This is the stunningly gorgeous Montercristo 520 which honors the “520th anniversary of tobacco discovery”. This cigar is a monster Double Robusto and seems that SA Habanos is creating cigars for the larger size preference of the American market. This cigar is rather striking, dark espresso brown with a reddish hue and practically dripping with oily veins.
The pre lit draw starts sweet, like freshly cut Japanese cedar, with a hint of classic “barnyard" that great Cuban tobacco often demonstrates. These initial scents are complimented by wheat, leather, hay and coco. The draw is even and just a touch tight ( odd considering the larger ring gauge).
First Third: Upon lighting this cigar the profile announces itself; even parts dark chocolate, sweet cedar and espresso noted earlier. The smoke has a sharpness to the nose, likely due to the young age of this dark vitola. (This should soften with age and the edges will begin to round off.) The cigar produces an average amount of smoke, however not as much as I'd hoped. The spicy, harshness begins to increase as the first third comes to an end, balanced by the a light sweetness that is slowing building making a very enjoyable start.
Second Third: Getting into the “meat” of the cigar, the sweetness has started to recede and a beautiful earthy coffee has risen in its stead. The vanilla like sweetness from the first third dance in the background while the coffee, leather and espresso dance in a well choreographed tug-o-war. The draw has gotten slightly better and the cigar is creating a touch more smoke, however without sounding greedy, it should be more. The strength seems to have settled to a nice medium 6 (I use a scale of 0 to 10 with ten being the strongest).
Final Third: The Montecristo 520 slides back into the sweet/saltiness I experienced in the first inning. The baseline complexities of the flavor profile I have enjoyed throughout are all quite present, hay, coffee bean balanced by earth and vanilla. I found myself looking for more depth to the flavor but given the young age of this dark oily cigar, I expect it will take more then a few years to get through the second maturation.
Overall Impressions: The Montecristo 520 looks very impressive between its massive Double Robusto size and dark chocolate wrapper. The flavor profile is wonderful balance between the classic Cuban “barnyard” tobacco flavor and the sweet/salty dark coco and coffee bean. The flavor settled at an approachable 6, however the smoke production, while decent, left me wanting more. This cigar does have some pleasant flavor complexities, the nose is a bit acrid and I am reminded that this cigar is young and with 5 years of aging this cigar will be excellent. Overall Score 89 of 100.
Cigar: Montecristo 520 Edición Limitada 2012
Box Date: Nov 2012
Date Reviewed: 09/08/2015
Size: 6 1/8 x 55
MSRP: $30.00 (boxes of ten $300.00)
Total Production Released: NA