Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Vintage Nicaraguan and Dominican
Size: Toro 6×52
About This Cigar: From the Press Release:
The task of creating Montecristo Epic was assigned to a special team of our most skilled and accomplished cigar makers – Grupo de Maestros – artisans with centuries of combined experience. It is a true handmade luxury, a masterpiece of complexity and full-bodied smoking pleasure made of the finest aged tobaccos – Vintage 2007.
Every step of the process, from hand selecting the ultra-premium tobaccos to each cigar’s flawless construction is performed with meticulous attention to detail and obsessive devotion. Each cigar is hand inspected and every box includes a certificate of authenticity signed by the artisans at every step. That’s what makes the cigar Montecristo. That’s what it makes it Epic.
Initial Observations: The wrapper is a medium reddish brown that is a bit toothy but appears well constructed. There is hay, cedar and a honey like sweet aroma that emanate from the wrapper. After cutting, the cold draw brings the same notes of hay, cedar and honey to the palate as well as a rich earthiness.
First Blush Puffs: Cedar is the first note to hit my palate followed by cocoa, earthiness and what reminds me of a spiced honey cream for a smooth and pleasant finish.
First Third: After my initial lighting, I pick up a singular note of wood for several draws and just as I start thinking it may become one dimensional, I begin to notice a balanced yet flavorful blend of spices and sweetness on the back of my palate. The retrohale has a very pleasant moderate amount of spice. After roughly a half of an inch, spice linger over the entire palate, mingling with wood and cocoa. The finish brings back the initial spiced honey cream, which I thoroughly enjoyed. As the first reaches its end, hints of almond are present in the tasting notes and the retrohale also has a honey like sweetness mixed in with the spice.
Second Third: The middle third brings notes of coffee and cocoa on the front of the palate, note of cedar, cinnamon and earth mid palate and the same honey cream finish. The aftertaste is of a rich coffee. Also the retrohale had intensified in spice. At the halfway point, coffee is the most pronounced flavor through the entire draw, with spice on the finish. The sweet honey is no longer present but the cedar, almonds and earthiness remain to finish the second third.
Final Third: This portion of the cigar can best be described as balanced with notes off coffee, cedar, almonds and cocoa in perfect harmony all the way to the finish. There is a hint of spice in the aftertaste as well as the retrohale. This made for a wonderful finish to the cigar.
Conclusions: I am so glad I had the opportunity to sample this stick. It was fantastically complex with some wonderful notes that were changing quite often. The smooth finish of the first third was a wonderful way to begin my smoking experience. The subtle complexities of the second third grabbed the attention of my palate nice again and the balanced finale rounded out the cigar to perfection. In my opinion, this cigar is another winner from Altadis. I have been so pleasantly surprised by the cigars they have added to their inventory and the direction they are taking in their branding. It has made a loyal customer out of me, for sure.