Montecristo Media Noche No. 2
As a coffee lover, it's only natural that I gravitate toward maduro cigars. The dark, rich, earthy tones of a good maduro pair perfectly with a steaming cup of black coffee (or a nice glass of rum, depending upon the time of day).
Recently I found myself searching for the perfect accompaniment to several pounds of ludicrously expensive and rare Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans I'd been given by an old friend. Coffee aficionados will know instantly, at the mere mention of the Jamaican Blue Mountain appellation, that these are no ordinary coffee beans. And they demand no ordinary smoke to match them.
Ordinarily, I stock my humidor with plenty of 5 Vegas Series A's. Inexpensive, yet phenomenal, they've been my everyday smoke for many months now. But for this special occasion, I decided to be a bit more adventurous, and I splurged on some Montecristo Media Noche No. 2s. At roughly $12.6 per stick, or $315 for a box, the Montecristo No. 2 is not the kind of cigar I should have bought on impulse. For many of us, that's quite a hefty price to pay on a whim - especially for Montecristo's first foray into maduro territory. For all I knew, they might have screwed this one up.
A quick physical assay of the cigar in question, however, put my fears to rest. Dark, oily, and impeccably wrapped, the Media Noche is quite the show pony. Had Plato smoked cigars, he might have considered this handsome torpedo the archetypal image of 'cigar-ness.' To take this stogie in hand is to see and smell the luxury of well-oiled leather. The pre-light aroma gave off deep and striking notes of espresso, leather, and earth. I couldn't wait to light up this impressively sized, 6.1 inch by 54 ring gauge beauty and find out if my senses weren't deceiving me.
I wasn't dreaming. The cigar lit beautifully and maintained a very firm, but manageable draw. The burn was even throughout, producing a light gray ash that contrasted beautifully with the darkness of the Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper. For such a powerful-looking cigar, the Media Noche began with a whisper: a rich, peppery, but decidedly mellow flavor, slowly building up as the smoke progressed. This richness gave way to notes of vanilla and even cream as the cigar reached its final third - a delicate landing after a smooth takeoff and enjoyable flight.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008