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After debuting in February 2014, Epic Cigars has released both a Corojo and Maduro line, and recently announced the addition of a new Connecticut line that will debut in two different vitolas. The name of the line will be La Rubia, which translates to the blonde from Spanish.

“I’ve been working on the blend for close to a year and we finally got it where we wanted,” said Dean Parsons, Epic Cigars owner, in an email with halfwheel. “Most of our, USA, Canadian, and European Retailers have been asking for a Connecticut blend for some time now.”

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Epic La Rubia Robusto bundle

In terms of blend, the Epic La Rubia features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper covering a Mexican San Andrés binder as well as filler tobaccos from both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. As with the rest of the cigars in Epic’s portfolio, the new line is being produced at the Charles Fairmorn Factory in the Dominican Republic.

Epic La Rubia Robusto Box

According to Parsons, production on the new blend started in December and the cigars should begin shipping “at the end of April.”

The Epic Connecticut blend will come in two different vitolas at launch:

  • Epic La Rubia Robusto (5 1/2 x 52) — $7.66 (Boxes of 20, $153.20)
  • Epic La Rubia Short Gordo (4 x 60) — $7.80 (Boxes of 20, $156)

In addition, the company is both a 7 x 50 churchill and a 6 x 60 gordo to the line at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, which takes place from July 24-28 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Epic La Rubia Robusto 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Epic La Rubia Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Charles Fairmon Factory
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Mexican San Andrés
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $7.66 (Boxes of 20, $153.20)
  • Release Date: April 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Epic La Rubia is covered in a light golden brown wrapper that features a touch of oil and is smooth as silk to the touch, although there are numerous small bumps running up and down the length. There is noticeable box press to the foot, and the cigar is extremely spongy when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong hay, nuts, sawdust, leather and manure, while the cold draw brings flavors of peanuts, leather, earth, white pepper and slight vanilla sweetness.

The La Rubia starts off immediately with a combination of dominant flavors, including creamy peanuts and hay, followed up closely by notes of coffee beans, leather, earth and chocolate. In addition, there is a very distinct vanilla bean sweetness that is present on the retrohale, where it combines very nicely with some white pepper that is also noticeable. Both the burn and draw are excellent so far, and smoke production coming from the foot is about average, although it is quite dense. The strength of the Epic Connecticut is almost nonexistent, and ends the first third still firmly in the mild category.

Epic La Rubia Robusto 2

The vanilla bean sweetness really ramps up during the second third of the Epic La Rubia, joining the still creamy peanuts and a leather note as the dominant flavors in the profile. Other notes of gritty earth, chocolate, espresso beans, oak and slight cinnamon flit in and out as well, although none come close to the strength of the aforementioned dominant flavors. There is still some obvious white pepper on the retrohale, and I am starting to pick up some slight saltiness on my lips after the halfway point as well. The burn and draw continue to impress, and the smoke production has actually increased noticeably. Strength-wise, the Epic Connecticut shows signs of life, and while it does not hit the medium mark by the end of the second third, it is close.

Epic La Rubia Robusto 3

The saltiness that increased the complexity of the profile during the second third of the La Rubia is long gone by the time the final third begins, leaving me with dominant flavors of still creamy peanuts and cedar. Secondary flavors of creamy nuts, creamy leather, white chocolate, hay and cocoa are also present, and while the vanilla bean sweetness is still noticeable, it is not as strong as it was during the second third. The construction remains top notch, with nary an issue at all, while the smoke production has also decreased a bit. Although it is a close thing, the overall strength does finally hit the medium mark right before I put the nub down with less than an inch to go.

Epic La Rubia Robusto 4

Final Notes

  • Parsons told halfwheel that the Short Gordo vitola—which does not exist in any of the other lines he offers—was specifically requested by the company’s Canadian distributor, Joe Bondi of Alec Bradley Canada.
  • The creaminess in the profile is quite noticeable, and really shines on the finish.
  • While all three cigars I smoked featured an obvious box-press, Parsons told me it was just because the prerelease versions were package in five-pack bundles.
  • After copyrighting the name Epic Cigars in 2010, Parsons actually sent a cease and desist order to Altadis after that company released the Montecristo Epic No.2 in 2012. In the end, two vitolas of the Montecristo Epic are allowed, but no others can be sold unless each party signs another agreement.
  • Construction was excellent overall, although I did have some minor burn issues that had to be corrected multiple times on one of the cigars I smoked.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 20 minutes.
  • The cigars smoke for this review were sent to halfwheel by Epic Cigars.
91 Overall Score

I have really liked most of what Epic Cigars has put out so far, and the La Rubia blend continues that trend. Flavorful, creamy and nicely balanced, the new cigar features excellent construction as well. The blend fits nicely in company's portfolio, and the price point is just icing on the cake. A very easy cigar to recommend, especially if you are looking for a lower strength morning cigar.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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