Ten years ago, the Epic Cigars brand hit the market. It was a small boutique cigar company owned and founded by Dean Parsons, a Real Estate professional in the Turks & Caicos Islands who is now a permanent resident of the Dominican Republic. Dean started traveling to the Dominican Republic in 2005 where he met master blender, Rolando Antonio Villamil. The two have been working together since Dean launched Epic Cigars in 2010. The company has a grown a bit since its founding, with the brand now available in the USA, Canada, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland.
Zander-Greg, a tobacco distribution based out California and known for the acquisition of the Nat-Cicco line also acquired Epic Cigars in 2019. The company kept Dean on as brand ambassador for epic and Nat Cicco. As Epic Cigars entered 2020 it was time to launch a special tenth anniversary cigar. To make a special anniversary cigar, Dean collaborated with A.J. Fernandez back in 2019 to work on the blends. What makes this even more special, is the Epic Ten is the first Nicaraguan cigar for Epic and the first time Dean has worked a Cameroon wrapper.
The Epic Ten is a limited production blend expressed in a single (6 x 54) box-pressed toro. The company produced a total of 10,000 cigars which come packaged in beautiful red lacquered 10-count boxes with a cedar tray to separate each cigar.
Dean describes the blend as:
- Wrapper – Cameroon
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
For this review I sampled three Epic Ten cigars that I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Epic Ten is a crisp box pressed, milk chocolate brown cigar, that is silky smooth to the touch and has a light sheen when the light shines off it. The cigar is well packed with just a slight give when gently squeezed between the fingers. Just a few veins are noticeable along the barrel and it is neatly finished with a well applied double cap.
Two bands adorn the cigar, each using a silver, red and black motif. The primary band uses the Epic Cigars logo presented in a die cut of the band. The secondary band is placed just below and declarers this as the “TEN”.
Running the barrel along the nose, I picked up a sweet fermented leaf pre-light aroma while to foot exuded notes of pepper and baking spice notes.
Using my double blade Zikar cutter, I sliced the head straight across the shoulder and gave it some cold draw puffs that offered notes of earth and pepper. The draw was spot on with restriction.
With the pre-light much to my liking, I reached for my double flame torch lighter to gently warm the foot as I drew in the first peppery blasts of smoke that awoken the nasals for the journey. Follow along as I burn the epic Cigars TEN to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Early light offers a peppery especially on the nose
- Mouth filling volume of smoke
- Savory sweetness begins to evolve
- Cream nuances enter after an inch plus of burn
- Light grey ash forms on top of a medium thick and slightly jagged char line
- Sweet aroma wafts off the foot
- Ash fell in nice chunk revealing a well formed and centered burn cone
- A mild woody note enters
- The savory spice and sweetness becomes the dominant flavor midway
- Earthy nuances join both the flavor and aroma notes
- Sweetness and cinnamon evolve deep in the second third
- Mild wave forms but does not require any touch-up
- Strength has steadily increased to a medium full
- Spice increases moving into the final down to the nub
- Total smoking time was 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Overall, the Epic Cigars TEN was a cigar worthy of an anniversary blend and it delivered on flavors and aromas from foot to nub. It was a bold move to use a Cameroon leaf for the wrapper for the first time, but A.J. Fernandez offered Epic a fine leaf and the fillers made it all work well. Though not overly complex, the favors were well balanced and transitioned well. I especially enjoyed the sweetness and cinnamon notes deep in the second third. The draw was perfect through the journey and the ash carried well dropping in solid chunks. Other than a mild wave deep in the journey construction was all excellent. This is most certainly a box worthy cigar and I rate this 94.
Point Deductions: (-1) Slight Jag in Burn; (-1) Mild Wave deep in the Journey
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Consistent and enjoyable across multiple samples