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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez Toro
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Dave (Deener27)
91
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member 05Venturer (Kent).  The cigar provided for this round is the Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez Toro.

The Specs:
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican

The Hype:
Montecristo. Groupo de Maestros. Though it may sound like an off-beat Spanish boy band, the Groupo de Maestros is the name of the blending geniuses behind many of Montecristo’s best blends. Combining for hundreds of years of tobacco experience, the Groupo de Maestros are more than capable of delivering a mind-alteringly good blend, and the Cuban-esque Pilotico really drives that point home.

Handmade in Nicaragua, the Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez honors a man who changed the world of tobacco twice-over. You may have not heard his name, but Pepe Mendez is responsible for getting better consistency and cleaner flavors out of tobacco for years. An Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper brings around leather, caramel, and walnut. While it does come with a high-price tag, Pilotico Pepe Mendez is one of the best releases this year, and I highly recommend you grab some for a special occasion.


Length:
6.2
Ring Gauge:
52
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Dominican Republic
Nicaragua
Binder:
Dominican Republic
Wrapper:
Ecuador
Color:
Colorado Claro
Strength:
Medium
Shape:
Toro

This cigar was enjoyed with 3 Floyds Robert The Bruce Scottish Ale

Pre-Light: 19 Points of 20 Possible

The cigar was a really nice color that looked like a dark Colorado Claro with just a slight amount oily sheen to it.  There was only one vein along the wrapper of the cigar, but nothing too prominent that would harm the appearance of the stick.  Triple cap was tightly constructed and very even which led to a flawless cut with a guillotine, taking just the very tip of the cap, but leaving no thin edges of the cap behind that would later end up peeling off.  The cigar was very firm with the pinch test that made me suspect later draw problems, however that was at least allayed upon the cold draw which was very ample.  The cold draw was full of cedar and a bit of spice like clove and black pepper.  The foot of the cigar imparted aromas that were more intense versions of those contained in the cold draw along with something almost like citrus and candy with some raisin-like tobacco.

Light & Burn: 13 Points of 15 Possible

The burn was pretty solid throughout the smoke, but did wander a bit within the 2nd 3rd of the critique but did not require any baby-sitting (thankfully, since I already to enough of that).  The ash held firm for at least an inch and a half before I would have to roll it to a nice pencil tip, which was a very easy task due to the firm nature of the ash.  The ash held like this for the duration of the experience.  The color of the ash was a nice salt and pepper color and also remained consistent throughout the smoke.  The cigar was smoked over 1 hour and 48 minutes, but required absolutely no relights or touch-up, which was really nice.  The smoke volume was nice and full, with a wonderful color and imparted the flavors and nuanced flavors perfectly.

Construction: 27 Points of 30 Possible

The construction was extremely consistent.  There were no discernible flaws in the construction as the wrapper with very smooth, color was super consistent, seams were well hidden and when found, were evenly spaced.  Save for a vein that ran the length of the cigar, I would have thought that this was a plastic cigar without handling it.  As stated earlier, the triple cap was perfectly layered and the end was perfectly circular.  The foot revealed very nicely and tightly packed filler that layered and rolled flawlessly.  The cut on the foot from the factory was perfect and the surrounding wrapper was completely undamaged.  One of the only flaws revealed itself upon cutting the cigar as there was a fairly prominent stem in the filler at that end.

Flavor: 32 Points of 35 Possible

1st Third: Upon lighting, there was an ample draw of smoke which left very faint flavors of baking spices and yeast, cedar, chocolate and cloves with some citrusy overtones.  The flavors were faint for at least the first half of the opening third of the cigar.  As I neared the mid-way point of the opening third, the baking spice, yeast and clove yielded to stronger flavors of chocolate and cedar, yet was very smooth on delivery.  The cigar left only a bit of burn in the throat and the retrohale was a bit peppery and slightly sweet with a bit of tangerine.  These flavors stayed very consistent to the close of the first third.  

2nd Third: As the cigar progressed through to the 2nd third the chocolate tones waned and the cedar and pepper took over.  The cigar stayed in pepperville for the duration of the smoke.  The profile of the pepper moved from dry red pepper to fresh cracked black pepper with a hint of cream and sweetness.  The retrohale was dry with a strong pepper finish.

3rd Third: As complex and dynamic as the 2nd third was in strength, this cigar intensified further to almost recap the most of the flavors that presented themselves in the first and second thirds.  The cigar wandered from the super pepper flavors to strong amounts of sweetness and an almost great cup of coffee-like amount of smooth finish to it.  There was an earthy finish to the this final third which was not present in the first two.  I only got a sensation of a bit of harshness at the very end which is what had the most effect on the final scoring.

Summary

The methodology that I used to rate this cigar was fairly simple.  The cigar was at rest for about 3 weeks in 65-65 and then I cedar dry boxed it for 24 hours to make sure a quality burn.  I cut the cigar with a guillotine cutter, lit with a triple torch flame very gently.  Between puffs, I was able to clear the palate with the scottish ale which with it minerality, was a perfect choice.

Overall, I think that this is a very good cigar that might be missing just a touch of something.  What that something is, I just can't quite put my finger on though.  The complexities and nuanced flavors really do put it into very good territory.  This is a special occasion cigar with its price-point and the flavors.  I was overall very pleased with this cigar.  The only true draw-backs for me was the stem in the end upon the cut, some wander in the burn midway through, and a bit of monotony in the transitions of flavors.  I would buy a box of these to keep around for the holidays as I feel it would pair very well with a 4th of July BBQ or an after Christmas dinner smoke.  I look forward to picking some up in the future and giving them some age to see what that does for them.

I would like to thank 05Venturer (Kent) for the opportunity to critique this one and for his kind generosity.  Very nice pick for the month.



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