Just as fast as the warmth came the cold has returned yet again. At least it was a nice break from this winter which has been unusually colder then normal. Tonight the temperature is supposed to dip down to about 7F. With this information in mind I decided to reach for a smaller vitola cigar to review. I managed to find another cigar that was kindly sent my way from our friends over at CigarsFromBrazil.com. Last week I reviewed the Dona Flor and this time it is a Monte Pascoal.
Monte Pascoal is made by the Tabacos Mata Fina Ltda company and is part of the Orsi Family Group. The tobacco portion of the Orsi’s company was established very recently in 2007 but they also have business in Wine, Steel, and Real Estate. The Monte Pascoal name comes from a part of Brazil where the first Portugeuse explorer landed in Brazil. As with the Dona Flor, the Monte Pascoal is a Brazilian Puro Cigar.
The Monte Pascoal line is available in 6 Vitolas and are all made with the same blend of Mata Fina and Mata Norte leaves. The blend of tobacco sounds very interesting and I’m hoping to get a lot of the expected cocoa and coffee notes that I typically get from Brazilian wrappers. Let’s light this cigar up and see how it stands. As always, I’m going into this review completely unbiased and will be giving my wholly honest opinion as I burn away.
Cigar: Monte Pascoal
Drink: Quinta do Tedo Fine Tawny
Vitola: Corona (5.623 x 42)
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina and Mata Norte
Price: About $6
Burn Time: Just over 1 hour
• A slender rough looking cigar with a medium brown wrapper and some dark brown accents
• There is a fair bit of bumpiness on the wrapper and a few prominent veins but none look problematic to the burn
• The entire cigar is consistenly soft and springy
• The triple cap is finished tightly and clean
• The foot looks moderately packed, a couple open spots can be seen
• Cutting the cigar was effortless and fairly clean and didn’t cause any wrapper damage
• Draw it spot on, lots of air but just enough resistence
• The small corona sized cigar toasted easily to a nicely glowing foot
• The burn line glows brightly with each draw, staying nice and straight but it seems to be moving quickly
• The burnline is still razor sharp through half the cigar and has started to burn a bit slower
• This burn is perfect, absolutely no waves or retouches from start to finish!
Smoke & Ash:
• Each draw is offering up a hefty mouthful of smoke
• Very little resting smoke but it gives off a mild and pleasent woddsy aroma
• Ash is fairly strong and clean, colouring is light gray with lots of black accents
• Ash held on just past an inch before I gently tapped it off
• Subsequent ashes all held on around an inch and stayed clean and tight
• The wrapper has a sweet cocoa and tobacco aroma to it, very inviting
• The foor brings different aromas of woodsiness and a bit of mild spice, possibly nutmeg
• Pre-light draw brings a bit more cocoa and woodsiness, this time I get a bit of nuttiness too
• Initial draws are mostly woodsiness and some tobacco flavors
• Retrohale is faily mild with just the smallest bite a woodsy finish
• As I approach the halfway mark I haven’t gotten many new flavors, maybe just a bit of nuttiness, sorta like raw almonds
• The existing flavors are well balanced but I’d like to have a bit more variety/dimensions soon…
• I’m getting slightly more body and bite as the cigar progresses near the last third
• Some slight bitter coffee notes started near the end of the cigar. At first it was enjoyable but then the bitterness took over
Similar to the Dona Flor (also from CigarsFromBrazil.com) this cigar ranked in the mild-medium range. It would be a good early day cigar with your morning coffee or something light after lunch. Unfortunately the flavors never “wowed” me on this stick. The were tasteful and well balanced but didn’t offer enough variation or complexity to keep it interesting. With a shorter vitola like a corona I wouldn’t expect tons of dimensionality but I usually like to see at least one noticable change in flavor direction as it smokes. The cigar itself burned very well and is worth trying if the woodsy and tobacco flavors are in your favorite profile. The initial aromas on the wrapper and foot promised some more interesting flavors that never came to fruition.
I haven’t paired a port for a review in quite some time. Not sure why, I’ve been enjoying some Port with cigars but it never fell in line with one of my reviews. Today I’m pairing with a bottle that’s new to me. I saw it at the store and decided to give it a try. It’s a 2004 Late Bottled Vintage from Quinta Do Tedo in Portugal. It ranks in at 19% alc./vol. but it tastes no where near that. This particular Tawny Port is a bit sweeter then I’d usually like. It has lots of bright and fruity flavors such as blackberries and a tartness akin to cranberries. It also has a presence of a Merlot like wine to it. It’s very tasty and great for anyone looking to just start into tasting Tawny Port. In this particular pairing I think the port was too sweet for this mild cigar and would have been more enjoyable with a stronger cigar pairing. This cigar would have paired much better with a cup of coffee, dark cola or an amber beer.