. The pepper is not as sharp and the sweetness has stepped down a notch. There is also charred flavor on the finish of the smoke. The citrus is still hanging around in the background of the profile and later in the third the sweetness creeps back around.
The burn has been jagged for the majority of the Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez, but has been able to self-correct. The charred wood takes a more dominant role, with the pine flavor and black pepper trailing.
The Monte by Montecristo AJ Fernandez was a tale of two cigars. Two completely different smoking experiences from one sample to the next. The sample smoked for the written portion of the review presented an off-balanced profile with a sharp spice and burnt flavors that began in the second third and held to the end. The sample smoked for the photos was more consistent throughout with well rounded flavors and, rather than the pine and char, I found a nice sweet wood flavor that tied all the flavors together. Both samples showed medium to full flavors with a decent amount of strength. The competition is fierce at $11.00 and I am not even sure if the good experience would justify the price.