A Legendary Beginning
The Montecristo brand name dates back to July 1935 when its creator, Alonso Menéndez, a wealthy Spaniard who arrived to Cuba in the early 1930s, bought the Particulares Factory in La Habana.
Menéndez chose the name of his new brand as a nod toward the favorite novel of his cherished and talented cigar rollers. Stories would be read aloud on the floor where the cigars were rolled as a way to entertain and educate all the workers. In a practice that began around 1865, Lectores de tabaqueria, or readers, would sit on a raised platform amongst the workers so that all could hear. The story of choice became “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.
The logo as it’s known today, a triangle formed by six swords with the fleur de lis inside, was designed by John Hunter Morris and Elkan & Co. Ltd., which marketed the Montecristo brand in the UK at that time.
Alonso Menéndez and his family took extraordinary measures to ensure the success of Montecristo by using only the highest quality tobacco. Legend has it that the ligero leaf used in Montecristo Habanos was aged in specially made cedar cabinets.
Thanks to their efforts, the brand quickly made a name for itself worldwide as it became the most popular Cuban cigar in the world. The original product had five numbered sizes of cigars: Montecristo No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5. Although the cigar industry in Cuba became nationalized after the Cuban revolution, the production and tradition of Montecristo cigars has remained almost untouched. However, additions and revisions to the classic lineup have occurred throughout the years.
In 1969, when the Laguito Factory was created, three sizes were added; the Especial No. 1, Especial No. 2 and the Joyitas. In 1971, the Montecristo A (47x 9 1/4) was added. Shortly after, it earned a Guinness Record as the most expensive cigar in the world.
In 2000, a Montecristo Robusto was introduced for the first time as part of a limited edition. Following the growing trend of thicker ring gauge cigars, in 2004 the 52 ring gauge Edmundo size was introduced.
In recent years, Montecristo launched a new series called Montecristo Open. The Open was created in 2009 with a medium flavor profile, a milder smoke compared to the medium to full flavor of the original. The Robusto, called Master, is one of its regular sizes. This line opened the Montecristo to new generations of smokers more keen to outdoor pursuits.
Today, Montecristo offers a variety of cigars that range in size and style. The Montecristo No. 4 (Mareva 42×5 1/8) has been the most popular Habano on the market globally for many decades. It is earthy and deep with chocolate and coffee notes. The Montecristo Petit Tubo, the No. 4 in a tube, has also been available to adult smokers since the late 80s.
Along with the No. 4, Montecristo No. 2 (Piramides 52×6 1/8) and Edmundo (Edmundo 52×5 1/6) are among the brand’s most popular sizes.
Montecristo’s perfectly balanced blend exclusively made with filler and binder leaves of the Vuelta Abajo region in Cuba, home of the finest tobaccos in the world, make it loved by both beginners and connoisseurs all over the world.