Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#NowSmoking: Montecristo Espada Signature

Reading Time: 4 minutes

#NowSmoking: Montecristo Espada Signature Cigar Review (Video)



Montecristo Espada Signature – Cigar Details:

Factory: Plasencia Cigars, SA  Esteli, Nicaragua
Size: (6”x 55) Valiente (Double Toro)
Strength: Medium to Full
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Presented in boxes of 10

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review montecristo espada signature - at famous smoke shop

Montecristo Espada Signature Backstory

Back in 2014, Montecristo gave a sly wink and nod to the brand’s namesake (Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo) by naming their first Nicaraguan puro cigar Espada—Spanish for sword. This was followed by two additional Nicaraguan puros with the ‘Sword’ designation—the Montecristo Espada Estoque in 2016 and Montecristo Espada Oscuro in 2019.

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review montecristo espada signature - setup shot of cigar leaning against boxAnd that brings us to today’s cigar, Montecristo Espada Signature—the latest in the lineup. Developed by Rafael Nodal, the Grupo de Maestros, and the Plasencia family, this blend utilizes only exquisite, top-grade Nicaraguan tobaccos from three of the four growing regions—Condega, Jalapa, and Ometepe.

Montecristo Espada Signature is a limited-edition release and is available in one size called Valiente—Spanish for brave—which amounts to a Double Toro for all intents and purposes.

Now, let’s get down to business and put the Espada Signature through its paces.


Cigar Basics:

Construction: Wrapper was milk chocolate, silky, and oily.
Cold Draw: Black pepper, leather, and cedar.
Base flavors: Black pepper, earth, creaminess, leather, nuts.
Aroma: Tobacco and peanut butter.
Burn & Ash: No issues.


Montecristo Espada Signature Review – Part 1

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review montecristo espada signature - part 1The Espada Signature Valiente comes out swinging for the fences with black pepper leading off, followed by baking spices, and a creaminess akin to Cream of Wheat. After a few minutes the spiciness and black pepper settle into a smoother groove and are joined by notes of cedar, tangy citrus, and earth.

At this point, the Montecristo Espada Signature is medium-bodied and offers hints at what’s to come with an already impressive complexity and balance.

Let’s see if this continues into the second third.


Montecristo Espada Signature Review – Part 2

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review montecristo espada signature - part 2I’m approaching the halfway point and the Espada Signature Valiente is stretching its legs at a full sprint. Black pepper blends into the background while an overall creamy note descends on the profile. I’m not talking about a distinct flavor of cream—like you just chugged a cup of Half and Half—but more of a softening of some of the more aggressive notes. Additional flavors of leather, peanut butter, and strong black coffee join the chorus as well.

Of note so far is the construction—which has been flawless—and the balance of the many different flavor notes. Overall, the Montecristo Espada Signature is medium-bodied and building and looks to be heading towards a gratifying crescendo as I approach the final third.

Let’s see how it wraps up in the finale.


Montecristo Espada Signature Review – Part 3

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review montecristo espada signature - part 3I’m well into the final third and the Espada Signature Valiente’s profile remains enjoyably rich and balanced. While there are no new flavors to write home about, the prevailing ones gain a depth and character that weren’t there in the beginning few puffs. Complexity’s been present throughout, and as the Montecristo Espada Signature approaches the finish line, it’s on the fuller side of medium to full-bodied.


What beverage pairs well with Montecristo Espada Signature cigars?

I’m going to shock you here by saying that any whiskey, whisky, bourbon, or rum will pair perfectly. Big surprise, right? Well, for those looking for something a little different, try a Negroni. Trust me, it works.

cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review montecristo espada signature - drink pairingFor non-alcoholic options old standbys like coffee, Dr. Pepper, or water certainly will do the trick.

For additional pairing combinations, check out our Cigar & Spirit pairing guide.


Are Montecristo Espada Signature cigars worth smoking?

With a focus on first-class Nicaraguan tobaccos, Espada Signature Valiente exhibits the scope and promise that can only be coaxed from the right leaves by the right hands. With an evolving, cohesive, and playful flavor profile, the Plasencia family, Rafael Nodal, and the celebrated Grupo de Maestros delivered an exceptional addition to the Montecristo Espada portfolio.

Definitely pick up the Montecristo Espada Signature if you’re a fan of fuller-bodied and flavor rich cigars that keep you engaged and wanting more. 

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Paul Lukens

Paul Lukens


Paul first fell in love with the leaf back in college, where he majored in Philosophy (yes, seriously). Upon graduating, Paul stared into the abyss and unemployment stared back. He responded by founding the ‘Pounding Fathers,’ a traveling Beer Pong team with the other Philosophy grad at UMass. Aspiring to subsist on more than Ramen Noodles and Natural Ice, Paul put down his ping pong balls and picked up a pen - and a cigar - and began working in the premium cigar industry in 2013.

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