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Review: E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012 Invictos (Prerelease)
For those of you that don’t know…
In June of 2010, the relatively new E.P. Carrillo released the first in what has become an annual tradition for the company, the Short Run. Each year, E.P. Carrillo produces the same 3 sizes in close to the same numbers, but with different blends. The 2010 version used a Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper with a Nicaraguan Criollo binder and filler from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, while the 2011 release used a Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan Binder and filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Since Charlie broke the news on the NWC Short Run 2012, I think it would be best to just quote him:
Despite claims at IPCPR 2011 that the Short Run series was likely not going to make an appearance in 2012, E.P. Carrillo has began taking orders on its newest limited edition, the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Short Run 2012.
The cigar actually made its fist appearance at an event at Casa de Montecristo on December 8, 2011 as an event promotion, but the details were scarce. Ernesto Perez-Carrillo III told me, “we wondered how it would taste if we combined our New Wave Connecticut with our Core Maduro. We like both cigars and they really do well for us.” The end result is being heralded as abeefed up NWC.
For the NWC Short Run 2012, EPC took the filler and wrapper from the Core Line Maduro. But, instead of using the Connecticut Broadleaf as a wrapper, which is the role it serves on the Core Line Maduro, they opted to use it as the binder. The most outside leaf (wrapper) is the same Ecuadorian Connecticut found on the NWC.
Here is a photo of the aforementioned (pre)prerelease from the Case de Montecristo event (top) and its counterpart, the Exquisitos (bottom):
The sizes of the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Short Run 2012 are the exact same vitolas that have been released every year in the Short Run series. They are:
- Exquisitos (4 7/8 x 50) — $6.35 (Boxes of 24, $152.40)
- Invictos (5 7/8 x 52) — $7.10 (Boxes of 24, $170.40)
- Reinados (6 1/4 x 60) — $8.60 (Boxes of 24, $206.40)
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Short Run 2012 Invictos
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 5 7/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- Est. Price: $7.10 (Boxes of 24, $170.40)
- Release Date: February 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)*
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
*There will be 1,000 boxes of each vitola, making the release a total of 72,000 cigars.
The NWC Short Run 2012 is an almost perfectly rolled cigar with a smooth as silk reddish brown wrapper that has no veins visible at all. There is the perfect amount of give when squeezed and it has a wonderfully applied triple cap. Aroma from the wrapper smells strongly of cedar, spices, barnyard and bitter chocolate.
The NWC Short Run 2012 Invictos starts out the first third immediately with a strong and sweet nuttiness, along with flavors of cedar, chocolate and hay. There is a great white pepper on the retrohale, and a small amount of spice on the lips, but it comes and goes — never remaining constant. Draw is perfection, as is the burn so far.
Coming into the second third, the profile switches a bit and becomes more creamy. The nuttiness is still there and is easily the dominant flavor, but the creaminess seeps into every other flavor making them all more distinct. Still some hay, chocolate and even a bit of earthiness, but the spice from the first third is long gone. However, there is a new addition, a great sweetness that I first thought was nutmeg underneath the rest of the flavors that combines perfectly with the creamy and nutty notes, which is probably where I came up with the nutmeg description.
The final third is all about balance with the flavors remaining basically the same, but the creaminess recedes a bit and I am getting a bit more spice on the lips. I’m left with a nuttiness similar to the first third, but with a bit more spice on the lips, as the sweetness dies down. Also, about halfway through the final third, there’s a hint of a floral note, although not a sweet floral. It was very interesting to taste that at that point given how little of the cigar is left as you can see in the photo.
- Although the sizes and vitolas of the Short Run cigars are the same every year, the names for each of the vitolas have changed every year. Also, the prices (MSRP) for each size are the same from last year, but the total number of cigars produced has changed from year to year: 108,000 total produced in 2010, 74,016 total produced in 2011, and 72,000 Total produced of the 2012 version.
- The unbanded version of the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Short Run 2012 given away with box purchases at the Casa de Montecristo event in December. While the cigars were rolled at the same time as the production versions, they obviously got about a three months less of aging. There were only about 100 available.
- The official name of this release is E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Short Run 2012, which is WAY too long to put on a box, so I am wondering what they are going to do about that. I think I will just refer to it as the NWC Short Run 2012, as I imagine most people will.
- I smoked all three sizes of the EPC NWC Short Run 2012 for this review, and I have to say, I prefer the Invictos (Toro) vitola, despite the fact that the RG is bigger than the Exquisitos, albeit only one size larger. I think the Invictos just has the perfect combination of that great NWC wrapper and the binder/filler. I found the Exquisitos to be a bit too spicy (which overwhelmed the other flavors) and the Reinados was just too large of a smoke for me (and the flavors seemed a bit more muted then in the Invictos)…
- I really cannot stress enough how amazing the construction, burn and draw are on every one of the samples I smoked. Just a pleasure to smoke in that regard.
- In fact, I was astounded to note that this cigar REFUSED to get hot at the end of the nub. I wanted to see just how far I could smoke it before it turned bitter, and the last photo (above) is what I ended up with. I am happy to report that this cigar never got hot or turned bitter, even that far down.
- I love the fact that EPC is putting the year on their bands and that they combined the white background of the NWC release with the gold lettering of the Short Run release on the bands.
- The release date is still late February/early March.
- You can definitely detect the influence of the NWC wrapper on the blend: the creaminess that is pervasive in the NWC is extremely noticeable in this cigar no matter what the vitola and it just makes the entire profile that much better.
- Strength wise, I think these come in between the NWC and the Core Line, a solid medium.
- The one bad thing I can say about this release concerns the sizes of the three cigars released, all above 50 RG. I understand why the released the sizes they did (see above), but I would absolutely LOVE to see how this blend would taste in a smaller vitola like a Corona or Petit Lancero, as I think that just like with the Short Run 2010 No.4 the flavors would be stronger and more defined.
- There’s a pretty strong belief that this will not be the only Short Run of 2012.
- The Final Smoking Time was 1 Hour and 20 Minutes for the Invictos.
The Bottom Line: When I heard about the blend that these were going to use, I was a bit taken aback. Although I love the idea, I was not sure how the act of combining two of my favorite cigars of last year (the New Wave Connecticut and the Core Line Maduro) into one cigar would actually translate, flavor-wise. I really should not have been concerned. This is easily a better blend than the Short Run 2011, which I honestly thought was EPC’s most average release, and I honestly like it just a bit better than the 2010 Short Run, when comparing the same vitolas. The E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Short Run 2012 really does take the best of both of the releases it is based on and combines them into one cigar. So, the question you are probably asking yourself (and what I asked myself, when I first heard about these) is: Is this a better cigar than you favorite EPC releases, the NWC and the Short Run 2010 No.4? Well, I honestly like them all about the same, but for different reasons. The No. 4 is stronger and the flavors are a bit more intense, and has a great kick, while the NWC is truly excellent at what it strives to be: the perfect Connecticut cigar, although interestingly, I found that the NWC has more spice in the profile than the Short Run 2012 (except for the Exquisitos vitola). People are going to love this blend. It is complex, balanced perfectly, priced well and has astoundingly good construction — another home run by EPC.
Final Score: 92