To understand the Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez, you must first go back to the Cuban Revolution of the 1960s (as is the case with most-any of today’s greatest cigars). The seizing of family-owned farms and factories caused notable men such as Alonso Menéndez, José Manuel Pepe García, and José "Don Pepe" Mendez to flee their homeland - eventually settling in the Dominican Republic. Alonso and José, the original creators/owners of the Montecristo brand, joined forces with Pepe Mendez, whom had also fled Cuba, using smuggled Cuban seeds to grow on Dominican soil. This is the bases for the Montecristo brand we know today, which is now owned by Altadis, though continues to buy large portions of tobacco from Pepe Mendez’s family’s company, José Mendez & Co.
Flash forward to 2015, where Montecristo celebrated the brand’s 80th anniversary with a limited edition cigar showcasing a special tobacco known as Pilotico. This rare varietal was grown from original Cuban seed, which Pepe Mendez had set aside after fleeing Cuba - it was planted in the Navarrete region of the Dominican Republic and used for this special project. Because the seeds come from an era before many of today’s modern hybrid styles, they are much more difficult to work with; being more susceptible to mold and disease. It took the unique skill sets from a collaboration of José Mendez & Co. and Altadis’ elite Grupo de Maestros team to bring the leaf into fruition.
Now, Montecristo returns to the ultra-rare and flavorful properties of the Pilotico tobacco; again teaming with the esteemed Mendez family to introduce the Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez. An Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper has been rolled over a Dominican binder, and long-fillers of Nicaragua and the special Dominican Pilotico. Altadis has managed to make this new blend a regular production offering, bringing a unique, flavorful, and ultimately nostalgic experience for the experienced connoisseur.
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