Montecristo stands for quality, flavor, and consistency among both cigar aficionados and the top manufacturers in the world. Not surprisingly, it has become one of the most recognized brands worldwide. From its humble beginnings in the early 20th century through today, the brand has exploded into a variety of line extensions in both Cuba and the Dominican Republic. "Noche" means "night" in Spanish and Media Noche, one of the more recent releases from Montecristo, is dark. Very dark. The Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper may not be the oiliest leaf on the planet, but roll it between your fingertips and you can feel its soft, silky texture. Packed solidly under the wrapper is a well-aged mixture of hand-selected long-fillers from Nicaragua, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Settle in with this full-bodied stogie on a chilly March night and a veritable chimney will fill your palate with thick, chewy smoke that leaves billowy clouds overhead. The burn, somewhat slow, creates a dark grey ash that's strong and a bit flaky. The smoke is leathery in character with toasty notes. A hint of cedar sneaks in just before a sweet, long aftertaste takes center stage. Rich and cool down to the nub, the Media Noche finishes with such a bang that suddenly you’re in the full-bodied realm. A rich stout or V.S.O.P. cognac are the only way to match this stogie's prowess.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
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