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Cigar Review – E.P. Carrillo Club 52

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is one of the fastest rising stars in the cigar world. He made a name for himself by founding the El Credito factory in Miami and working for La Gloria Cubana for nine years, during which he put together the famous La Gloria Cubana Serie R blend, among many others. We had some more unseasonably warm weather today (two days in a row now), so it was only appropriate to get outside and smoke the E.P. Carrillo Club 52.

This cigar was gorgeous—the roll was solid from head to foot, the cap was perfectly applied, and I had to lean in and squint to see the seams in the wrapper. I almost felt bad clipping the cap, though after hearing all the hype about E.P. Carrillo cigars, I was pretty excited to get down to smoking. The pre-light draw was slightly firm and very light and sweet with a little hint of pepper.

Without further ado, it was time to light up this stogie, so I picked up the Xikar Element and went to work on the foot. The first few draws were very sweet with nuts, cream, and a little bit of butter from the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Further into the first third, a pepper note began to emerge, intensifying until it just about reached medium-bodied territory. It definitely seemed like Perez-Carrillo did a great job of changing up the blend from beginning to end, because that pepper never became overbearing; it just got sweeter and sweeter.

The middle of the cigar was by far my favorite part—this was the point at which the spice peaked, and along with that I got a very recognizable note of vanilla, as well as some clove and baking spice. At this point I noticed that the ash was still hanging on—unbelievable. There were almost three inches of ash hanging onto this cigar right before it fell off and broke into three large pieces.

From that point on, it was smooth sailing. The spice and sweetness remained constant, though the vanilla diminished, allowing the baking spice to really take center stage. It was around the 1 ½-inch mark that the sweetness reminded me of honey, rather than the vanilla cream that I tasted earlier. At around an inch, it was finally time to put the cigar down. I was getting antsy because I wanted to tell everyone how good this thing was.

I’m always skeptical when a cigar is hyped as thoroughly as the E.P. Carrillo core line, but I can honestly say that the hype is justified. This was the sweetest cigar I’ve ever tasted, and I only wish I had the proper beverage to enjoy it with—the vanilla and clove would’ve paired perfectly with dark spiced rum or a single malt Scotch. The burn stayed straight and only required one touchup once the ash fell off, and the spice never, ever got close to becoming overpowering. After smoking a cigar from the core line and loving it, I’m definitely going to get a few of these for myself, and I’m looking forward to trying some of Perez-Carrillo’s limited offerings in the future.