Montecristo cigars are the name of two brands, one of which is produced in Cuba for Habanos SA, and the other which is produced in the Dominican Republic for Altadis SA. Originally Alonso Menéndez created the Montecristo brand after his acquisition of the Particulares Factory in 1935.
The brand’s name comes from the hero of Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel ‘The Count of Montecristo’, which was the favorite of the Torcedores (cigar makers) at the factory where it was founded in 1935. The book was read to them as they worked by the Lector.
Originally, the brand was represented by only five available cigar sizes, with the addition of a tubed cigar which was produced during the 1940s. The Montecristo brand remained largely unchanged until the Cuban revolution and the brands nationalisation. Cuban made Montecristo remained in Cuba and Menéndez and García re-established their brand in the Canary Islands i.e. the non Cuban variation of the brand. This production then moved to the Dominican Republic by the 1970s, the non Cuban Montecristo cigar brand was then offered in the US market.
Today the brand consists of a wide variety of vitolas to cover every level of the cigar enthusiast’s needs. In 2004 the 52 ring gauge Edmundo size was introduced in line with the trend for heavy gauge sizes, this was accompanied by a shorter version “the Petit Edmundo” following a few years later. Why is it called the Edmundo you ask…. it is the first name of Edmundo Dantes, the hero of Dumas’ novel.
2009 saw the introduction of a new Series the Montecristo Open. This new range consisted of four sizes blended to a lighter flavour over the other sizes in the Montecristo’s range. This was aimed at a new generation of cigar aficionados whom enjoy the pleasures of outdoor pursuits.
The Montecristo brand became incredibly popular globally and to this day accounts for roughly one quarter of Habanos SA's worldwide cigar sales, making it the most popular Cuban cigar in the world.
All of the Cuban made sizes are completely handmade (totalmente a mano) from long-filler tobacco (Tripa Larga).
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This is the name used by the factory to define a specific cigar type of "Vitola" - that is, the ring size, length, shape, and cap finish.
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