Montecristo Epic – Cigar Review

This week’s group review is of the Montecristo Epic cigar.  It is a new spin on the Montecristo line and upon its release, was touted by Altadis as the best Montecristo cigar ever made.  That’s a bold statement, let’s see if it holds true.  The cigar has an attractive wrapper and is well constructed with a near perfect draw after cutting.  Once lit, we were met with creamy, peppery, nutty, and earthy flavor with some spice on the finish.  This cigar tended to become bitter very quickly, so smoke it slowly and let it rest between puffs.  Burn and construction issues were rampant, inexcusable for such an expensive cigar.  Overall, the first half of this cigar was excellent, but the second was bitter at times and flavorless at others.  At this price point, we cannot recommend the Epic.
StraightUpCigars: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 16/20
Construction: 7/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 6/10
Would I buy a Box: 2/5
Total: 36/50
Terry1: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 15/20
Construction: 8/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 6/10
Would I buy a Box: 2/5
Total: 36/50
IamDarren: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 14/20
Construction: 6/10
Wrapper: 4/5
Price Point: 5/10
Would I buy a Box: 2/5
Total: 31/50

Apr 2 2013, 7:40 PM
IamDarren: im outside and ready to go. Mine clipped nicely, no stems in this puppy. Nice tight pack with a bit of resistance on the draw.
Apr 2 2013, 7:41 PM
IamDarren: getting a mild nutty flavor on the cold draw, maybe almonds…
Apr 2 2013, 7:41 PM
StraightUpCigars: All right, I’m set up. The Epic has a simple barnyard smell with a peppery cold draw and draws well after cutting. I’m ready to go!
Apr 2 2013, 7:41 PM
IamDarren: lighting up now
Apr 2 2013, 7:43 PM
Terry1: I’ve got a good draw on mine with the mild nuttiness. It does look like a well constructed cigar. Lighting up.
Apr 2 2013, 7:45 PM
IamDarren: lit up easily, nice mellow creamy smoke. Getting the nutty flavor with some caramel. A lot like peanut brittle. A bit of earthiness on the finish.
Apr 2 2013, 7:45 PM
IamDarren: also some spice on the retrohale
Apr 2 2013, 7:46 PM
StraightUpCigars: I am fairly surprised at the robust flavor profile this one has.
Apr 2 2013, 7:47 PM
StraightUpCigars: Medium/full body creamy, nutty, and earthy with a spicy finish.
Apr 2 2013, 7:48 PM
IamDarren: yeah quite a bit of body for a Montecristo. I was surprised when other reviews said it was full bodied.
Apr 2 2013, 7:49 PM
IamDarren: smoke output seems a little on the low side, but flavor is holding steady.
Apr 2 2013, 7:49 PM
Terry1: So if you see sparks when you are toasting the foot does that mean there are beetles inside? Other than that, I’m getting some bold flavors as well. Earth, some sweet caramel, creamy. Very nice start.
Apr 2 2013, 7:50 PM
IamDarren: lol, well i don’t think they would roll one up in it but if you see small holes in the foot or wrapper i would be concerned. I would think the taste would be pretty bad though ;(
Apr 2 2013, 7:51 PM
StraightUpCigars: I think that just means the roller had gunpowder on their hands
Apr 2 2013, 7:52 PM
Terry1: Wrapper looks fine and there’s no dust comming out as if it were being eaten. Not sure what it was but I saw three sparks. Popped like a sparkler.
Apr 2 2013, 7:52 PM
IamDarren: with this economy the rollers probably have to go work at the ammo plant at night to earn extra money
Apr 2 2013, 7:52 PM
StraightUpCigars: I have had little sparks come from a cigar before… not sure what causes that. I’ll see if my google chi is good tonight!
Apr 2 2013, 7:53 PM
Terry1: Good tasting cigar. Retrohale is a little strong. Burn is near perfect.
Apr 2 2013, 7:53 PM
IamDarren: mine seems to be getting stronger. Spice is really picking up.
Apr 2 2013, 7:55 PM
IamDarren: we had our first hail storm roll through yesterday. It must have been a cold front because it went from near 70 to 45 today. Im back to wearing coveralls and a coat outside tonight.
Apr 2 2013, 7:56 PM
StraightUpCigars: We were camping in western OK this weekend and got some hail, probably the same storm.
Apr 2 2013, 7:57 PM
Terry1: We must of had the same storm here. Hail and a drop in temps.
Apr 2 2013, 7:57 PM
IamDarren: i hope its not a sign of things to come. The storm was only about 2 miles wide and popped up out of nowhere.
Apr 2 2013, 7:57 PM
StraightUpCigars: Yeah, I’d appreciate a year off from hail and tornadoes this year.
Apr 2 2013, 7:58 PM
IamDarren: my cigar is definitely getting stronger. Its loosing most of the nice caramel flavor and is getting a lot more spice and a bit of pepper.
Apr 2 2013, 7:59 PM
IamDarren: just dropped the ash in the tray at about the 1 inch mark
Apr 2 2013, 7:59 PM
Terry1: My ash fell off on its own in the ashtray. It was only 1/2 inch.
Apr 2 2013, 7:59 PM
StraightUpCigars: Same here.
Apr 2 2013, 8:00 PM
StraightUpCigars: Call me crazy, but I think mine has mellowed a bit and I can taste the caramel for the first time
Apr 2 2013, 8:01 PM
IamDarren: might be a little inconsistent in the rolling process, does anyone know what fillers they used in this stick?
Apr 2 2013, 8:02 PM
Terry1: The sweetness on mine comes and goes. Spice is building but not overly strong.
Apr 2 2013, 8:03 PM
StraightUpCigars: Wrapper: Select Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Special Selection of Vintage Nicaraguan & Dominican Tobaccos
Apr 2 2013, 8:04 PM
IamDarren: I noticed the second band says 07 so they must have aged this one awhile. My sweetness just came back again. I am assuming most of the spice is from the wrapper. Maybe mine was burning a little fast or something.
Apr 2 2013, 8:06 PM
StraightUpCigars: Here’s the press release:
[Press Release: New Montecristo Epic Premium Selection’07 Cigar]
Press Release: New Montecristo Epic Premium Selection’07 Cigar
Apr 2 2013, 8:06 PM
IamDarren: wow, thats quite the box
Apr 2 2013, 8:07 PM
StraightUpCigars: It’s bold, I’ve seen them in the cigar shop and they really stand out,
Apr 2 2013, 8:08 PM
StraightUpCigars: These do run about $10 ea, something to keep in mind when scoring.
Apr 2 2013, 8:09 PM
Terry1: Ash falls off really easy. It looks like there’s not the typical cone when the ash off. Burns really even. Might be the aged tobaccos.
Apr 2 2013, 8:12 PM
StraightUpCigars: Mine is still mellow and slightly sweet, I like the way it is smoking right now even though the loose ash is annoying.
Apr 2 2013, 8:15 PM
Terry1: I agree, there’s a nice balance between the sweet and spice. Simple in flavor but enjoyable. That sweetness sometimes hits me like a toasted marshmallow.
Apr 2 2013, 8:17 PM
IamDarren: i slowed down and mine has mellowed a little. I agree, the slight spice and caramel compliment each other well. There are some other nuances that i can pick out but overall its pretty tasty.
Apr 2 2013, 8:18 PM
IamDarren: now whether its 13 to 15 bucks worth is yet to be seen…
Apr 2 2013, 8:18 PM
Terry1: Yeah there’s more to this than sweet and spice but I’m having a hard time identifing the flavors.
Apr 2 2013, 8:19 PM
Terry1: These must be available only in B&Ms. I haven’t found any online yet.
Apr 2 2013, 8:20 PM
IamDarren: yeah i read somewhere that they are B&M exclusive
Apr 2 2013, 8:20 PM
StraightUpCigars: I think that’s right.
Apr 2 2013, 8:22 PM
IamDarren: just dropped the ash at about the halfway point and i can see that the filler has started to burn faster than the wrapper. Hopefully it will catch up.
Apr 2 2013, 8:23 PM
IamDarren: nope, it just went out on me. Going to relight
Apr 2 2013, 8:24 PM
StraightUpCigars: I just got a strong burst of pepper with that draw, what a kick in the sinuses! Was not expecting that.
Apr 2 2013, 8:25 PM
IamDarren: got some more pepper after the relight and i am starting to feel a little nic kick in my gut. Im thinking the strength is going to creep up on this one.
Apr 2 2013, 8:26 PM
Terry1: The pepper is building on mine too. The sweetness is all but gone at the moment. Just took off the Epic band. Came off easily.
Apr 2 2013, 8:28 PM
Terry1: Now I’m starting to feel the strength.
Apr 2 2013, 8:30 PM
StraightUpCigars: Me too, this one is surprisingly strong for a Monte
Apr 2 2013, 8:31 PM
Terry1: The wrapper at the burn line is starting to crack and flower a little. Hasn’t run up the cigar but it does look ugly and will probably need a correction soon.
Apr 2 2013, 8:32 PM
IamDarren: yeah, my wrapper just popped and now i have a one inch crack. Hopefully its just the wrapper and will keep burning ok.
Apr 2 2013, 8:32 PM
StraightUpCigars: I was about to brag that mine still has perfect construction… but I have a flowering crack as well ;(
Apr 2 2013, 8:33 PM
Terry1: I just corrected mine in the hope it doesn’t spread.
Apr 2 2013, 8:33 PM
StraightUpCigars: Mine is still burning straight though, hopefully it’s just cosmetic.
Apr 2 2013, 8:34 PM
IamDarren: that can’t be a coincidence that all three of us are having the same problem at the same time. Hopefully its weather related.
Apr 2 2013, 8:35 PM
IamDarren: my crack has gotten worse and the binder is starting to bulge out near the burn line.
Apr 2 2013, 8:36 PM
IamDarren: flavors are starting to change too. Starting to get some cedar with quite a bit of acidity on the finish.
Apr 2 2013, 8:40 PM
StraightUpCigars: Mine has turned a bit bitter as well. Can we go back to the first half of this cigar?
Apr 2 2013, 8:40 PM
Terry1: Whew. Time for some sugar. Surpising how the strength ramps up. I’m getting a slight bitterness on mine. I agree with the cedar coming through now. No sweetness at all.
Apr 2 2013, 8:42 PM
IamDarren: seems to have burned through the bad spot. Burn line has corrected and now its mellowing again
Apr 2 2013, 8:43 PM
Terry1: Mine is burning uneven now. One side is about a half inch ahead of the other. I’m going to see if it corrects itself.
Apr 2 2013, 8:44 PM
Terry1: The Montecristo band came off easily.
Apr 2 2013, 8:44 PM
IamDarren: crossing into the last third now, im hoping this third is phenominal because the rating isn’t looking too promising at this point.
Apr 2 2013, 8:45 PM
Terry1: Yeah, the first third was the best. It’s not finishing too well.
Apr 2 2013, 8:46 PM
IamDarren: flavors are getting darker. The cedar has transformed into a slightly charred oak.
Apr 2 2013, 8:46 PM
StraightUpCigars: Agreed. I am struggling at this point. I really liked the first half though.
Apr 2 2013, 8:49 PM
StraightUpCigars: I have the urge to pull a Gary and pitch the rest
Apr 2 2013, 8:50 PM
IamDarren: just my opinion, but some cigars are at the peak flavor with only 6 months to a year of aging. This has all the characteristics of a cigar that has been aged too long. It still has the underlying strength but without the flavor to back it up.
Apr 2 2013, 8:52 PM
Terry1: I’d say if the whole cigar was like the first third it would be worth the price. With how it’s finishing I wouldn’t buy another.
Apr 2 2013, 8:53 PM
Terry1: The uneven burn on mine did correct itself.
Apr 2 2013, 8:54 PM
IamDarren: wtf, now mine is mellowing again and i can pick out some sweetness.
Apr 2 2013, 8:55 PM
StraightUpCigars: I rested mine for a bit, and it is still bitter. I want mine to be like Darren’s!
Apr 2 2013, 8:56 PM
Terry1: What happened to the spice? Mine is primarily cedar and earth at this point. The bitterness I got earlier is gone thou so that’s better.
Apr 2 2013, 9:02 PM
IamDarren: mine is acutally burning ok and tasting ok at this point… not great but ok.
Apr 2 2013, 9:04 PM
Terry1: I’m nearing the end on mine. I’m getting a bit of a charred flavor with the last couple of puffs. Strength is full now.
Apr 2 2013, 9:07 PM
IamDarren: dang, wrapper just split again. With less than an inch left im thinking about putting it to rest. Sweetness has faded again and charred oak is back.
Apr 2 2013, 9:07 PM
Terry1: I’m done. I can’t take anymore. My head is swimming!
Apr 2 2013, 9:07 PM
StraightUpCigars: Fine by me… mine is charred
Apr 2 2013, 9:12 PM
StraightUpCigars: Let me explain my rating. I would have rated this a 44 based on the first half, but the construction issues and bitterness wreaked havoc on the second half.
Apr 2 2013, 9:12 PM
Terry1: I agree. First half kept me interested. The second half not so much.
Apr 2 2013, 9:14 PM
IamDarren: agreed, maybe it just does not like being smoked in the cold. I would try it again just because i know they put a lot of work into the blend and others have given it better reviews.
Apr 2 2013, 9:14 PM
StraightUpCigars: It really started off like the other reviewers described, but I think they all only smoked the first half of the cigar

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