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DrinkyBanjo

My first No. 2.

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DrinkyBanjo

Well I finally sampled my first Montecristo Number 2 (Habana). I thought it was okay. It did not blow me away but it was definitely good. It did not burn too evenly and the draw was a bit tight but it did work well with the Wild Turkey Tribute/RR 101 that I had with it. It has been in my humidor for a while but that might not have helped it either.

Anyway good but not great but it appears these can bit a little bit hit or miss with the majority being hits. I have a few more to try so I'm not giving up yet!

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jwrussell

Tim, the #2 is most definately known for being hit or miss. However, when they are "on" they have a reputation as being some of the best smokes that exist. (I've only had a couple and they weren't "on") A few questions:

Any chance you know the age of the smokes?

What RH % do you keep your Humidor at? This can really contribute to that tightness you mention. Most folks I know who keep Habanos keep them at a lower RH than most folks who keep mostly Non-Cubans.

I'll have to try my next Monte with some WT. To me the Monte profile is a tough one to match with a bourbon.

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DrinkyBanjo

I try to keep it at 70% but it fluctuates a bit, it wasn't super tight just tighter than I like. Don't forget this was Tribute (15) and RR101 (10) so these are a little smoother than normal WT. I think RB would go really well.

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jwrussell

Rare Breed is what I have so I'll try that. To help with the tightness, if you keep your himidor at 70%, you might want to think about dry-boxing cubans overnight before smoking them. For whatever reason I've found them to smoke much better at lower humidity (between 63-68%).

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DrinkyBanjo

Dry boxing? I'm guessing this is placing them in a 'normal' cigar box (sans humidity) over night?

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jwrussell

You got it. I keep all of my old boxes for the most part, until I don't have room for them, but they work well for this.

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Pharaoh

Very sound advice. Habanos tend to smoke better at lower r/h than most Dominican and Central American smokes.

The best No.2 bourbon combination I have had was while at the Monte Carlos in Vegas, 2002. I had a No.2 with several shots of Woodford Reserve. Which is interesting. I quickly grew to not have much interest or anything extrordiary to say about WR after that. What ever bottle was in that bar @ that casion was an excellent match for that particular cigar.

jwrussell is also right about there being swing periods in production with this cigar. A basic observation is Monte No. 2 & No.4, as well as RYJ Churchills to name a few in particular, are rolled in mass quantities year in and year out.

When a harvest year is great, the cigars should match that standard. However due to popularity, it has been stated that the same high production numbers continue for these popluar smokes when a harvest is not exceptional - in other words selectivity may suffer with these vitolas as Habanos will lean towards producing X million items regardless of harvest conditions.

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mythrenegade

That's a bummer for you. I've only had one Montecristo #2 (Habana) in my lifetime and it's at the very top of the list of the best smokes I've ever had. Glad I was lucky. I have another one in my Humidor. I hope it lives up to the memory of the first...

Joel

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