Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. first made a name for himself during the cigar boom of the ’90s, with his family’s La Gloria Cubana brand helping to kick off the boutique cigar mindset of today’s market. But it is the modern era of Carrillo’s career that has been most critically acclaimed. This began with the debut of the EPC brand and associated Tabacalera La Alianza factory in 2009. In 2014, the company’s premiere cigar—La Historia—launched, marking the beginning of an ultra-premium collection known as the Perez-Carrillo Series. This was followed by the Encore cigar, together making up one of the most acclaimed series on the premium cigar market.
In 2020, coinciding with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.’s 50th year in the cigar industry, the Pledge cigar debuted as the third blend in the Perez-Carrillo Series. Paying homage to his impressive milestone, Carrillo looked to a once-little-known wrapper style: USA Connecticut Habano. It’s a varietal that he first began using during the early ’80s, coming into his own as a cigar blender in Miami. Six blends were initially created in hopes of matching the high bar set by former Perez-Carrillo cigars, eventually settling on a recipe of Connecticut Habano over an Ecuadorian binder and all-Nicaraguan filler. The end result is the most full-flavored experience from EPC Cigar Co. to date, showing rich and long-lasting flavors of hickory, chocolate, freshly roasted coffee beans, and dark stone fruit. The cigars’ release has been slow-going at launch, being set back by COVID-19, though the small-batch production is ongoing and expected to become more readily available in 2021.
- Wrapper: Connecticut Habano (USA)
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitolas: 2
- Price: $10.75–$12.00 (MSRP)