Friday evening I went down to the Wooden Indian Tobacco Shop in Havertown, PA to smoke some Epic cigars with brand owner Deans Parsons and his national sales manager, Mick, and of course, Dave and Dan at the shop. I first was introduced to Dean at a cigar shop in Colorado the night before the 2014 Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival, by Eric from Cigar Dojo. Dean is one of those cigar manufacturers that I make a point to visit and support whenever he makes an appearance close by, he and Mick are just really likable guys, and the Epic cigar line is very, very good. As is my custom, I bought a handful of Epic cigars to add to my inventory at home, and lit up an Epic Maduro in the 6″ x 60 Gordo size. As always, this is a great smoke with sweet coffee/cocoa notes that’s well made. this line, to my memory, used be called the Maduro Reserve but that’s been simplified over the years to just Maduro. The Combination of Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, a Cameroon binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers are rolled in the Charles Fairmorn factory in the Dominican Republic as is all of the cigars bearing the Epic name. The largest output of this factory is the Kristoff line. I love all of the cigars in the Epic line, but I always default to the Maduro for some reason (OK, I know the reason, 90% of the time I default to maduro!) I continued my Epic cigar run through Saturday.
One of the special projects Dean recently worked on was a cigar for the Smoking Shields Cigar Club, a fraternal organization of cigar smoking law enforcement officers out of New York. I had the opportunity to purchase one of these special cigars at the event, so I jumped on it. After lightning up the Epic Smoking Shields Exclusive yesterday, I want more! Holy crap is this a great cigar for my palate! It’s a 6″ x 54 Toro, with the Brazilian maduro wrapper again, this time with a Dominican Olor binder and Dominican fillers (translated from a German e-tail site that carries the marque, Atlantic Cigars has them too). It’s a beautiful cigar, bearing the Smoking Shields band primarily, with the Epic band in the secondary position. It starts out straight espresso, that great, rich, a little bitter, but delicious flavor that makes a shot of espresso special! Right about the time the Epic band needs to be removed, it shifts from medium to full in strength, something that Dan at the Wooden Indian mentioned and turns out to be true (I’ve found that Dan has an excellent palate). Some of my favorite cigars recently are the Mi Querida, the Tabernacle, Nica Rustica (all broadleaf, by the way) , but this is a cigar that fits into the same category, and it burned as perfectly as a cigar could burn, effortless draw, straight as an arrow and all the tobaccos burned at the same rate leaving a nice, flat ember when ashed. the folks at Smoking Shields are lucky to have such a great cigar to represent them! Great job on this one Dean!
Almost a year ago I smoked a pre-release sample of the Epic La Rubia, the Connecticut shade offering in the Epic range. Since then I’ve had a few of the 4½” x 60 Short Gordos in the humidor waiting for the right time to smoke. Oddly, I love this size. It’s a little bigger than the Nub line, shorter than a 6″ x 60, just right for me if I have to smoke a 60 ring cigar (not that I don’t smoke my share of 6″ x 60s). Not a commercial, but my friends at Best Cigar Prices like this size too, they have a whole bunch of exclusives in what they call the Robolo, many of which I’ve sampled and enjoyed. I guess that was a bit of a commercial. Anyway, Dean told me long ago that his Canadian customers requested this size, which is curious and unexpected in my mind. So after dinner and before a movie was the perfect time to bust one if these out and light it up. As with all of the other Epic cigars in my experience, it burned well. Like the pre-release sample I smoked last June, this was a solid medium bodied cigar, with a hint of the Ecuador Connecticut twang and a good core flavor. This has a San Andrés binder that gives it a little extra sweetness to offset the grassyness of the wrapper, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. Another winner from Epic, it’s a great anytime cigar that is neither boring nor overwhelming. I’m happy I have more of these on hand!
That’s all for me today, until the next time,