It’s the time of year for festive gatherings, and I’ve been to a few recently. And so has local cigar maker, Sean Williams, owner of El Primer Mundo. At one of the parties we were talking about future cigar releases when I realized I completely forgot to review his new one for 2011, the Epifania. (You had your chance, Jerry.) So as the year comes to a close, it’s time to handle some unfinished business.
When Sean talks about the Epifania, he speaks in about it in comparison to the Liga Miami which he released in 2010. The two sticks are very similar. Both are made at El Titan De Bronze factory in Miami, rolled entubado and feature dual Nicaraguan binders. Where they differ in composition is the wrapper, which is a different priming from the same plant, and the blend, which is said to be fuller and spicier than the Liga Miami.
The Epifania is also different in packaging and available vitolas. Unlike the Liga Miami, it comes in a single size, Sean’s favorite, the 6 x 52 toro. Though he tells me another size is in the works, and if all goes as planned, we’ll probably be seeing it at IPCPR in 2012. However, it may be released under a different name. All of this is subject to change, as the next trade show is still more than half a year away. In the meantime, if you’d like to try one that actually exists now, look for a big box. It comes in a 50-count, which would set you back around $500 (plus applicable taxes) if you were to take the whole thing home.
Now let’s sample Sean’s tobacco epiphany.
Size: 6 x 52
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $10.00
The nice thing about the Epifania is there can be no confusion about which Primer Mundo you are buying. Between the purple main band, and the second silver band with the name on it, there’s no way you’ll light this one up expecting the taste last year’s Liga Miami. Heck, people might even call it by name instead referring to it as the purple (or better yet, platinum) label.
The cigars I burned for this review were oily and not terribly dark in color (a tad lighter than the Liga Miami), had mostly fine veins and few, if any minor surface imperfections. I noticed a small amount of cracking at the foot of a couple cigars, probably due to a life without cellophane, and another with a few small green marks.
The cigars were consistent to the touch, but had a good amount of give. I picked up a funky and floral aroma on the wrapper, but it was pretty light. The cold draw was good, and tasted of molasses, sweet spice and hay.
Overall, the Epifania burns pretty well. I have run into draw problems occasionally with the Liga Miami, but that was not the case here. The only issues I had with the cigars was an occasional unevenness and maybe a relight or two, particularly nearing the end of the cigar.
The Epifania offered impressive flavor right off the bat. Rich and smoky earth, graham and spice filled the first few puffs. The cigar then opened into an involved profile of dark chocolate, earth, cedar and spice, with sweet notes of caramel and vanilla. Midway through the third there was a distinct sour cream flavor, though odd as it may sound, worked pretty well. It was a little more pronounced in some cigars than others especially in the finish.
Entering the second third, there was a savory quality to the earth, and somewhat nutty wood mix. Cinnamon appeared, graham reappeared and light vanilla sweetness shook loose the sour cream influence of the first third. This portion of the cigar was significantly sweeter than the rest and it lingered in the finish, but varied from vanilla, to caramel to something like maple frosting. I was beginning to wonder if a neighborhood bakery caught fire.
On the way to the final act, the sweetness gradually fades, returning the cigar once again to an earthy, woody and spicy profile with a good dose of cinnamon.
Ten bucks a stick may price the Epifania out of some people’s budget, but as time marches on, and taxes and inflation do their damage, I find myself buying more and more cigars around this price. And let’s not forget, these are made in Miami, and that’s not cheap. All told, it seems reasonable.
The Epifania is an excellent cigar, and I feel foolish for having overlooked it for so long. Since much has already been said about the similarities between it and the Liga Miami, I can say the Epifania is definitely fuller and spicier, but It’s a tough call which I like more. It would probably depend on the circumstances, but I’m leaning toward Epifania right now. (Of course that could be because I just smoked a fistful of them.) Regardless, this cigar is definitely box-worthy, but it’s 50-count container gives me pause. For the sake of this review let’s just pretend it’s about half the size. If you haven’t had one yet, this is one you don’t want to miss, if you have, you already know that.
Liked It: Box-worthy
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.