Binder: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Tobacco: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Length: 5 3/8
Ring Gauge: 52
Ernesto Perez Castillo’s name rings bells throughout the cigar community as one of the most popular cigar makers for the last ten years. His signature La Gloria Cubana is a classic cigar that has stood the test of time as other brands have come and gone with the wind. Having worked under the Swedish Match/General Cigar company until March 2009, Ernesto decided to start over and start his own family owned brand rightfully named EPC Cigar Company.
I was fortunate enough to come across a couple of E.P. Carrillo Edicion Inaugural 2009 Encores at the recent Grown And Sexy In The City Cigar Group’s holiday party. I put some in the humidor so they could sit for a couple of days. On Christmas day I had an hour drive ahead of me and thought this was the perfect opportunity to fire this cigar up.
In all honesty this is one of the best looking cigars I’ve seen this year. The color is a golden brown with very minimal veins and the seams are in uniform. From crown to foot it is firm to the touch with no soft spots in sight. The triple cap is flawless as well. Finally the dual bands are an ultra classy touch. This is truly a man made marvel.
After toasting the foot I get a great flavor profile upfront. I am getting a very interesting mix of cream, earth and spice that leaves a nice silky coating on my palette after each exhale. It its a very smooth and full smoke with it landing at a medium body zone. My only complaint is that the draw is very tight and it takes a lot of effort on my part to get a good puff. The fact that I used a punch maybe contributing to this but I didn’t bring my cutter with me so bear with me.
Fifteen minutes into this 2009 I am really impressed with the cigar minus the draw issues. The flavor is building into an even more complex profile. The spice is more apparent now but it is very much welcomed. I am noticing some different variations of the aforementioned creaminess; maybe vanilla. The ash is a dimmed white and is holding strong even in some windy areas. Sadly the draw is not loosening up a bit. It is still very tight to the point where I am pulling for dear life to get some smoke.
Rounding into the final third I finally got home to my cutter and opened this cigar up. Now the draw is a little more relaxed and I am getting a better amount of smoke at half of the work. The pepper is dying down but I am still getting a full smoke. The dominant flavor is still cream but it is shown in different combinations that include butter, vanilla, etc.
Overall I was really impressed with the E.P. Carrillo Edicion Inaugural 2009. My only suggestion is to treat with a nice open cut, skip the punching. Even though the draw was very stiff this cigar is a must buy. The 2009 is in limited production so I suggest you look quickly. If I ever need to toast to a truly special occasion I know I can reach for E.P. Carillo 2009.