Montecristo Espada; Cigar review

espadaThe Montecristo Espada is one of the latest releases from Altadis. This Nicaraguan Puro is beautifully packaged in suede covered boxes of ten and is available in three vitolas: Guard: 6 x 50 (SRP $11.75), Quillon: 7 x 56 (SRP $12.50) and Ricasso: 5 x 54 (SRP $11.50).

The Espada’s tobacco blend is comprised of a Nicaraguan Shade Grown Jalapa wrapper that surrounds a Nicaraguan Jalapa binder and a filler mix of Nicaraguan Ometepe, Jalapa and Condega filler leaves.

Before I could actually see the cigar’s wrapper, I had to remove the majority of the bands. In addition to the typical band you would find near the cigar’s cap, there is a foot band and a large, perforated middle band with the Espada name and logo. This middle band was quite a challenge to remove on all three of the samples I smoked. While the bands are just for aesthetics and don’t affect the review of a cigar, the removal was cumbersome and I was worried about wrapper damage as I removed them.

The Shade Grown wrapper is tan in color, has a few prominent veins and visible seams. The cap is well formed and the wrapper has a faint tobacco aroma. The finished foot gives off a sweet, earthy tobacco scent. The cigar itself is firm to the touch and has an average weight.

After clipping the cap, I found a slight resistance to the draw and a faint berry flavor coming from the filler.

The overall burn of the Espada was scalloped but even. The cigar had a medium sized carbon ring and a firm, slightly flaky gray ash that initially dropped off at about an inch in length. The cigar produced a good amount of satisfying smoke with each puff.

The first third of the cigar revealed a mild spice sensation as I passed the smoke through my sinuses. There were mild tobacco flavors on my palate and no finish to speak of.

The second third had no change to the spice sensation but, the tobacco flavors increased slightly and there was a mild finish on my palate.

As I moved into the final third, the peppery spice was consistent on the exhale while I picked up on some richer tobacco notes and there was a medium, lingering finish.

Overall, I would have to say that the Montecristo Espada is an average smoke with mild to medium strength and mild to medium body. For the suggested price point I would have liked something with more complexity in the flavor profile. On a 100 point scale, I am rating this cigar at an 82.

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