Cigar Review: Montecristo Espada Guard

Cigar Review: Montecristo Espada Guard

Monte Cristo Cigars / Altadis
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6″ x 50
Strength: medium-full to full
Price: $11.75 MSRP

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Overall Rating: 9.1

As I’ve said before, I’m quite impressed with what Altadis has been doing with its long standing brands. (See my earlier H. Upmann The Banker review.) From the Montecristo Epic to the Monte by Monte Cristo, Altadis has been changing the way serious cigar enthusiasts view their cigars. So, when it was announced that an all Nicaraguan Montecristo made in a collaboration between Grupo de Maestros and the Plasencia family, I was understandably excited to see the finished product. As it turns out, the Montecristo Espada is a complex flavorful cigar that will definitely please those who enjoy Nicaraguan tobacco. The Espanda is everything you’d want in a Nicaraguan Montecristo at a reasonable price.

Pre-Light: A light tan oily wrapper covers the Montecristo Espada. A brown Montecristo band and foot band stand out against the light wrapper. A large paper band in the middle explains where the cigar is from and makes the Espada really look like something special.

A leather and oak aroma comes from the wrapper of the Espada while a coffee scent can be picked up from the cigar’s unlit foot. The cold draw is quite easy and allows through flavors of natural tobacco and nuts.

Burn: The draw on the Espada is smooth and easy, and it is perfect to my taste. The burn is mostly even and need no correcting. There were a few small cracks in the wrapper, but this was a sample that was likely handled a bit roughly.

Flavor: The Montecristo Espada begins with a good deal of black pepper and spice; on the retrohale the pepper is especially noticeable. During the first third flavors of pepper, nutmeg, graham cracker and dark coffee dominated. There are occasional hints of powdered cocoa in the background that disappear shortly after becoming apparent. Entering the second third of the Montecristo Espada, the pepper and spice die down a bit allow through flavors of black Turkish coffee, almonds and a pleasing meatiness. Leather, oak, earth and spice all occur in the background of the second third. The final third of the Espada consists of Turkish coffee, cocoa, nutmeg and oak flavors with mellow spice on the retrohale. This is a complex flavorful cigar that should age well.

Overall: Since 2012, Alradis has been having something of a renascence. Their rebranding and line extensions have all been pretty impressive. Cigars like the H. Upmann The Banker and the Romeo have been a big hit with cigar enthusiasts. With the Montecristo Espada, Altadis has managed to take the Montecristo name to new heights. Pepper, spice, coffee and nutmeg flavors add flavor to this full bodied cigar that are not typically associated with the Montecristo brand. The Espada is a great Nicaragua at a reasons price. Personally, I plan to pick up a box to throw in my locker at my local cigar lounge.

Pairing: I’m a big proponent of trying your first Espada with a bottle of sparkling water (this is what I drink for all my reviews as it keeps the palette fresh.) A cup of coffee or espresso will compliment the Montecristo Espada quite nicely. For someone looking for something a bit stronger I’d recommend the Compass Box Spice Tree or Compass Box Asyla blended scotches.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Cigars for this review provided by Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston, TX. Check out their 800 square foot humidor, public lounge filled with domino tables and big screen TVs and if you’re really lucky Jorge might even give you a peek at the 24 hour a day members only lounge. No request for review was made by Stogies. Although their generosity is appreciated it in no way affects the way we review the cigar. At ToastedFoot we remain committed to providing impartial cigar reviews.