Following the release of the Montecristo 1935 Anniversary, Altadis U.S.A. continues to focus on its most iconic premium brand with the upcoming Montecristo Epic Vintage 12, a cigar that the company says contains tobacco from a 2012 harvest. It’s the newest addition to the vintage-specific Montecristo Epic series, which began nine years ago and has seen little expansion since.
Rafael Nodal, head of product capability for Altadis’ parent company Tabacalera USA, tells Cigar Aficionado that the Epic Vintage 12 consists of an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Dominican binder and a filler blend of Nicaraguan leaf as well as some Dominican tobacco grown in 2012—the cigar’s defining element.
“It is not a limited edition but it is a small production due to the availability of the tobaccos,” Nodal says.
The cigars come in glossy, dark blue boxes of 10, and will be available in two sizes: Blue Toro, which measures 6 inches by 52 ring gauge, and Blue No. 2, a 6 by 50 torpedo. They are set to retail for $17.75 and $18.50, respectively, and are made in the Dominican Republic at Tabacalera de Garcia.
“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,” says Tabacalera de Garcia product development manager, Pedro Ventura. Some of those “exclusive soils” he’s referring to include those of leaf growers José Mendez & Co. in the Dominican Republic and Plasencia Tobacco S.A. in Nicaragua.
Montecristo Epic first hit the market in 2012 with a bold, yellow box and an age statement of vintage tobaccos from 2007. The last release under the Epic brand was the Montecristo Epic Craft Cured, which was marketed as having a wrapper grown in 2006.
The Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 is expected to reach stores by late April. See a future issue of Cigar Insider for a brand tasting.