Tag Archive for altadis

Smoke Blog: Montecristo Social Club

When I got my first invite to the Montecristo Social Club, I assumed they were trying to sell me something.

When I got my second a short time later, and I saw they were offering a free punch just for signing up, I thought, “Hey, I can use a new punch.” It appeared they were simply building a social network for cigar smokers, so I decided I’d sign up and poke around.

My Montecristo Social Club membership box. Nice!

Quite a package for a freebie item

The club key and punch, it turns out, is not some cheap, plastic trinket, but a nice, solid, metal key with a cigar punch hidden in the barrel. It has some real heft to it, it has a small ring to attach to a keyring or lanyard, and it looks good to boot. It also came packed in a snazzy box emblazoned with the Montecristo Social Club logo.

Impressive! You don’t normally see freebies like this.

The Club site itself is interesting. I created an account, and there are groups, friend requests, and messages, similar to what one would see on most social sites. There is also a humidor section, so users can share what they have in stock, and there’s an ashtray connected to it so users can share what they’ve smoked recently (complete with a brief review). There are also articles, ranging from cigar brands and cigar education to things like drinks, technology, and travel. Most are brief, similar to the content in a men’s magazine or similar online venue.

I’m assuming I got an invite based on my Twitter and Smoke Blog reviews, but if someone else invited me, thanks!¬†Time will tell if I’ll spend a lot of time in there, but given I’m already a fan of most Altadis brands, they just ensured my next humidor restock will include some Romeo y Julietas.

And now I regret not working harder to figure out how to get a Twitter-like cigar smokers’ network off the ground.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: Montecristo Chicago

Remember that thing I said about Friar Tuck dudes not knowing anything about their cigars? Friday night, I may have run into the guy who at least pays attention. I was debating between two smokes, and the Montecristo Chicago’s price tag ($13+) pushed me the other direction. However, the guy told me, “You won’t be able to get that one for long.”

The Chicago is part of Montecristo’s Connoisseur Edition series, and they’re making unique blends for big cities like New York, Chicago, Vegas, and Philly. And they’re only available in their named markets for a limited time.

Fair enough, then. Sold.

Tonight's cigar: the Montecristo Chicago

I kind of dig the wrapper and logo, too.

Now, I love Chicago. I’m not exactly a world traveler, but having visited LA, San Francisco, St Louis, Seattle, and Denver, and despite falling more and more in love with Peoria, I still put Chicago on top of the list. If someone’s going to call their product or business Chicago anything, they’ve set the bar pretty high for themselves.

Fortunately, Montecristo delivers.

The Chicago is a 6×50 Toro made with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and Dominican filler. It’s luscious. Medium body, plenty of flavor but very mellow from puff to finish. No spice or tang, nor any other overpowering, obvious note. It tastes . . . well, it tastes like a cigar, damn it! It’s got a gentle buzz and lots of smoke, draws easy, and holds together well. I enjoyed it so much I had to force myself to slow down, and I smoked it right down to my knuckles.

Friar Tuck only had a box of 10, so I will have to get back there and get another before they’re gone. If your city has its own blend, get thee to a cigar store.

On a separate, cigar-related note, I want to thank XIKAR for their awesome warranty and service. I bought a fairly basic XIKAR butane lighter a few years ago, and I’ve been having some trouble with it. It’s just a $30ish lighter, but rather than toss it I decided to send it in.

A week later, a brand new lighter arrived.

My replacement lighter arrived!

Pretty little thing, ain’t it?

Functionally, it’s a night-and-day difference. The jet works¬†so much better, and I don’t have to crank it up to full blast to get it to work. It stays lit, and it lights my cigar a lot faster. When I’m ready to invest in a new one with a punch, it will definitely be a XIKAR. Their humidor supplies work well for me, too.

In contrast, I used to have a hand-me-down of another popular brand. They charged me $30 to repair it, and even then I had the exact same problem after one refill. Never again.

Thanks, XIKAR. You guys rock.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.