E.P. Carrillo is a brand that should be well known to the majority of cigar smokers. Some of you may recall that Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Jr. was the mastermind behind the brand La Gloria Cubana and Serie R cigars until he formed his own company with his children. If you have ever listened to Kiss My Ash radio on Saturday mornings, you may have heard the Honest Abe commercial naming E.P. Carrillo “the godfather of boutique cigars”.
As you may have guessed, 5 Year Anniversary is a limited edition cigar that has been made to commemorate the founding of E.P. Carrillo Cigars, originating in 2009.
5 Year Anniversary Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder: Ecuadorian Corojo ’99
- Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí, Condega & Jalapa)
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Limited Edition – 3,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- Vitola: 6 ½” x 54 Toro
- Price: $8.50
Wrapper: Barnyard natural tobacco on the wrapper and faint sweet chocolate come off the foot that just begs to be smoked. Wrapper color is a nice deep brown color with pronounced veins throughout. The cigar features a double band; the top band has some similarities to the classic E.P. Carrillo band and just underneath is a circular band marked with the E.P. Carrillo name, 2009 – 2014, 5 year, and a picturesque tobacco valley.
Pre-light draw: sweet hay and earthy notes
The 5 Year Anniversary starts with pepper, earth, and deep-charred, sweet, oaky wood notes. There is a savory sweetness that continues to build up as you smoke the cigar. The middle of this third brings about a dark, roasty, cocoa flavor that takes hold of my attention. Wood flavors dance around your palate in same manor that cards get shuffled in a deck. Warm, nutty flavors and a late-blooming coffee bean note join the ensemble of flavors. The Chocolate note develops and becomes a little chalky. As this third comes to an end I start to pick up a dark fruit flavor on the back end of my palate as I exhale the smoke.
Mouthfeel: The smoke is dense and has some weight on the palate, leaving behind a long finish.
Retro: a tantalizing dry cocoa powder and pepper. Deeper retro pulls will blast your nostrils with pepper and little to no cocoa.
The majority of the flavors of the first third have carried themselves over into the second third. One variation that I began to pick up was the transition of the wood notes becoming somewhat buttery. Chocolate notes are only a half step behind and coffee notes that once lingered in the background, begin to push towards the front of the profile, leaving a tanginess on the tongue. It reminds me of the aroma that greets your nose when you open a new bag of dark roast coffee. Milk chocolate and earth notes linger on the peripheral of the palate. In the middle of the third, off in the distance somewhere, I picked up some brown sugar sweetness and some roasted red pepper. But they never really become as vocal as the other flavors.
The last third finishes of with sweet anise, wood, coffee, and the introduction of leather. You may experience a noticeable burst of nicotine in this third, so go easy. The flavor profile gets a bit murky as the cigar comes to an end.
Retro: Sweet and spicy red pepper.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes. In fact after I smoked my first, I went out and purchased 4 more. I am very interested to see how this cigar smokes with a year or more time on it.
- Complex and bold flavors that pair perfectly with stout beers
- Priced well for a limited edition
- Flavors are better developed when kept at a lower RH or dry boxed (i.e. not as consistent or easily approachable as I'd like)