Montecristo Epic No. 2 Vintage 2007 by Altadis

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Epic No. 2

I guess when you create a line that brings a whole new definition to the Montecristo name in the United States and around the world there is only one thing left to do; and that is release a cigar that will go head to head with the most well known cigar in the world. The Montecristo No. 2 has always been a cigar in high demand, and has always been a classic. I can’t begin to talk about how great some No. 2s I have had, and I am sure there will be more in the future. The size is mystical, and the flavors are astounding. When Altadis released the Montecristo Epic they created a cigar that re-energized the Montecristo name in the United States, and in my opinion created a cigar that went head to head with the Cuban Montecristo. Following up on that, when Altadis announced a Montecristo Epic No. 2. and that it would be a pirámide like the Cuban No. 2 I was looking forward to seeing how this release would be.

I will say that I do not have an image of what the Epic No. 2 looks like, but is going to be like the Epic band in red. Boxes will be different as well. 

    
Like the Epic, the cigar is a vintage cigar, and is composed of tobacco that is entirely from 2007. The wrapper on the cigar is a select Ecuadorian Habano leaf, just gorgeous in appearance, and has a select binder leaf as well from Jalapa, Nicaragua. The wrapper is actually known as Santi Espiritu and is originally from Cuba but now grown in Guayaguil, Ecuador. Underneath that is the filler blend, which is composed of a special selection of tobacco from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The Dominican tobacco is Piloto Ligero from La Canela and the Nicaraguan filler is from Esteli. All tobacco has been resting for five years prior to rolling, hence the name Vintage 2007. For this review I will be smoking the only vitola offered, and that is the No. 2.  The cigar measures 6″ with a 50 ring gauge and is a true pirámide. This is no usual torpedo, this thing tapers from beginning to end. The wrapper is beautiful in appearance and has a solid red clay coloring to it, Colorado, and is practically vein free. It is silky and firm to touch and has this aroma at the foot of spice, cocoa, coffee and and hazelnuts.

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Santi Espiritu

Upon lighting the cigar I begin to pick up all those flavors that I got with the Montecristo Epic, but it seems richer and bolder. I am really picking up on the wrapper with this smaller ring gauge, and it shows that there is a difference in flavors from a 50 ring gauge to a 54. There are a lot of powerful nutty notes, and with that some light Asian spices and cocoa powder. I am picking up some coffee bean notes with that and touches of earth and wood as well. It has a very long finish as a cigar, and the flavors really remain on your palate. The cigar is performing wonderfully in terms of construction and the burn line is simply razor sharp. It has an ash that is showing a solid charcoal coloring, and perfection is in the air. The strength of the cigar is right between medium and medium/full, and it is a cigar that I could start my day off to, but would rather end my day with.

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Awesome Burn

In the second third of the cigar the flavors continue to be pronounced and very enjoyable. Those nutty notes have begun to show qualities of hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts, and they are sweetened off with touches of cocoa. The coffee bean flavor profile has become more of a café latte flavor, and it is very Cubanesque. There are still some great Asian spice and wood notes to the cigar, and it has that rich traditional Montecristo flavor profile. The burn line on the cigar is still razor sharp, and that ash is still that wonderful charcoal color. I will say that the ash is very firm on this cigar, and it would take a lot for it to fall off. In terms of strength it is remaining at that medium medium/full level, and it is quite simply a great cigar. It is showing some wonderful blending skills and tobacco usage.

When I get into the final third of the cigar it is tapering off wonderfully, and the flavors are really popping. I am digging the flavor profile from the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, and it is smoking so cool. Those hazelnut, almond and walnut flavors are still very present with the cigar, and the coffee bean and creamy notes have increased also. There are bits of wood showing up as well the flavor profile and it has nice earthy finish. It really reminds me of a Cuban Montecristo in the final third, and is close to a Montecristo 2008 Sublime in some ways. The burn is still incredible, and while it is razor sharp the tapered ash is getting larger and larger. The strength is finishing around the medium full level, and at the end the last draw is cool and flavorful.

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Smoking Great

This was a terrific size, and very close to the classic Montecristo No. 2. While I would say the traditional Monte No. 2 is a cappuccino kind of cigar, this is like that with a couple shots of hazelnut syrup and a tad bit of cocoa powder. It is a very rich and satisfying cigar, and at the same time is a cigar that many people could enjoy. While a more experienced cigar smoker will pick up on its subtle nuances, a novice smoker could quite simply say it tastes great. I forget what the price range for these puppies is going to be, but I think it is superior to the original Epic partially because of the vitola offering. It is not everyday that you see a non-Cuban pirámide, but with this cigar they busted out the big guns. It is hard to find things wrong this cigar, and at the end of the day I was throoughly impressed. Altadis has been rocking and rolling this year, and it is making me feel terrible for any thoughts or comments I have made in the past. You have proved me wrong! I give this smoke a 95; it is an absolute classic and a trumps the original Montecristo No. 2.     

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Epic No. 2

  Cigar for this assessment provided to me by Altadis.  

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Epic No. 2