Montecristo Media Noche
The first time we tried to bring this cigar’s tasting notes to you, we forgot to write them down. Not so, this time! We bring you: The Montecristo Media Noche!!! According to the hella reliable wikipedia, a medianoche is a Cuban sandwich that is commonly available around midnight, just when you need it after a long evening at da club. In the end, I think this cigar is also the perfect nightcap, but let’s start at the beginning.
In terms of appearance, it has a very dark brown maduro wrapper, looks like a box press. It’s a pretty color. The wrapper isn’t as resinous as the 1845, and it’s softer too, less dry. Very mild flavor at first, not sweet, not sour, just a little spice. Nice, easy draw, not tight, and also not a monstrous amount of smoke. I’m surprised at how mild this cigar is, but I find that even in the last few months that I’ve started smoking cigars more regularly, my tastes have already changed. I might have thought this wasn’t so mild not that long ago. But tastes change, and that’s OK. The smoke seems thin, compared to other cigars.
About halfway through the first third, and I’m feeling pretty relaxed now, although I’m still surprised at how mild the smoke is. Not a lot of flavor seems to come from the smoke itself, and it still seems very thin to me.
Entering the second third, the smoke’s picking up now, flavors of cedar, cottonwood, reminds me of swamp water, maybe that’s a peaty flavor? Soooo my front palate has gone completely numb, not my lips, just the roof of my mouth. The nicotine is definitely coming from the smoke, not mouth contact with the cigar. The flavor is now a medium, medium-full, and the wrapper is holding up to a fair bit of chewing. I’ve got a good buzz going, I’m even able to tune out all the crazy noise pollution around me (cars, neighbor’s bass, someone dragging a plastic bin through the parking lot behind our backyard, children screaming down the street). The smoke is really thick now, I can cut it with my karate chop leg here in the second third. <editor’s note: he was sitting in the zero-g chair in the backyard smoking this cigar, so it was totally normal to karate chop the smoke with his leg.>
The roll is so loose now that it’s easy to overdraw and overheat the smoke, which can burn your mouth and reduces the aromatics of the smoke. Hot smoke is just more caustic. Getting through the second third, it’s smoking really nicely and…. ummm…. sorry, I don’t remember. The ash column has a lot of black in it, which is interesting. It makes me think the leaves aren’t burning completely inside.
In the last third, I have to be careful, because when the smoke’s super hot, it is hella caustic and painful. It’s still burning down evenly, though, and holding together well. You still have to self regulate and keep your draw easy, that only becomes more essential as you get down to the bottom. Interestingly enough, this cigar came in the same shipment as the last Montecristo I smoked, the one that split down from the shoulder. Can’t blame shipping for that now, because this one has maintained its integrity so far. The buzz is very pleasant, though, you get a little warm, your heart beats a little faster, it’s gentle and enjoyable.
Final third – this one just keeps getting stronger and stronger. I had to sit up in my zero-g chair because it felt like I was about to fall out backwards. Now the nub is on the verge of disintegrating, but it’s still smoking like a champ. Little bits of maduro are coming off. The total smoking time has been about half an hour, much less time than the Partigas, but it was rolled looser and it burned hotter. It’s a more deliberate smoke. I had to concentrate on taking my time with it. Even though the color is dark, the flavor is very light, I’d say a medium to medium-minus flavor, medium to medium-minus strength. I’m not so happy with the bits and pieces that are falling out now at this point; it could be better made at this price point. The tobacco selection seems really great, but not so happy with the box press. Great after-dinner smoke, based on the smoking time and the qualities of the cigar; it would be great with an after-dinner scotch, seems like the timing would be just about right. Overall good cigar.
If you’d like to give this Cuban sami a try for yourself, our sponsor Thompson Cigar would hella love to give you some great deals. Save that skrilla!91/100
The Hella 5 Star System
We have adopted the opinion that fine art, music, wine, cigars, and other comestibles are governed by a unifying principle, which is that the intention of the artist matters. Art can be judged by the patron only as it pertains to the emotive and inductive properties of that art. We think Winemakers and Torcedors are artists.
Here at Hella Wine, we cut our wine-rating teeth on the wildly popular wine app Vivino. Vivino has an integrated five-star system for rating wine, but no standardized rubric to go with it, so we had to define what the star ratings actually mean, and we did so in a very personal way. This system takes into account: price, aesthetics, situational variables, relationships, and any other completely biased information we can come up with. This makes our system predictably emotional, and ratings change from glass to glass, even possibly from the same bottle.
Without further ado, our 5 star rating system revealed
I wont drink/smoke this even if you buy it!
I would drink a glass of this or smoke 1 if you bought it, but I would not order this for myself.
I would buy a glass/one cigar and enjoy it.
I would buy a bottle/5pack of this and really enjoy it.
I'd buy a case/box of this because I just love it.
The Hella 50 to 100 System
We also will usually apply the commonly used 50-100 point scale to our ratings. This tasting format, familiar from the annals of the indelible Robert Parker and Wine Spectator Magazine, does not take price or my ability to afford the wine in question into account. The situation that the drink or cigar was tasted in does not matter. This scale only reflects the quality of the wine/cigar in relation to other wines/cigars we have tasted.
You may loosely infer from this rating:
96-100: A hella amazing wine/cigar of super bold complex character displaying the attributes we hella want to find in the best wines in the world. Wines like this are hella awesome.
90 - 95: An amazing wine/cigar with hella character. Wonderful stuff, we feel lucky to try these.
80 - 89: A hella good wine/cigar, no noticeable flaws but it's just good/okay.
70 - 79: Hella basic, not so memorable wine/cigar. It's good, but just missing that something that makes it hella good, or even special.
60 - 69: Something bad happened in this wine/cigars life. Maybe it got left in a car and cooked, or maybe it sucked to begin with. All we know is we hella don't really want to finish it. Sometimes you gotta take one for the team.
50 - 59: This wine/cigar hella sucks.