At last years 2022 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show and again at this year’s Total Product Expo (TPE,) Zander-Greg showcased a new limited edition cigar under its Epic Cigars brand, the Epic Police 299 Limited Edition. The cigar is a homage to Dean Parsons, Epic Cigars founder, for the time he served as a police officer in Canada. The number 299 represents Dean’s badge number.
The Epic Police 299 is expressed in a single (6.5 x 54) Toro Extra vitola, which the company calls a Compinche which roughly translates to “buddy”. They are packaged in 10-count boxes and carry an MSRP of $12.00/cigar.
The blend is described as:
- Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca
- Binder: Cameroon
- Fillers: Dominican, Nicaragua
Though it is known that these are made in the Dominican Republic, the company has not divulged the factory they are made in.
For this review, I sampled one Epic Police 299 Limited Edition Toro Extra that I received from Dean Parsons to review on Stogie Press. This cigar has been resting in my humidor for 4 months since TPE.
The Epic Police 299 Limited Edition sports a mildly gritty, dark brown wrapper, that exhibits a slight oily sheen. There is some mottling throughout the wrapper leaf and some noticeable veins. The cigar is solidly packed from head to foot, with no noticeable soft spots. A flat head cap finishes the construction.
The cigar is adorned with a single band that uses primary a black and silver motif and proudly displays a police badge in the center, with the words “Epic 299 Police” printed on it. The left of the badge has an American flag while the right side displays the Canadian flag. The phrase “Expertly Handmade” is printed in red on the left and “Dominican Republic” is printed in blue on the right.
Running the cigar along the nose, I picked up a mild floral note along the barrel while the foot presented. fresh baked bread notes.
Using my CigarMedics Baller cutter I opened the cap to my liking and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs which I found to be right on with restriction while offering notes of mild black pepper and earthy notes.
Using my single flame torch, I warmed to the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of salty and mineral-like smoke. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial light offers saltiness and mineral notes
- Light grey ash forms on top of thin wavy char line
- Tangy fruit notes quickly enter with an evolving natural tobacco sweetness
- Full smoke volume
- The fruit begins to get more tannic and the palate gets a bit pasty as it burns through the first inch
- I will say, the first inch of the journey, the cigar was struggling to find balance
- Then came a toasted cracker aroma wafting off the foot as the blend started to settle in
- Fruit and sweetness form the core
- Ash fell after a decent burn, revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Sweetness grows deep in second third with a touch of cashew
- Malt and caramel notes appear near the midway point
- Spice notes begin to develop deep in second third down into the final
- Ever present dry fruit and sweetness with a hinto fo black pepper to the finish
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour a 40 minutes
If I was to judge the Epic Police 299 Limited Edition Toro Extra by the first inch of burn I would not have much to say about it. It must be noted that in this initial phase, the cigar grapples to find a harmonious balance, exhibiting a somewhat unsettled nature as the texture on the palate takes on a slightly dense and paste-like sensation. However, a delightful transformation takes place as a toasted cracker aroma gently wafts from the foot of the blend after that first inch signaling a newfound settling and integration of flavors.
As the journey unfolds, tangy bursts of fruit notes swiftly make their entrance, accompanied by a captivating progression towards a natural tobacco sweetness that gradually deepens. Each puff rewards the senses with a voluminous plume of rich smoke, enveloping the palate. The heart of this cigar experience revolves around the harmonious interplay between the fruit and the enchanting sweetness that takes center stage. As the burn progresses, the ash gracefully falls, revealing a burn cone that, although flat, remains centered.
Moving into the second third, the sweetness deepens further, intertwining with a subtle hint of cashew, imbuing the smoke with a delightful richness. Around the midway point, an enticing medley of malt and caramel notes emerges, adding a layer of complexity and depth.
Deep within the second third and into the final phase, spice notes gracefully unfold, weaving their way into the tapestry of flavors, adding a captivating warmth that lingers on the palate. Throughout this captivating journey, a constant presence of dry fruit and lingering sweetness persists, culminating in a tantalizing finish, punctuated by a subtle hint of black pepper. With how it developed after the first inch of burn, this is worth trying a fiver of and I rate this a 90.
Point Deductions: (-1) Un-balanced first inch; (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-2) Pasty Start
Bonus Points: (+1) Complex Profile