EPC Expands Inch By Inch

EPC Expands Inch By Inch

The Inch, the best-selling cigar brand from EPC Cigar Co., has a new version called Inch Colorado, made with a high-priming wrapper from Ecuador. The new cigar left Florida en route to retailers last week.

The Inch, which hit the cigar market in 2012, comes in several varieties. Inch Maduro has a dark, Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Inch Short Run 2014 has a Dominican wrapper and Inch Natural has an Ecuadoran wrapper.

On paper, the wrappers on this new cigar and the Inch Natural appear the same, grown from Havana seed in the perpetually cloudy fields at the foothills of Ecuador's Andes Mountain chain. They hail from the same plant, but the leaves used in the natural version are from a higher priming. (Tobacco plants are often divided into primings, groups of three leaves, with the highest numbers at the top.) The Colorado leaves hail from the upper regions of the plant.

"I call the Colorado the wrapper that is from the fifth and sixth primings," cigarmaker Ernesto Perez-Carrillo told Cigar Insider. "It has a reddish, dark tone while the Natural to me are the third and fourth primings, which has more of a brownish tone and is a bit thinner textured. I find the Colorado tends to dominate the blends a bit more."

The Inch Colorado comes in five sizes, all named for their ring gauges and all of them considerably thick: No. 64 measures 6 1/8 inches long with a ring gauge of 64, or one inch in diameter. It has a suggested retail price of $10.35. The others are No. 58, 8 by 58 ($10.40); No. 60, 5 7/8 by 60 ($9.10); No. 62, 5 by 62 ($8.00); and No. 70, 7 by 70 ($12.40).

The cigar will be part of the full EPC line.

The Inch Natural by E.P. Carrillo No. 60 scored 90 points in the August issue of Cigar Aficionado, on newsstands now. Look for a rating of these new cigars in an upcoming edition of Cigar Insider.

This article first appeared in the July 19, 2016 issue of Cigar Insider.