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Best of the Best 2013: Cigars: Montecristo Epic No. 2

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Although Montecristo was originally created in 1935 as a Cuban export exclusively for Great Britain, the Dominican version of the brand, introduced in the 1990s, has steadily enhanced its reputation with stellar releases. The latest is the Montecristo Epic No. 2 (www.altadis​, $19; $190 for a box of 10). Not to be confused with the slightly milder and more readily available Montecristo Epic, this onetime offering is designated No. 2 because of its pyramid shape, which can only be rolled by the best torcedors. Just over 6 inches in length, the Epic No. 2 is a true pirámide, gradually tapering out from its perfecto head all the way to its 50-ring foot. Composed of tobaccos from the 2007 vintage, the Epic No. 2 features a Santi Espiritu Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler. Presented in a bright-red, modernist box and accompanied by a certificate signed by the skilled artisans who made the cigars, the Epic No. 2 is by far the richest and most distinctive Montecristo yet.