13 Aug 2012
And so it begins: the flurry of reviews from mainstream publications and the online cigar community on smokes that were released at the recently concluded IPCPR Trade Show.
Here at StogieGuys.com, we’ve already reviewed some of the new 2012 releases that either officially hit the market before the convention, or that we were mailed pre-release samples of. But now the floodgates are wide open. So today I bring you my review of the Toro size (6 x 52) of the Montecristo Epic Vintage 2007 from Altadis USA.
In full disclosure, Altadis sent me a three-pack of Toros, nicely presented in a yellow wooden box with the following written on the lid’s underside: “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. 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.”
The blend—comprised of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic—is being marketed as “a masterpiece of complexity and full-bodied smoking pleasure.” Three standard vitolas are offered in the $13-15 range: Churchill, Robusto, and Toro.
The Toro is an oily, handsome smoke with a classic Montecristo band on top and a second band below that designates it as “Epic” and “Premium Selection ’07” (which means all of the tobacco in the cigar was harvested in 2007). The veins are few and thin, yet pronounced, and the cigar is heavy in the hand with a firm packing of tobaccos. I notice a peculiar pre-light aroma that reminds me of dried apricot.
Once underway, the profile is cool, creamy, and mellow with a dry, cedary aftertaste. There’s some bitterness present. Coffee, nutmeg, and raisin come to mind. At the midway point, not a ton changes, except for the introduction of tart notes. Construction is excellent throughout, including a solid ash, clear draw, and a perfectly straight burn that requires no touch-ups.
With a name like “Epic,” a price tag north of $13, and a number of favorable reviews already, I was expecting a lot from the Montecristo Epic Vintage 2007 Toro. It delivers in terms of balance, complexity, and performance. Seasoned cigar veterans who might stray away from Altadis brands will be impressed by this, just like another impressive Altadis release that came out earlier in the year: the VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2010. For these reasons I award the Epic Vintage 2007 Toro a very solid rating of four stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys