Montecristo Wide Edmundo
The latest release from Habanos to arrive in the UK is the Montecristo Wide Edmundo.
It is the fourth cigar in the brand’s portfolio to bear the Edmundo name, following the launch of the original in 2004. However, uniquely among its stablemates, the Wide Edmundo is adorned with a second band bearing its name.
The Wide Edmundo is an entirely new Vitola (size) within the Habanos portfolio called the Duke No.3 and measures 4 ⅞” (125mm) x 54 ring gauge. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that makes it the heaviest ring gauge among the Edmundos.
They are available in SBN boxes of 25 and 10 cigars.
Montecristo was first made in Havana in the summer of 1935 at the Particulares factory, which had been bought a few years before by a businessman named Alonso Menendez.
Around this time Alonso Menendez joined forces with José Manuel ‘Pepé’ Garcia, formerly a senior commercial manager at the Partagas factory, and founded the Menendez y Garcia Company. Together they decided to make Montecristo an exceptional brand.
Their guiding principle was that Montecristo should be of one quality only – the finest. There were to be just five sizes and they would be numbered rather than named. Production would be low, and prices high. It would be sold in a limited number of the most reputable cigar merchants, starting with Alfred Dunhill’s stores in London and New York.
Whilst developing the brand Menendez and Garcia worked closely with the British cigar importers John Hunter, Morris & Elkan Ltd., whose Managing Director, Jack Benham, is reputed to have created the outstanding design for the Montecristo box.
In 1937 an opportunity arose for Menendez y Garcia to expand. The H. Upmann factory in Havana, which was owned by another British company, J. Frankau & Co. Ltd, was up for sale. Alonso Menendez bought H. Upmann from D. G. Freeman, the owner of J. Frankau, for £100,000.
In the same year production of Montecristo was moved to H. Upmann where it has remained ever since, although the location of the factory has changed more than once over the years.
By coincidence, the two British companies, which played separate parts in the birth of Montecristo, are now one: Hunters & Frankau. The Freeman family is still closely involved in the business. Today Jemma Freeman, D. G. Freeman’s great-granddaughter, is the company’s Chairman.
Montecristo is now the best-selling Cuban cigar brand in the world and has become the benchmark for many cigar smokers. Its perfectly balanced blends are all created exclusively with selected filler and binder leaves from the Vuelta Abajo zone, home of the finest tobaccos in the world. All sizes are ‘tripa larga, totalmente a mano’ long filler, totally handmade.