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Montecristo Epic Toro

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Reviewed by: Matt Sackmann & Larry Watkins

Cigar: Montecristo Epic Toro

Wrapper: Select Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler:  Special selection of vintage Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos

Size: 6″ X 52

Construction/Appearance (10 points):

Matt » Out of the cellophane, the Montecristo Epic is a gorgeous cigar.  The wrapper is a rich, even chocolate brown with minimal veins, and an oily sheen.  The cap is solidly and smoothly constructed.  I could hardly see a seem the entire length of the Epic.  Simply from an aesthetics point of view, this new line looks bolder than the rest of the family, but still has that Montecristo look.  The pre-light aroma reminds me of the chocolate chips in cookies; sweet with a touch of brightness.  Time to smoke and see if this Montecristo lives up to its name. – Points: 10 of 10

Larry » The wrapper is dark and oily with fairly heavy veins giving it a lot of tooth.  There was a small torn spot near the foot which caused a little concern.  The pre-light smell was that of cedar, but that may have been from my humidor. – Points: 8 of 10

Draw, Ash Quality, Burn Quality (20 points):

Matt » Draw: Perfect. / Ash Quality:  The ash hung on for 2″ before falling off after I helped it to burn correctly. The ash itself was a bit flaky and light gray, but held on well. / Burn Quality:  Unfortunately it was off for the first 2″ before I helped it. – Points:  16 of 20

Larry » Draw: Great draw giving large volumes of smoke.  / Ash Quality: Light grey ash that held on fairly well.  / Burn Quality:  The burn was not razor sharp, but was not problematic. – Points: 17 of 20

Smoking Characteristics (30 points):

Matt » Start: Initial puffs offered a boat load of smoke from an almost effortless draw.  Flavors of toasty wood and spice evenly filled my mouth and a touch a milk chocolate that came through the nose. Uncharacteristic for a Montecristo, the burn was a bit off, and unfortunately continued to get worse.  When the burn was off by about 1/2″ I decided to help it get back on track with a couple of matches.  / Middle: Shortly after helping it get back on track, the ash fell off.  That was about the 2″ mark.  After that, the flavors changed a bit, becoming a little harsh and bitter.  / Finish:  While the last third of the cigar burned well, a bulge developed which turned into a crack.  The flavors unfortunately never recovered and remained harsh and bitter through the finish.  – Points:  24 of 30

Larry »  The draw was good, but slightly firm. It offered a bit of leather and cocoa flavor that even I could taste.  It was medium to full bodied that built through the first half of the stack.  The flavor built and finish full bodied. – Points: 26 of 30

Overall Impression (40 points):

Matt » Overall I have to say that the Epic did not live up its name or the Montecristo brand.  While it started off with great flavor, it still was not at the level of Montecristo. Maybe I am being harsh and perhaps holding Montecristo to a higher standard, but it just wasn’t as complex as I have become accustomed to with Montecristo.  Perhaps the downfall was when I helped it correct its burn.  After that, the great flavors from the beginning faded away.  Maybe that was my fault, I don’t know.  Would I try another one?  Sure, I would give another a try because the initial flavors were there to make a good cigar.  I will say that it was definitely a bolder Montecristo, which is what they were shooting for, but I am not sure it was of the quality to dawn the Montecristo name. – Points:  35 of 40

Larry »  The torn spot near the foot didn’t cause any problems.  The burn a little uneven, but straightened up on its own.  It offered good flavor, was full bodied, but not overly complex.  It stayed consistent other than the build in body that I mentioned earlier.  Overall, it was a good, solid cigar.  I will enjoy more of these. – Points: 38 of 40

Matt’s Total Points:  85 out of 100

Larry’s Total Points: 89 out of 100

Average Score: 87 out of 100


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