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Review: E.P. Carrillo Atlantic Cigar Co. 15th Anniversary (Prerelease)
The E.P. Carrillo Atlantic Cigar 15th Anniversary cigar is the third of four releases by various manufacturers to celebrate Atlantic’s 15th year of business. Here are the first three cigars that have been released so far:
- Viaje Exclusivo Atlantic Cigar Co. 15th Anniversary Lancero — 7 1/2 x 40
- My Father Atlantic Cigar Co. 15th Anniversary Box—Pressed Robusto — 5 1/2 x 52
- E.P. Carrillo Atlantic Cigar Co. 15th Anniversary — 6 x 52
Here is the press release about the EPC:
June 1, 2012 — Atlantic Cigar Company is proud to announce the third of four cigars slated to celebrate our 15th Anniversary. The Spring release is from none other then master cigar maker Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. The limited, small batch release of the E.P. Carrillo Atlantic Cigar Company 15th Anniversary cigar was created and rolled at the Carrillo’s boutique cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. Carefully blended by Ernesto, the cigars are truly outstanding! We feel it is absolutely one of the best releases we tried to date; it will also be the only maduro cigar to be released celebrating our 15 years in business. After rigorous blending, the Carrillo family wanted to offer us something very special for this monumental occasion. Not only did the Carrillo Family create something very special, they totally knocked it out of the park with this cigar.
The blend is a rich spicy medium-full bodied smoke with tons of flavor and complexity. Notes of dark chocolate and espresso coffee are present with hints of spice. The cigars are expertly blended to deliver a balance of strength and flavor, the use of a spicy Brazilian maduro wrapper pairs well with a Nicaraguan binder that rounds out the flavors. The fillers are comprised of both Nicaraguan and Dominican aged tobaccos adding additional complexity to this blend. The cigars were rolled in a 6 x 52 Toro size and will be packaged in 10 count boxes. To keep this special, we’ve only had 500 boxes of 10 produced. Atlantic Cigar Company would like to thank the Carrillo family for an outstanding job producing this extraordinary 15th Anniversary release.
Unlike the Viaje Lanceros, which came in boxes of 25 cigars, or the My Fathers, which came in boxes of 15, the E.P. Carrillos come in boxes of 10. Here is what the box looks like:
Now you know the background, so let’s get to the review.
- Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo Atlantic Cigar 15th Anniversary
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Brazil
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $12.00 (Boxes of 10, $120.00)
- Release Date: July 2, 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
The dark brown wrapper is applied well and has a toothy, slightly oily feel to it. There aren’t any soft spots and the cigar looks very appealing overall. The aroma from the wrapper is a new wood smell, kind of like lumber a hardware store which I think was picked up from the box. The foot however has a very nice distinct chocolate milk note. The draw is nice but almost on the edge of too loose. Cold draw flavors include a stronger chocolate milk note, a very minute touch of spice, and a little bit of the lumber note from earlier.
Beginning the first third, the chocolate milk note carries over after the cigar is lit and dominates my palate. The EPC has an overall mild profile to begin with and only the slightest bit of pepper on the tongue. Continuing on there are hints of leather with a nice, but not cloying sweetness. The draw ended up being perfect and there is plenty of smoke production. That combined with the light gray ash holding on easily to an inch speaks well of the construction of the cigar. So far it is a slight one dimensional beginning, but not an unpleasant one.
Into the second third, the chocolate milk notes have developed into a richer, darker chocolate/cocoa aroma that brightens up the overall taste but also gives it a bolder, more satisfying profile. It’s growing into a slightly stronger cigar, but not one that I would say is too complex. I’m getting mostly chocolate notes with a slight roasted pepper aroma that pairs surprisingly nicely. Again, the draw is perfect, burn has been fantastic, and the ash is very solid.
The final third starts out much as the second which I don’t mind at all. After another inch however there is a new prune note floating around in the background that I almost missed. The profile has slowly developed into a more fruity overtone, with the chocolate still dominating but the roasted peppers subsiding. Towards the end it has started to burn a little hot and bitter, but it is an acceptable time to put it down so I can’t say that detracted from the cigar at all.
- Like the My Father but unlike the Viaje, the E.P. Carrillo 15th Anniversary has the second band distinguishing it as the anniversary edition.
- You can really see how toothy the Brazilian Maduro wrapper was in the ash. I almost wanted to describe it as rough, but it wasn’t quite to that point.
- The black band has been used on the Elencos and the short-lived Elencos Oscuro.
- These were apparently shipped by E.P. Carrillo very wet. When I got them in the mail I took the cigars I was going to review out of the box and let them acclimate in my lower RH humidor for a couple weeks. After that I dry boxed them for another day before I smoked them. I believe the results are as close as I could get to what these will taste like after some rest and drying time.
- These were supplied to halfwheel by site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. In addition, E.P. Carrillo is a sponsor.
- Final smoking time was just under two hours.
- MSRP is stated as $12.00 per cigar, however Atlantic tells us they will be sold for $9.95 for a single or $89.95 for the box.
- If you would like to purchase some of the E.P. Carrillo Atlantic Cigar 15th Anniversary cigars, you can call Atlantic directly at 800.887.7877 or purchase via their website. Don’t forget to tell them halfwheel sent you.
The Bottom Line: Atlantic Cigar doesn’t mess around when it comes to their 15th anniversary. Each manufacturer they’ve selected so far has worked with them and come up with very solid, well received, and well rated cigar. E.P. Carrillo was not any different and I felt is a wonderful cigar to add to the lineup. The cigar might not have been the most complex but I found it holding my attention very well. I feel the inverse of the old saying “jack of all trades, master of none” applies to this cigar, because it seems to have found its flavors, stuck with them, and mastered them. I can easily suggest buying a five pack of these but since you’re at it you might as well buy a box since it’s only a 10 count and these are sure to sell quick.
Final Score: 87
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