By Benjamin Winokur
Montecristo White Series No. 2 Belicoso
Featuring an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, with binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, the Montecristo White Series is a lovely Connecticut Shade Wrapped cigar with a mild body of flavor a mild strength.
Sweet on the initial draw, immediately upon lighting there is toasty burst of flavor and an absence of the usually expected bitterness that is often present in Connecticut tobacco.
When paired up with this month’s featured pairing spirit, Ron Zacapa Centenario Sistemo Solera 23, there is a beautiful nectar sweetness from the Ron Zacapa with hints of raw sugar, that when paired with the Montecristo White Series reminds me of a fresh apricot jam.
Throughout the smoking experience of the Montecristo White there is a zesty and refreshing pepper that is present on the nose, it nicely counteracts the sweetness of Zacapa, providing some much needed balance and contrast to the pairing.
With such a mild cigar, I was hesitant to pair it with Zacapa served neat, and while it is a tasty pairing, I think this combo would truly be a home run if you were to serve this with a splash of ginger beer (not ale) and a squeeze of lime, a la Dark & Stormy. Purists will probably pout and throw their arms up and say “you don’t mix Zacapa!” I say do what tastes best to you and satiates your palate. For you purists, read on! There is a pairing that is right up your alley just below…
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Romeo y Julieta Aging Room
From the same family as our #1 Cigar of 2015, this Romeo y Julieta was a collaborative project between Boutique Blends and Altadis to create a cigar that evoked the deep flavors that Boutique Blends is known for with the smooth and sultry flavors we’ve come to expect from Romeo y Julieta.
Very sweet on the initial light, this belicoso showcases soft fruit notes with hints of caramel and vanilla. This medium bodied cigar is full of flavor and makes for a tantalizing pairing alongside the wonderfully rich and full flavored Zacapa Rum.
The entirety of the smoking experience is dominated by sweet and superbly balanced flavors which beautifully accentuate the similar notes present in Zacapa Rum. Notes of molasses and brown sugar are drawn out from this Solera rum by the similar delicious notes which come puff after flavorful puff from the Romeo y Julieta Aging Room Cantaor Belicoso. If it’s smooth and rich flavors you seek, this is a pairing made just for you.
Wrapper: Habano Dominicano
Binder: Habano Dominicano
Filler: Habano Dominicano
Benjamin Winokur is the Editor-in-Chief of Cigar & Spirits Magazine and a Certified
Salesforce Tobacconist. You can follow him on Instagram & Twitter @CigarJedi