A bolder, artistically packaged Montecristo from the Dominican Republic is now in cigar shops. Montecristo Epic, a cigar made with tobacco dating back to 2007, began shipping to tobacconists earlier this month.
The brand extension comes in three sizes, with a third, limited-edition size following later in the year. Described as the fullest-bodied Montecristo in the entire Altadis U.S.A. Inc. portfolio, Montecristo Epic is made with a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos (some of it grown in 2007) a Nicaraguan binder and Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, one of the most popular wrapper varieties being used today.
Cigar Insider smoked a sample of the cigar, which had an earthy quality and a peppery flavor. It definitely tasted fuller bodied and fuller flavored than most Dominican Montecristos, and it held a beautiful, extremely solid ash. Altadis says the cigars—which are made at its Tabacalera de Garcia Ltd. factory in La Romana, Dominican Republic, are rolled by an elite group of cigarmakers it calls “Grupo de Maestros.”
The cigars will come in Robusto, Toro and Churchill vitolas, with suggested retail prices of $12 to $14. A limited-edition No. 2 will be added later in the year.
The cigars are packed in beautiful and extremely colorful boxes. There’s a large, outer cardboard box of canary yellow, red and gold, with an oversized “MO” for Montecristo. The glossy inner box, ultra sleek and heavily varnished, features the same design. Inside are ten cigars cradled in slots custom made for the shape, with secondary gold, yellow and brown bands beneath a punched up version of the original Montecristo band. Each box comes with a signed certificate, showing the lot number, cigar rollers and group of inspectors behind the creation of the cigar.
This is the second bold looking redo of a major Altadis brand, following the spring release of Romeo by Romeo y Julieta, which was packed in very bright red and white boxes. Like the Montecristos, those Romeos were also made with Ecuadoran Habano wrappers.
The regular Altadis Montecristo, sometimes referred to as Montecristo Yellow, is quite mild, with a Connecticut-shade wrapper. There are several other varieties. Montecristo is the linchpin in the Altadis U.S.A. brand portfolio, although it makes more Romeo y Julietas.
Look for a tasting of the new line in an upcoming issue of Cigar Insider.