Cigar Review: E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III (Pre-Release)
E.P. Carrillo’s forthcoming La Historia cigar is the first box-pressed offering under the E.P. Carrillo umbrella. Featuring a San Andres Maduro wrapper with an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and fillers from both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, this release is intended as a tribute to the Perez Carrillo family cigar history and is set to be part of a larger group of releases called “The Generations” series. If you’d care to hear more about the inspiration for the cigar, E.P. posted this video a while back, in which he introduces his 93 year old mother and explains a bit about his family’s Cuban roots. For today’s review I lit up a sample of the E-III (6 7/8x 54) vitola that we acquired at the trade show last month.
The E-III appeared to be evenly filled and well made in the Cuban box press style, though it was a little soft and spongy to the touch. This San Andres wrapper had lots of tooth, some thin veins, and plenty of visible oil deposits. The primary band displays some vintage-style painted artwork that depicts two female figures along with two family crests on either side, one marked “Carrillo,” the other, “Perez.” Then, to clear up any confusion one might have, there is a secondary band that plainly bears the “Perez Carrillo” name. Cold draws gave off a taste of sweet cedar and nutmeg. Nice.
The cigar opened up with a taste of smoky cedar, leather, and nutmeg, along with some soft black pepper on the finish. Smoke output was adequate and a neat black & grey ash began to form. After about an inch and a half the pepper dropped out almost completely, and a new taste of syrupy sweetness and a good blast of cream started to come through.
In the second 3rd the smoke itself became a bit denser and creamier as a new note of melted butter trickled into the profile. As the profile continued to evolve a lingering baking spice element surfaced in the background behind the dominant woody-sweet flavors. Right around the halfway point of the cigar i began to pick up some rich cocoa and a subtle taste of raisin.
As I burned into the final portion the draw became firmer and the woody notes took a darker turn to more of an oak-like flavor, which was offset nicely by the steady stream of cream. Hints of cinnamon and the ever-present nutmeg spice continued to snap, crackle, and pop into the fold as I took the stick down to its last couple of inches.
The La Historia held great flavor transitions and really kept things interesting all the way through the session. Strength of the cigar was on the strong side of medium bodied and seemed to fit the taste and character of the blend perfectly. This stick had the kind of delicate balance in flavor that you find in “classic” smokes like Padrons and Fuentes, but with much more complexity. This is a nice high-end offering that could only add a little class to any humidor, and based on my burn with the E-III today I give it an A grade. The full line of E.P. Carrillo La Historia should be hitting our shelves sometime in the next couple of weeks, in the meantime we’ve got them available for pre-order here. Get you some.