Montecristo EPIC Cigar Review
There is no doubt about the mass amount of new releases hitting the shelves as of late. One of those releases that I haven’t seen too much about is Montecristo’s
The Good Stuff: The Montecristo Epic is labeled as the boldest Montecristo blend in the Altidas U.S.A. portfolio. The main story in the Epic is the inclusion of Dominican tobaccos that date back as far as 2007. Along with the Dominican filler the Epic also includes Nicaraguan fillers, Nicaraguan Binder, and a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.
The Epic is available in 3 different sizes (Toro, Robusto, and Chruchill) with a limited edition No. 2 format available later this year. I’m not sure how much the limited edition vitola will run for, but the standard Epic sizes range from $12 to $14 a stick and will come in boxes of 10. These samples were sent to me by Altidas U.S.A.
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Dominican (some aged since 2007)/Nicaraguan
Pairing: Weihenstaphaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel (5.3% ABV)
Prelight: Lately I have had the pleasure of smoking some remarkably well constructed cigars, and Montecristo’s Epic, falls right in line. This cigar is a beauty. Starting with its crazy thick, oily, toothy, consistently medium brown wrapper with some slight, webby shades of dark brown. There is a lot of smaller, webby veins, but not really any larger ones that might mess with the burn during the experience. The large, beefy body leads up to a beautiful, round double cap. The Epic is finished off with your standard, brown and gold, Montecritso band and the addition of a secondary gold, yellow, and brown label carry the words “EPIC” and “Premium Selection ‘07” printed on it. This cigar is incredibly firm, it’s almost rock hard. There isn’t a single dense, or soft spot throughout the body of the cigar. I just hope it isn’t too tight when it comes down to smoking it.
The wrapper on the Montecristo Epic gives off a very tart, citrusy cedar aroma while the foot of the cigar pumps out a very creamy, spicy, cedar and coffee aroma. The cap on the Epic took a little extra attention to clip using my Palio double bladed cutter, but I was left with a very nice, clean cut when it finally when through. The cold draw produces some really sharp, tart cedar with some coffee and natural tobacco flavors.
First Smoke: Surprisingly, I was greeting with quite a bit of black pepper on the first couple of draw of the Montecristo Epic. Once the pepper began to fade away this crazy tart, and I mean TART flavor took over. It reminded me a lot of orange peel only with more tart, less sweetness. Underneath the tart flavor is a nice, bold coffee, natural tobacco, cedar, and nutty profile. Despite my earlier reservations, the draw on the Epic was magnificent. Every little puff kicked out a ton of thick smoke. The burnline was razor sharp with only some slight waves leaving behind a flaky medium and dark grey ash. The ash only held on for about a third of an inch before giving way.
Halfway There: The tartness started to let off a bit in the second third of this Montecristo Epic. As the tartness faded the cigar became much more creamy with some sharp cedar notes laid over lots of coffee, chocolate, and nutty flavors. The retrohale is way too sharp and tart for me, so I only did it once or twice before calling it quits. The burnline is now burning dead even and still razor sharp and I am feeling no nicotine at all at this point.
Finish: I was really hoping that by the final third of the Montecristo Epic the tart flavor would have fizzled out. No luck. In fact, along with all the other flavors, it’s actually beginning to ramp up. Other than the tartness there is still some very sharp cedar, very bold coffee, and creamy tobacco with hints of spice. The Epic didn’t require a single touch-up or relight as it took me almost 2 hours to take this cigar down. I felt a slight nicotine kick after finishing the cigar, but nothing too powerful.
Overview: While the Montecristo Epic is one of the better Non-cuban Montecristos blend I have had, it just didn’t do it for me. That tartness was a bit too overpowering, had it not been there, or even a bit milder then I think I would have really enjoyed this cigar. When you factor in a $13 price point, I just don’t see myself pulling the trigger on these. Check them out for yourself, let me know what you think. I know that there are far more reviewers out there that really enjoyed this cigar then there are who didn’t.
Pairing: Ahh yes, another wonderful German beer. Weihenstephan is labeled as the oldest brewery in the world. It takes some great beer to be around for that long and this brewery can do no wrong. Today’s selection is one from their very few darker offerings. The Hefeweissbier Dunkel, or Dunkelweizen is one of my favorite brews they make. Brewed at the legendary Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan in Germany, this modest 5.3% ABV is packed with flavor. The dark ale starts out with a bitter wheat followed by orange, coriander, cinnamon, and prune flavors. This is a great after dinner summer beer. It’s heavy, sweet, and paired quite nicely with the tart/sweet flavors in the Montecristo Epic.