Earlier this week I asked our Facebook fans which cigar I should break out for our next review and the answer was clear- the majority vote was in favor of E.P. Carrillo‘s recently released E Stunner. The E Stunner, a major departure from Carrillo’s usual style of branding, was inspired by the energy drink craze, and was designed to deliver full strength and flavor that would appeal to old and new smokers alike. The blend features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and a 50/50 mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. I selected the Siboney (5×50) vitola to take out for a test-smoke in today’s review.
The cigar was well-constructed with a slightly mottled and rustic look to its reddish-brown Sumatra wrapper. After a quick snip of the cap, pre-light draws gave off a spicy, sweet, and meaty taste.
After a thorough toasting of the foot, the stick lit up evenly to a taste of smooth and cedary tobacco with a syrupy sweetness and a healthy dose of nutmeg-like baking spice. A bit further in some big black/red pepper stepped up, “filling out” the profile nicely.
Going into the 2nd third a solid and neat, dark grey was holding strong and the burn was mostly straight with just a slight lean to it. Notes of coffee and a malty sweetness were apparent here, and both burn and draw were spot-on. The cigar’s full strength had kicked into high gear by now, forcing me to slow down and enjoy the ride a bit.
The final third of the stunner surprised me with a new creaminess and an added element of tangy tobacco flavor. The powerful flow of flavor and strength, curbed slightly by a thick stream of cream, continued on until the end of the smoke.
The E Stunner certainly delivered on its promise of potency, to the point where I had to take a breather a couple of times during the review. Flavor-wise it was deeply rich and fairly complex, particularly in the second 3rd, where it reached its full potential in my opinion. In regards to performance it was near flawless, a trait that I have come to associate with Mr. Carrillo’s creations. For those seeking a knock-out smoke with interesting and nuanced flavor, I highly recommend the E Stunner. Unlike most “powerhouse” stogies, the Stunner has more to offer than just a full-on nicotine assault and one-note spicy flavor, here you get a profile that you’ll appreciate for its transitions and subtleties. I give it a well-deserved A grade, just make sure to smoke it after a hearty meal.