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Stogie Reviews: E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009

2 Nov 2009

In March, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo ended his nine year tenure with  General Cigar. The move effectively made the Artesanos de Miami his last blend with La Gloria Cubana, the brand he built from relative obscurity to industry prominence.

E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009Perez-Carrillo parted ways with General to establish his own family-owned boutique. He wasted no time in that endeavor. With a factory in Santiago and a work-in-progress website, the EPC Cigar Co. was up and running in time to debut their first blend at the IPCPR Trade Show in August.

But the core lineup under the new E.P. Carrillo brand name still won’t be available until the spring. Meanwhile, Perez-Carrillo chose to craft and debut a single-vitola limited edition line made from aged tobaccos that are too rare to serve as ingredients for regular production.

The Edición Inaugural 2009, as it is called, uniquely features two binders: one Nicaraguan and one Dominican. They are wrapped in a three-year-old Ecuadorian habano leaf that won’t be available again for a few years (at which point Perez-Carrillo may include it in a future project). Only 150,000 sticks will be made, which are sold in boxes of 10 for $130.

This super-premium, measuring five and three-eighths inches with a 52 ring gauge, looks like it’s worthy of its $13 price tag. The wrapper is clean and flawless, the double bands are interesting and impressive, the cap is nearly perfect, and the pungent pre-light aroma smells of peat.

From the first few puffs, it is clear that the Edición Inaugural 2009 bears little resemblance to anything in the La Gloria Cubana lineup. It notably marks a stark contrast from the powerful and popular Serie R. The medium-bodied flavor is, to say the least, distinctive, with dry notes of potato, olive, and cork and a light aftertaste of oats and pepper. The voluminous smoke smells heartier than it tastes.

Aside from the welcome addition of a graham cracker spice, the flavor remains unchanged until the nub. Both of my samples were complemented by outstanding combustion qualities. These included a remarkably stable and firm ash, a smooth draw, and a slow, even burn.

Overall, I’m not going out on a limb when I say that this is one of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s finest creations. I hope the Edición Inaugural 2009 is a sign of things to come from the new EPC Cigar Co. With the only drawbacks being price and limited availability, I can confidently award this 120-minute smoke four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

13 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009”

  1. dmjones Monday, November 2, 2009 at 4:28 am #

    I've met Ernesto at the Big Smoke a couple times and he is one of the most immediately likable people I've met. I've enjoyed the La Gloria Cubana Serie R (not so much the regular line or the Reserva Figurado) and really, really love the El Rico Habano. All that being said, I'm looking forward to his new stuff and am eager to try it…but $13 for a robusto is a lot to ask, I think. I know it's a "limited edition" but still…I wish it were $3 or 4 cheaper than it is.

  2. furious Monday, November 2, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    Too rich for my blood; I won't even pay that price for a limitada habano. Something has to be done about pricing or Ernesto et al. will lose out on the bulk of his market base.

  3. Patrick A Monday, November 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    While it wasn't easy to identify flavors given this cigar's balance and complexity, I did my best to pick familiar smells and tastes to describe the unique smoke.

    The cost is high but I hope you all get a chance to try one of these for yourself.

  4. Tim Monday, November 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    Sounds like an impressive smoke, even if the price means I won’t be dipping in for a whole box. Ill definetly want to pick up a 5er.

    IMO, carrillo is one of the few people in the industry with the track record to be able to price fis very first cigar in that range.

  5. cigarfan Monday, November 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Who would have thought a cigar could taste like potato, olive, and cork? Muy interesante. At 13 bucks a throw I might wonder if it’s only tobacco they’re putting in there. Thanks for the cutting-edge review!

  6. NJI Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 6:51 am #

    Purchased a couple of boxes of these as I am familiar with the reputation of EP Carrillo and his contributions to the cigar industry so I thought how I could go wrong. Construction was meticulously done with a beautiful outer leaf and a real nice firmness to the touch. Once it was lit it had a medium draw but I did observe that it took some time to start to discover the flavors that were at first hidden. After about 10 minutes or so the complexity started with mild spiciness appearing and soon a light earthy, caramel flavoring became apparent. The cigar was of medium body and showed me, at other times, hints of leather with touches of peppery flavors throughout the experience. What I also really liked was the wonderful aroma that the cigar produced along with a nice, steady burn and firm ash throughout the smoke. After reflecting on these cigars I would say that they are a tad young so I do plan to mature these for a few months and try them again as I am sure that they will improve with age. Many would say that for $13.00 a stick there are many other cigars out there that can compete, but, considering that these are of limited production they are, in my humble opinion, definitely worth the purchase for my enjoyment.

  7. Martin Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Admittedly I really enjoyed this cigar. Upfront the construction was impressive; loved the double band action.

    The flavor was very appealing to me, I got a creamy butter with some changing spice throughout.

    I did have a heck of a time with the draw as it was super tight. I originally went with a punch but loosened it up with a straight cut.

    I definitely think this is worth the price. You can read my full review here:

    Great review as always Pat.

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