Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro

Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro

In 2021, Altadis U.S.A. introduced a new installment to its Montecristo brand under its Epic line – the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12. The Epic series focuses on using vintage tobaccos. In the case of the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12, the blend incorporates vintage filler tobaccos from 2012 into the filler. This is a crop that Altadis U.S.A. has deemed exceptional. While several high-profile Altadis U.S.A. cigars have been coming out of Nicaragua, the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 comes from Tabacalera de Garcia in the Dominican Republic. One other thing that is noteworthy is the striking blue-colored packaging that is used for the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12, the first time this color has been used on a major Montecristo release. Today we take a closer look at the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 in the Blue Toro size.

As mentioned there have been three blends of the Montecristo Epic series:

  • Montecristo Epic – This features a vintage wrapper. Originally this was promoted as a vintage wrapper from 2007.
    • There was also a limited edition release in the form of the No. 2 size.  This quietly returned as a store exclusive to Corona Cigar Company.
  • Montecristo Epic Craft Cured: A limited release from 2018 featuring a vintage 2006 wrapper.
  • Montecristo Epic Vintage 12: This incorporates vintage 2012 tobaccos into the blend.

Without further ado, let’s break down the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 and see what this cigar brings to the table.


Blend and Origin

The Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over a Dominican binder and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The Dominican component of the filler contains tobacco from 2012.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican (including tobacco from 2012), Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera de Garcia.

Vitolas Offered

The Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 is available in two sizes – each presented in ten-count boxes

Blue Toro: 6 x 52
Blue No. 2: 6 x 50 (Figurado)

Photo Credit: Altadis U.S.A.


The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper of the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 has a medium to dark brown wrapper with a Colorado tint to it. The wrapper has some oils on the surface. Also on the surface of the wrapper are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.

There are two bands on the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12. The primary band is an offshoot of the traditional Montecristo. At the center of the upper portion is a gold field. On that circular field is a gold fleur-de-lis logo symbolic of Montecristo. Surrounding that circle is a blue ring. On the top of the ring is the text “MONTECRISTO” in gold font. The lower part of the ring has the Montecristo initials. The lower part of the primary band is also blue and has a pseudo-secondary feel to it. This has the text “EPIC” in gold font. On the left and right side is the text “Vintage 12” in gold cursive font. The remainder of the band has gold embellishments. There is also gold trim around the upper portion of the band.

The secondary band of the Montecristo Vintage 12 is primarily blue with gold trim. On the center of the band is the text “12” in large gold font.


Pre-Light Draw

A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of wood, natural tobacco sweetness, hay, and a subtle amount of spice. I found this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band of the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro, light up the cigar, and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Tasting Notes

The Montecristo Epic Vintage Blue Toro opened up with notes of coffee bean, black pepper, earth, hay, and some sweet natural tobacco. The coffee bean and natural tobacco notes settled into the forefront early. The earth, hay, and black pepper notes settled in the background. The coffee bean and natural tobacco were on an even par. Meanwhile, there were notes of coffee and black pepper present on the retro-hale.

During the second third of the Montecristo Epic Vintage Blue Toro, the earth notes emerged and joined the coffee bean and natural tobacco in the forefront. The natural tobacco developed a light bitterness, but this added increased complexity and at no time did the cigar become harsh. There was a slight increase in pepper, and some chocolate notes emerged in the background and replaced some of the sweetness that earlier came from the natural tobacco.

The final third saw the earth notes take control as the primary note. The natural tobacco and coffee bean were the most prominent secondary notes. There still were notes of pepper and hay rounding out the flavor profile while the chocolate notes in the second third seemed to dissipate. This is the way the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.


There was some unevenness on the burn of the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro, and it did require some pre-emptive touch-ups to keep the burn on track. The touch-ups did the trick – although they were slightly more frequent than I prefer.  The resulting ash was mostly gray. This wasn’t the firmest ash, but it wasn’t loose or flaky either. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro


The draw to the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro performed very well. It had a slight resistance – which is something that I like. There also was a lot of smoke produced by this cigar.

Strength and Body

Overall the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro was a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke. There was a slight increase in intensity along the way, but in the end, this cigar remained in the medium range of the spectrum for strength and body. Both the strength and body balanced each other nicely – with neither attribute overshadowing the other.


Final Thoughts

Rafael Nodal joined the Altadis U.S.A. team as Director of Capability in 2017, and I know I’m not alone in being impressed with the job he has done in delivering products to market. This is especially true of Montecristo, which remains Altadis U.S.A.’s crown jewel line. Much has been made of Nodal’s work with AJ Fernandez and Plasencia on the Nicaraguan-made Montecristos. With the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12, Nodal goes back to Tabacalera de Garcia and the Grupo de Maestros in the Dominican Republic. The Montecristo 1935 Nicaragua certainly has garnered a lot of acclaim, but the Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 deserves to be in the same sentence.

The Montecristo Epic Vintage 12 Blue Toro delivers a fantastic smoking experience. I first smoked this back in August and with an additional five months of age, this cigar has come into its own. The cigar excelled in the most important category – flavor. It’s a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast. It’s one I would certainly reach for again and again. While the price point is $17.75, the ten-count box makes this cigar garner box worthy consideration. Coming in at 91 points, it exceeds the threshold for the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence.


Key Flavors: Coffee Bean, Natural Tobacco, Chocolate, Earth, Hay, Black Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Very Good


Value: Box Worthy Consideration
Score: 91
*Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence*


News: Altadis USA to Release Montecristo Epic Vintage 12
Price: $17.75
Source: Purchased and Altadis U.S.A.
Brand Reference: Montecristo

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop