Cigar Reviews

EP Carrillo Core Line Club 52

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Today’s cigar comes from a name that is well known in the world of cigars. He was the mastermind being the La Gloria Cubana line which exploded in popularity in the 90’s and still holds a strong following. Ernesto Perez Carrillo was hard pressed to meet the demand that his popular line had produced.

In 2009, Ernesto leased a large factory and started his own namesake company, EPC Cigar Co. The company began production on a very limited line known as the E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009. You can read Tony’s review of this cigar here. Soon after, Ernesto began producing a more readily available line called the E.P. Carrillo Short Run. Tony also reviewed that cigar here. You can also read more about the cigar company by visiting their website at www.epcarrillo.com

EPC Cigar Co.’s third entry into their growing line is their full production cigar named the E.P. Carrillo Core Line. This cigar is currently available in a variety of 6 sizes ranging from a short robusto up to a churchill. Today’s cigar is the toro size which is called the “Club 52” which refers to it’s ring gauge.

Cigar: EP Carrillo Core Line
Drink: Great Lakes Brewery Pumpkin Ale
Vitola: Club 52 (Toro 5.875 x 52)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican Republic
Price: Paid $6.00
Burn Time: 1.75 Hours

Construction:
• A nicely wrapped cigar with a light cinnamon brown colored wrapper
• The triple cap is extremely clean and blends in seamlessly
• The foot is well packed with one slightly darker spot
• There are a lot of veins on the wrapper but they are not prominent, just lightly visible. They make for a lightning strike pattern on the wrapper
• The cigar has a bit of squeeze to it but bounces back nicely, the middle of the cigar appears to be a bit softer then the foot or the head
• Cut was very clean and easy

Burn:
• Toasting was very nice and even
• Burn line started off a bit wavy but s straightening out
• After it corrected it’s wave it’s been burning razor sharp through the first couple of inches
• Past the half-way mark the burn is still going razor sharp
• The cigar went out near the end but it was likely because I was smoking it very slowly, if you draw at a normal pace I doubt this will go out on you

Smoke & Ash:
• Nice mouthful of smoke from every draw sits lightly on your tongue
• Resting smoke is lightly moderate making a nice image from a crisp line flowing into the sky, very nice
• Ash is rigid and bumpy but holding tightly together
• The almost white color of the ash looks very clean and appealing
• The resting smoke is very woodsy, not quite cedar, more just generic burning wood

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper has an earthy aroma mixed with a light nutmeg spice
• The foot has a mild sweetness complimented by some woodsy and spicy notes
• Pre-light draw is very woodsy, almost like taking a big inhale after chopping some wood
• Initial draws are very woodsy with a smooth spicy undertone, maybe some paprika and nutmeg mixture
• Considering the spicy flavor, the retrohale is actually fairly mild with no bite and a smooth woodsy finish
• Some creaminess is joining the mix after about 2 inches
• As I approach the half-way mark the retrohale is developing a mild bite, the smooth cedar finish is still there
• The flavor has pretty much stayed the same for most of the cigar, I was surprised not to get more dimensionality
• As I approached the nub of the cigar I started getting a slight secretion that made the cigar bitter, this is likely some over-humidification on my part
• Body of the cigar was a solid mild from start to finish and smooth the whole way through
• I believe this cigar may have been over-humidified a bit which caused the build-up at the foot

Final Thoughts:
Although my tasting notes don’t seem all that spectacular this was actually a pretty good cigar. I think it’s biggest downfall was the lack of changing flavors. It wasn’t incredibly dimensional or vastly complex but it was a good smoke. The construction was excellent leaving a perfect burn line from start to finish, the price is accessible and the flavors, although straightforward, were still quite tasty. It reminded me of some Cubans where the majority of the flavor was woodsy with some hints of spice and creaminess here and there. I would recommend this cigar to pretty much any level of smoker. I think it has something to satisfy an experienced smoker and something for a new smoker to enjoy easily. I’d definitely recommend picking up a few of these and trying for yourself. I think Ernesto Perez Carrillo has another solid smoke on his hands here although his first two releases may have this one beat. I also believe some age on these sticks might allow a little more complexity to build into the cigar, I’ll definitely revisit these in a couple months to see how they’ve changed.

Pairings:
Great Lakes Brewery is one of the few craft breweries that seem to be getting their seasonal ales into the Ontario beer market. Our restrictions here are quite high and that makes a lot of other seasonals rare to see. The Pumpkin Ale was a good amber brew with a bit of spice but I was expecting a little more spices or some sort of pumpkin flavors but they seemed very light and hard to pickup on. I also enjoyed an EP Carrillo Core Line Robusto with some Tawny port and found it to be a better match. Some coffee, Scotch, dark soda or a hefty stout would also make an excellent pairing here.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

8 Comments

  1. Dalamscius

    October 28, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for the comment Byrdman! I wish we had more selection of Pumpkin beers up here, it’s the only one I’ve been able to find so far.

  2. DaByrdman33

    October 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Nice review. I really enjoyed this cigar as well. Paired mine with a pumpkin beer also.

  3. Mudboy

    October 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I just happened to be smoking one of these myself when I came across your tweet regarding this review. I an becoming a big fan of this line and this size in particular.

    Great review, Daniel!

  4. Dalamscius

    October 29, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Thanks mudboy, I still need to try the Short Run. From what I’ve heard it has this one beat

  5. Tony Casas

    October 29, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I found the short run so much more enjoyable than this one… the encore? blows them both out of the water. Great review dude!

  6. Dalamscius

    October 29, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Thanks bud, I’m gonna give the Short Run a try tonight I think, gotta compare them. I also have one encore as well that I need to try.

  7. Danny Principe

    October 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Nice review. I think the problem is that you smoked the wrong size. The smaller ring gauge vitolas are fantastic.

  8. Tadd

    November 1, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    You know I just can’t seem to pull the trigger on these. Not sure why, I actually had two of these in my hand and two Short Runs but ended up putting them down. I do love the Innaugral 2009 and need to keep a few of those on hand for sure. Thanks Big D!

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