Montecristo is probably the most well known brand in the world. Everyone knows the name and the story behind it. Along with that, the Montecristo No. 2 is probably one of the most well known cigars in the world too. It is easily the most well known figurado/pyramid/torpedo, and everyone attempts to make the next torpedo that will beat this cigar. It received the Number 1 rating from Cigar Aficionado last year, deservedly so, and along with receiving such a high rating from last year, Habanos S.A. announced the release of a smaller version of the cigar, the Petit No. 2. I was curious to see how the cigar would be, given the fact that the No. 2 is an absolute classic, so today I check out this smoke and see how the shorter version compares.
Released just last year, the Petit No. 2 is the latest addition to the famous Montecristo brand. It is truly a petit version of the No. 2, and that is why the Petit No. 2 shares the same ring gauge of 52, but has a length of 120 mm (4.7"). All the tobacco used in the blend is from Vuelta Abajo in Pinar del Rio and the Habano is mostly coming out of La Corona and H. Upmann. Practically identical to the No. 2 in appearance, only smaller, the Petit No. 2 is a gorgeous petit pyramid that has a wonderful finish and the new band pops against the wrapper. It has a gorgeous Colorado wrapper and it possesses some veins throughout. It is a silky Habano in hand and you can feel the unpressed veins on the wrapper as well. Squeezing the Habano lightly, there is some give, and it is showing an aroma of cedar, cocoa, hay and some smoky characteristics. The wrapper has some some spicier qualities and it is showing some tobacco and cedar aromas there as well.
The petit pyramid begins by showing some great smoky characteristics and it is accompanied by this sweet dark chocolate powder. There are some nice cedar notes present with that and it is showing some great spice and pepper notes on the finish. I am getting some cream and coffee bean flavors, but it is fairly light. There are some tobacco flavors on the finish and this is a great petit Montecristo. This is everything I could have imagined in the Habano, and I would probably smoke these more than a regular No. 2 right now. The construction is solid overall and it has a slightly even burn line with a great charcoal ash on the end. The ash is kind of flaky on the end, but it is holding on firmly and there is a lot of smoke coming off of the cigar. The Habano is smoking at a solid medium level in terms of body and strength and it is a smoke that I could have in the morning, afternoon or evening without any problems.
I am in the second third of the Habano now and it is continuing to show those great flavors from the first third and this is a great Montecristo and a classic example of the brand and those wonderful and similar qualities to the No. 2. I am getting those amazing smoky qualities and it is pairing with some soft coffee bean, cream, cedar and dark cocoa flavors. There are some awesome spice and pepper flavors on the finish as well and this is a terrific petit pyramid. The body and strength are right at a medium to medium full level and I like the transition that is occurring in this second third of the cigar. The construction remains solid in the second third and it is continuing to show that slightly wavy burn line with the flaky ash holding on well at the end. The draw is cool on this Habano and I am loving the experience that this Petit No. 2 has to offer.
The final third continues to show those terrific flavors that have been present with the Petit No. 2 so far, and it is an awesome flavor profile. It is truly complex and showing notes of coffee beans, cream, cedar, chocolate and this awesome smoky flavor profile on the finish. It is a filling flavor profile and one that is not overwhelming, but truly perfect. There is a reason this brand is so successful, and it is because of this flavor profile that the Habano is so well received. The construction continues to be solid to the tapered end and the draw is cool while producing that nice solid charcoal ash on the end. The burn line is fairly solid still, not perfect, but for a young Habano, it is great. In terms of body and strength, the smoke finishes at a level that it has been at since the beginning. I would say it has a medium to medium full body level, and the strength is right there as well. It seems stronger in the end, but that is the finish with most young Habanos.
I don't know what inspired Habanos to release the Petit No. 2, but whatever the reason, job well done. This is a terrific addition to the brand and one that will be incredibly successful. I would wonder with other brands if this would affect the No. 2 offering there, but with the Montecristo brand I do not see that happening. The original is such a classic that this will merely give smokers like myself the opportunity to enjoy a No. 2 when time is against us and probably encourage smokers to enjoy them both. The Habano delivers all of the great characteristics that the No. 2 offers, and it has that terrific flavor profile with a balanced body and strength level and all the complexity a cigar should have. I highly recommend that smokers reach out for this smoke and I would most definitely recommend it to all the Habano lovers out there that I know. I am giving this Habano a solid 93 right now, and I believe with age these smokes can reach the high 90's.
Seth's Humidor Rating: 93