Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#NowSmoking: Montecristo Epic Vintage 12

#NowSmoking: Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue No. 2 Cigar Review

#NowSmoking: Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue No. 2

Factory: Tabacalera de Garcia – La Romana, Dominican Republic
Size: (6” x 50) Pyramid
Strength: Medium-plus
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Nicaraguan, 2012-vintage Dominican Republic

Presented in boxes of 10

The Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Back Story

Blended by the famed Grupo de Maestros, the luxurious Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 selection is the newest member of the Montecristo Epic line. Blue is the theme here. The box is blue, the bands are blue, and the vintage Dominican filler leaf rolled in this cigar comes from an exceptional 2012 crop that was harvested under a blue moon.

Pedro Ventura , Tabacalera de Garcia Product Development Manager and one of the Grupo de Maestros, says, “To create our Epic line, we select only the very best seeds and let them grow in our most exclusive soils until we have a crop worthy of the Epic name.”

For now, there is only one other vitola in the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 line, the 6”x52 Blue Toro. And each 10-count box includes a certificate signed by the elite group of rollers from the renowned Tabacalera de Garcia factory in La Romana. It also includes more detail on the story behind the vintage tobaccos used in the blend.

Rafael Nodal, head of product capability for Altadis USA adds that Epic Vintage 12 is “not a limited edition but a small production due to the availability of the tobaccos.”

The Basics At-a-Glance

Construction: This classic pyramid is beautifully rolled. I found no soft spots at all. The wrapper has an attractive dark milk chocolate color which is even throughout. The cap is well done, too.
Cold Draw: A bit tart and nutty.
Base flavors: Oak, leather, bittersweet chocolate, baking spices, earthiness.
Aroma: Sweet grass (from the wrapper); leather (from the smoke).
Burn & Ash: As good as it gets. Long, firm, grey ashes with a solid core. (see the pix!)

montecristo epic vintage 12 cigar review ash closeup
#nowsmoking @famoussmokeshop: This opulent figurado is wrapped in a flawless Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. A Nicaraguan-Dominican core laced with vintage 2012 Dominican filler makes for a well-balanced combination of oak, leather, bittersweet chocolate, baking spices, and earthiness. Complex and medium to full in body.

I was surprised that it took a bit longer to light this cigar. It wasn’t until it burned down a bit that I could see how solid the core was (see photo). Must be a lot of dark, oily tobacco in this blend. The first few puffs were a mix of pepper, nuts, and dark chocolate. That was followed by a bit of earthiness mixed in with that dark chocolate note and a tangy spice flavor. So far, very smooth and creamy on the palate.

At this point the burn was amazing. The dominant flavors were an oaky note and some underlying earthiness. A layer of baking spice followed along with an appealing leathery note also present in the aroma. The smoke revealed occasional glances of boldness, but it was never strong. By the end of this act, I was getting a well-balanced shot of earth, oak, leather, spice, and just a hint of bittersweet chocolate with a fairly long and delicately spicy finish.

This is where the cigar turned the corner. The bittersweet chocolate faded, but the baking spices opened up a little further at this point. It was pretty clear by now that this No. 2 was creamy, full-flavored, and medium plus in body throughout. Even at this late stage, though more earthy and spicy, it was still smooth with that dominant oak, leather, and spice.

What whiskey pairs well with the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue No. 2?

More blue! Montecristo recommends pairing the Epic Vintage 12 blend with Johnnie Walker Blue. The Johnnie Walker website describes the palate as: “a velvety combination of vanilla, honey and rose petals – before broadening out to include a zesty orange flavor with notes of hazelnut, sherry and dark chocolate.” Sounds like a good match to me. For more combinations, see our Cigar & Spirit pairing guide.

Is the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue No .2 worth smoking?

Let’s start with this: the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue No. 2 is one of those very refined, opulent, luxury style cigars you sometimes stash away for special occasions. It’s also a pretty complex smoke. I view it as one of those kick back and relax in a comfy recliner cigars with your favorite drink; maybe some tunes, a good book, what have you. I say this because you’ll get a much better idea of all of the effort that went into making this cigar in a more tranquil setting. And if you like to listen to jazz while you smoke, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis is the obvious choice and a great album.

Finally, the Epic Vintage 12 No. 2 comes at a luxury price. However, if you’re a cigar smoker who partakes only occasionally, this figurado should do right by you as a weekend treat. It’s also nice to see they’re available at Famous in five packs. But for the hard-core Montecristo fans and enthusianados who crave full, complex cigars, the Epic Vintage 12 will be a very rewarding part of their collection.