Every year, beginning in 2010, EPC Cigar Co. has introduced a new offering from its Short Run series. Now, on its seventh iteration, they’ve altered the concept behind the series and introduced a whole new design—one that is expected to lead the way for other EPC blends down the road.

Traditionally, an E.P. Carrillo Short Run cigar would consist of offshoot versions of regular production EPC cigars—showcasing blending tweaks and limited edition sizes, etc. But for 2016, the cigar has not only been condensed to a singular toro vitola, it gets its own custom blend as well.

Short Run 2016 Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. (Dominican Republic)
  • Production: Limited Edition (2,500 boxes of 10 cigars)
  • Vitola: 6″ × 52 Toro
  • Price: $12.00

Short Run 2016 arrives decked out in striking, gold bands. From head to toe, the look is almost completely gold, having intricate embossings and minor highlights of red and white for the cigar’s name. This is a very welcomed new look for EPC—in my opinion, their line had become oversaturated, with almost every cigar having a near-identical look. I want to know what I’m smoking and what sets it apart from the rest of a brand’s portfolio—the new Short Run does the trick.

The cigar itself appears fairly well-rolled. There are some minor nicks in the wrapper but the overall construction feels nice. Noticeable veins draw a webbed pattern across the wrapper, topped with a solid triple cap. The wrapper shows no signs of oil, having a brown paper bag feel and almost leathery appearance. On the nose there are light notes of leather and citrus.

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Smoking Experience

A sharp spice kicks off the smoke—it’s very intense and carries a horseradish zing through the nostrils. Sharp pepper and vegetal notes abound, it’s like buttered and peppered asparagus on the palate. You may want to carefully gauge your puffing, as a larger draw can quickly heat up, producing enough sharp spice to have you coughing. Smaller puffs give a more buttery, caramelly experience.

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2016 toro cigar review

It has a medium strength, medium-plus flavor, and overall medium body. Continuing on the theme of “medium”, that’s about the level of smoke output, unfortunately. At around 2″, the profile makes some pretty dramatic transformations. Sweet coffee flavors begin to replace the zesty peppers, accompanied by brown sugar, cedar, and even a grittier, more palpable texture on the tongue. This changeup was so stark, I was already plotting my subtitle for the review – A Tale of Two Cigars…

Unfortunately, this full and vibrant pleasantry lasted only about an inch. The flavors begin to mellow out, replaced by a strength-forward experience—not that it’s a nicotine bomb, but this does become the most noticeable aspect of the cigar. There’s a gripping and long-lasting acidic zing on the tongue, and touching the open tobaccos against the tongue is like licking a 9-volt battery… Menthol flavors begin to build in the retrohale and roasted nuts and generic, light tobacco flavors make up the palate. This combination lacks depth and eventually intensifies to a rather harsh vibe.

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2016 cigar ash

Would I smoke this cigar again?

Unfortunately, I have to go with a “no” on this one. We all know Ernesto makes some great stuff, and I’ve been an on-and-off fan of the Short Run cigars throughout the years. The problem with the series was always a lack of identity—even when they were tasty, I’d think, “Why is this unique?” But now, with the revamped concept, I was pretty excited to see what the new Short Run had to offer. Hopefully I just got a dud, but at $12, I really can’t see myself giving it another go.

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2016 cigar review and rating

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2016
EPC Cigar Co. shows off a new look and for the first time, a custom blend for their annual Short Run series. The look is great and we were pleased to see it released in a singular size (usually signifying the ideal offering for a given blend). But unfortunately the profile didn't match the slick look. Flavors jump from too hot/spicy, to vibrant and sweet, to harsh, with a sever lack of complexity. And at a steep price tag of $12, we find it a little hard to recommend.
  • Gritty, full, and very flavorful second-third
  • Near-perfect draw (perhaps a smidge tight)
  • Very inconsistent
  • Second half shows almost no depth or complexity
  • Construction issues (slight wrapper cracks and less-than-desirable smoke output)
86%Hit & Miss
Reader Rating: (8 Votes)
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