In 2012, Montecristo gathered together their elite team of Master Blenders (known as the Grupo de Maestros) to craft their fullest smoking experience to date—an elite cigar dubbed Montecristo Epic. The cigars proved a hit among veteran enthusiasts and the company returned with the Montecristo Epic Craft Cured spinoff roughly five years later.
Differing from the Dominican roots of nearly all other Montes before it, the Montecristo Epic Craft Cured is <em>crafted</em> in Nicaragua in partnership with the famed Plasencia family. With the Plasencias being one of the two largest growers of premium tobacco in the country, Montecristo's Grupo de Maestros had a vast inventory of vintage tobaccos to choose from. However, it is not only the tobacco selections that set the Craft Cured apart, but the leaves' processing before making their way to the final blend. This begins in the fermentation room, as the leaves are stacked in smaller pilónes (fermenting leaf piles) than usual. This allows for greater control over temperature and consistency. Additionally, whereas most pilónes are built from a single leaf style, the Craft Cured uses leaves from the full blend, allowing the tobaccos to marry even before entering the cigar-rolling process.
Montecristo Epic Craft Cured boasts a Nicaraguan puro recipe, with all tobaccos being grown on the Plasencias' own fields throughout the country. This includes a diverse filler blend from the Estelí, Jalapa, and Condega regions. The binder is from the untamed Ometepe island, and the wrapper is the crown jewel, an 11-year-aged Nicaraguan Rosado Oscuro from a 2006 harvest. This all amounts to a medium-plus body and intricate flavors of raw peppercorn, mineral, anise, toasted caramel, and sweet custard cream through the finish.