Tell Me All About Por Larranaga Montecarlos


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I just saw a box of montecarlos for sale so I bought them. I've been meaning to save up more dough before I spring for some boxes, but these are so cheap I figured I better grab some while I have the chance, they're only available a few times a year, if lucky, for me. I'm excited because I've wanted a vitola like this for quite some time, the long slender size says old Havana to me which is so cool and many seem to endow these vitolas with a more concentrated flavor as well. The only por larranaga I've had so far has been the classic petit corona. I got a 50 cab about 6 months ago and intend to age them to that 5-8 range for the most part and keep buying boxes so I can smoke some young ones in the meantime too. I've only had 2 or 3 of them, but I really like them. What it lacks in complexity I think it makes up for in uniqueness. Though they're usually considered very mild, I found mine to be pretty damn strong, like some of the stronger Habanos I've ever had, right up there with partagas shorts. I guess this is pretty typical though and the caramel laden mildness comes more with age if I'm not mistaken. When young, they boast heaps of "mongrel." I found this to be true. The flavors were a little muddied by youngness, but I was also impressed by the presence of caramel already there, in a very small quantity mind you, but I was happy to have noticed it and expect more down the road. Other than that I thought it had a delightful sweetness throughout, I got sugarcane through most of it, toasted tobacco, and wood with baking spice (cinnamon/nutmeg) here and there as well. All and all a great smoke, one of my favorites, and it sounds like they only get better which is exciting. How do the montecarlos compare? What should I expect for flavor? What should I look out for as possible problems? Do you consider these a good buy? And probably most importantly, what do you think their sweet spot is for aging? People seem to like these a lot too, especially for a casual smoke. I hope I will feel the same. 

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8 minutes ago, cigaraholic said:

Your certainly going to get a stronger more concentrated flavor than the PC when young because of ring gauge. You should smoke them a little more slowly so the last third doesn’t turn into a monster, which can be difficult they’re so tasty. They age beautifully if you can keep your hands off them. Same flavor profile as the PC, coffee with cream, caramel and toasted tobacco.....sometimes some honey 🌈 Smoke-’em young and old.  

Thanks, I will have no problem smoking them slowly, that’s my MO at any ring gauge. Quick smoking definitely spoils flavor. I probably smoke the slowest of almost anyone I’ve ever heard of, especially with thin ring gauges. PCs and Coronas regularly take me an hour or more. 

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  • JohnS changed the title to Tell Me All About Por Larranaga Montecarlos

I try and smoke slowly too, just seems as I’ve gotten older I hit the last third on these and I get that cigar warning message “she can’t take much more of this caption” with young ones. I have to hide a few to get some with good age, sadly I know where the hiding place is so I rarely get a old one. When I smoke PL no matter how good it I always think it probably will be better tomorrow, but I can’t wait any longer 👻

 

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Same here on the speed. Force myself to slow down but they are great to me. Great thing is I finally figured out why they have different sizes. For me. My schedule goes from zero to a hundred in 10 minutes some days. I have a cigar for everything. 😬

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I really like them, in fact think they are the single best value smoke. Love them on a summer’s day with coffee and chat. All the advice here is good: sip ‘em slow, smoke em young and old. I have three boxes on the go at the moment, and would like a another few.

 

Oh one other thing: don’t be put off by appearance. I’ve had crappy looking ones that are great.

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4 hours ago, DrStogie said:

I just saw a box of montecarlos for sale so I bought them. I've been meaning to save up more dough before I spring for some boxes, but these are so cheap I figured I better grab some while I have the chance, they're only available a few times a year, if lucky, for me. I'm excited because I've wanted a vitola like this for quite some time, the long slender size says old Havana to me which is so cool and many seem to endow these vitolas with a more concentrated flavor as well. The only por larranaga I've had so far has been the classic petit corona. I got a 50 cab about 6 months ago and intend to age them to that 5-8 range for the most part and keep buying boxes so I can smoke some young ones in the meantime too. I've only had 2 or 3 of them, but I really like them. What it lacks in complexity I think it makes up for in uniqueness. Though they're usually considered very mild, I found mine to be pretty damn strong, like some of the stronger Habanos I've ever had, right up there with partagas shorts. I guess this is pretty typical though and the caramel laden mildness comes more with age if I'm not mistaken. When young, they boast heaps of "mongrel." I found this to be true. The flavors were a little muddied by youngness, but I was also impressed by the presence of caramel already there, in a very small quantity mind you, but I was happy to have noticed it and expect more down the road. Other than that I thought it had a delightful sweetness throughout, I got sugarcane through most of it, toasted tobacco, and wood with baking spice (cinnamon/nutmeg) here and there as well. All and all a great smoke, one of my favorites, and it sounds like they only get better which is exciting. How do the montecarlos compare? What should I expect for flavor? What should I look out for as possible problems? Do you consider these a good buy? And probably most importantly, what do you think their sweet spot is for aging? People seem to like these a lot too, especially for a casual smoke. I hope I will feel the same. 

As far as problems the main one with very skinny cigars is that if you get a tight draw, fixing with a PD is very difficult, and it can easily result is a pierced wrapper... I bought a couple of singles several months back and I couldn't get but a wisp of smoke due to the very tight draw. I pulled out the PD and I ended up piercing the wrapper both times. After that it was game over. I probably should have tried the freezer trick or dry boxing them instead, but since I only had two I never had a chance to try those other methods.

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Tight draws, constant attention to either smoking too fast resulting in overheating, or too slow and having it go out.  Too much focus needed.  I'll never understand why people love skinnies.  Give me a churchill any day.  Sticking with 44-50 ring gauge.  The sweet zone.

I've only had a handful of these, and got lots of graphite flavor.  Not for me.

 

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1 hour ago, Monterey said:

Tight draws, constant attention to either smoking too fast resulting in overheating, or too slow and having it go out.  Too much focus needed.  I'll never understand why people love skinnies.  Give me a churchill any day.  Sticking with 44-50 ring gauge.  The sweet zone.

I've only had a handful of these, and got lots of graphite flavor.  Not for me.

 

Just wondering what rh level you are storing your cigars at?   I'm not an expert and have admittedly only smoked around 10 boxes of these but I've never experienced any of the issues you mentioned here.  I may have had a handful at most with a tighter than ideal draw but that's it.  For me they have been a poster child of consistency and awesomeness.  Different strokes I guess.

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21 minutes ago, clint said:

Just wondering what rh level you are storing your cigars at?   I'm not an expert and have admittedly only smoked around 10 boxes of these but I've never experienced any of the issues you mentioned here.  I may have had a handful at most with a tighter than ideal draw but that's it.  For me they have been a poster child of consistency and awesomeness.  Different strokes I guess.

62/62

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I have to admit I'm not a fan either. I really like skinnies and I really like PLPC, but these don't do it for me. I have a 2018 box that I got from here with 19 left and hopefully they will turn around for me.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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9 hours ago, Monterey said:

Tight draws, constant attention to either smoking too fast resulting in overheating, or too slow and having it go out.  Too much focus needed.  I'll never understand why people love skinnies.  Give me a churchill any day.  Sticking with 44-50 ring gauge.  The sweet zone.

I've only had a handful of these, and got lots of graphite flavor.  Not for me.

 

For me tight draw rates aren't too far off between skinnies and Churchill's. Robustos are definitely better. But long and fat ish are about as problematic as long and skinny. If the problem is just at the head perfecdraw will work in either case. If it is not perfecdraw won't really help in either case. And usually in Churchill's and DCs the problem (when there is one) is that they are grossly overpacked.

What is nice about skinnies for me burn wise is the razor sharp burn.

I dislike relights and touch ups so probably fiddling and paying more attention to fatter cigars as they can easily burn uneven (or tunnel though less to be done about that besides that squish technique).

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56 minutes ago, Bijan said:

For me tight draw rates aren't too far off between skinnies and Churchill's. Robustos are definitely better. But long and fat ish are about as problematic as long and skinny. If the problem is just at the head perfecdraw will work in either case. If it is not perfecdraw won't really help in either case. And usually in Churchill's and DCs the problem (when there is one) is that they are grossly overpacked.

What is nice about skinnies for me burn wise is the razor sharp burn.

I dislike relights and touch ups so probably fiddling and paying more attention to fatter cigars as they can easily burn uneven (or tunnel though less to be done about that besides that squish technique).

This has been very much my experience as well. Also, I’m a naturally slow smoker so a skinny doesn’t require any extra attention for me. Just light up and smoke to the nub without having to touch the burn 

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7 hours ago, Bijan said:

For me tight draw rates aren't too far off between skinnies and Churchill's. Robustos are definitely better. But long and fat ish are about as problematic as long and skinny. If the problem is just at the head perfecdraw will work in either case. If it is not perfecdraw won't really help in either case. And usually in Churchill's and DCs the problem (when there is one) is that they are grossly overpacked.

What is nice about skinnies for me burn wise is the razor sharp burn.

I dislike relights and touch ups so probably fiddling and paying more attention to fatter cigars as they can easily burn uneven (or tunnel though less to be done about that besides that squish technique).

To each their own. Not my experience at all.  A perfectdraw thru a 36 inch skinny would take probably 1/3 of the tobacco out with it.   I rarely get a plugged churchill or DC (except the RyJ Churchill which I get about a 50% plug rate).

Luckily for me, skinnies are becoming extinct. Thank god.

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6 minutes ago, Monterey said:

A perfectdraw thru a 36 inch skinny would take probably 1/3 of the tobacco out with it. 

Generally not how I use the perfecdraw. The most salvageable cigars have the issue at the head. So I only go in half and inch or an inch. Maybe a bit more.

Also I have gone in pretty close to all the way on a PLMC takes a steady hand and multiple passes but not much more ruined than any other cigar. Perfecdraw at its worst if not totally abused removes about 0.5g usually less than half of that. which is under 10% of the tobacco even in a skinny.

And on a long cigar like a PLMC or a Churchill if the issue isn't at the head you can't go in more than a 1/3 of the way anyways. Going in from the foot is just asking for trouble.

10 minutes ago, Monterey said:

Luckily for me, skinnies are becoming extinct. Thank god.

😂

I'm not crazy about Petit Robustos. Somehow I manage not to buy any, even though they are relatively common.

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Never had a plugged PLMC,  smoked through about 5 boxes, and got two on the go.  It's one fo the things I've loved about them, i.e. the rollers giving them a little extra slack on the pack. 

I think it all depends on what volume of smoke you enjoy, and if you want that same volume of smoke regardless of the RG you're smoking.    Personally I find them to be generous in smoke output, but more importantly the flavour of the smoke is many times more concentrated than what you would get from something like a San Juan etc

I enjoy them because they are focused, intense, and satisfying  but that's just me,  I could totally see how another smoker could find them to be frustrating, or not their thing

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3 hours ago, Bijan said:

Generally not how I use the perfecdraw. The most salvageable cigars have the issue at the head. So I only go in half and inch or an inch. Maybe a bit more.

Also I have gone in pretty close to all the way on a PLMC takes a steady hand and multiple passes but not much more ruined than any other cigar. Perfecdraw at its worst if not totally abused removes about 0.5g usually less than half of that. which is under 10% of the tobacco even in a skinny.

And on a long cigar like a PLMC or a Churchill if the issue isn't at the head you can't go in more than a 1/3 of the way anyways. Going in from the foot is just asking for trouble.

😂

I'm not crazy about Petit Robustos. Somehow I manage not to buy any, even though they are relatively common.

I wasn't being literal.  Measuring how much you pulled out is a tad OCD!!!  And yes, you can go way more than 1/3 of the way in.  I have, on occasion, gone thru the foot.  No trouble doing that.  I just think that if you have to do that much, the cigar is just not going to smoke right.

But I'll agree with you on the petit robusto.  Any cigar under 5 inches isn't worth smoking.   Though i guess I get it for my cold friends to the north during the winter.

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1 hour ago, Monterey said:

Measuring how much you pulled out is a tad OCD!!!

For sure! I generally don't weigh before and after. But I have a few times out of curiosity.

Though I do tend to weigh cigars before smoking them, so still OCD...

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They're great and cheap. You should keep at least two boxes at any time. Not just because they're great, but because picking one out of a box is like Russian roulette : 3-4 are bound to be blocked up tight. 

When I'm not sure what to smoke, or I'm after something a little sweet, this is my go to. 

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