Cigar Review: Montecristo Relentless

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The Montecristo Relentless, joining a long line of Montecristo brand extensions, is manufactured at the Tabacalera de Garcia in La Romana, Dominican Republic by Altadis S.A., a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Group. The Relentless is specially made for Famous Smoke in Pennsylvania. The cigar for this review came from Famous Smoke.

Blend Specifics

Cigar: Montecristo Relentless

Vitola: Toro 6” x 54

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Mexican San Andres

Filler: Nicaraguan and Brazilian Mata Fina

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Appearance and Construction: The Montecristo Relentless has a very light coffee with milk complexion, very minimal veins, tight, almost invisible seams, a slight oil sheen, and a very smooth silky feel. Evenly dense feel throughout with a nice spongy give. A good-looking triple cap and overall presentation looks great.

Flavor and Smoke Characteristics

Cold Aromas: Off the wrapper is a hefty cedar and dry wood. The foot shows cedar, caramel and hay, with a hint of hazelnut to cashew note. Dry yet, sweet. The cold draw presents hay, a slight buttery nuttiness, cedar, and a salty taste left behind on the lips. The draw is very open and airy with just a touch of tension.

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First Third: The first notes are dry and bitter hay with a touch of bitter coffee bean, with a transition into cedar and a dry woody finish. The draw is very open and airy, providing plumes of creamy smoke right off the bat, though the smoke has a bit of grit to it. Burn line looks phenomenal from the start, and the aroma is a salt and cedar mix. Ash is a salt and pepper grey and has a nice formation. There’s also a slight touch of cinnamon on the draw but doesn’t last long at all. Settling in, the smoke does start to develop a creamy buttery feel and that feeling also last through on the tongue and in the nose until the next draw, which starts to develop a cashew and almond note. From the looks, this may be a fast burner, but we’ll see how things progress. The butter and hay hold the main stage while the cedar has dropped a bit.

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The profile is medium in body, medium in flavor, and medium in strength. While the flavor is weighed at medium, I find this cigar to be quite flavorful and semi-complex. There is also a slight grass and vegetable note that lingers for a bit but doesn’t come that far into the fold. The ash holds very nicely, and pretty well, even at 1.5 inches. Starting the transition from the first third to the second, the caramel that was found on the foot is starting to become more present in the smoke. It is not heavy but noticeable, and provides a nice smooth creamy texture, slightly syrupy, to the already smooth and creamy smoke. There is also a touch of white pepper that also comes up on the finish, and leaves a little tingle on the tongue. The finish is clean but not short-lived.

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Second Third: The ash is still holding strong, and usually I would have tapped it off by this point but I’ll do the cigar justice let it see how far it wants to go before falling off on its own. Flavors are holding steady with the hay, caramel, butter, cedar, and touch of white pepper mix. Aroma is hay, cedar, and a touch of saltiness; that saltiness can also be found in a minimal amount on the finish in the nose as well. Burn line still looks really good and performance is phenomenal. Smoke production is still airy, clean, thick and plumy. The ash fell off on its own at 2 inches as one solid chunk. The smoke is extremely cool. The profile is still holding at medium in body, medium in flavor, and medium in strength. Removing the bands is fairly ok, the smaller top band comes off easily and the larger black band comes off fairly easy as well, but it did pull a little bit of the wrapper. Though, this was minor and shouldn’t affect the performance. The caramel has dropped a bit, leaving more of a dry hay and slight cedar profile. The white pepper has also been completely dropped.

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Final Third: The butter is transitioning into a fuller nuttiness and taking on the characteristics of almond. The hay is still the main note but dropping a bit as the almond becomes a greater competing factor. The cedar is still sticking around as well. The smoke is still creamy, thick and plumy. The aroma is still wonderfully cedar and salt. This cigar ends at medium in body, medium in flavor, and medium in strength for a very consistent smoke.

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Final Thoughts

While not a very complex or heavy cigar, there’s a decent amount of flavor and roundedness to be found in the Montecristo Relentless. The profile stays consistent throughout the session as a medium, through and through. This cigar is filled with great billows of smoke, aided with its open and loose draw with just the right amount of tension, providing greater control to the smoker. As stated earlier, this cigar is surprisingly flavorful and something I’ve always enjoyed about cigars that utilize an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. They tend to provide much more flavor and durability than U.S. Connecticut Shade wrappers. The blend here delivers a concoction of hay, caramel, cedar, touches of grass, salt and white pepper notes and a roundedness of buttery almond. An enjoyable any time of day smoke, though preferable for the morning and early afternoon before breakfast or brunch.

The burn stays consistent and doesn’t stray at any point, and can also be put down for a minute or so without fear of going out. While it does come off as a fast burner, this is mostly an illusion as the cigar definitely last a good smoking time, which satisfies the appetite but also doesn’t last too long.

Similar cigars are the Gurkha Park Avenue.

Smoking time was 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Grade: A

Update: you can read a list of our top three favorite cigars from Montecristo cigars here.