This is the cigar I'd confidently recommend to my die hard Cuban-smoking friends. The other non cuban I really enjoy is Oliva Master Blend III. Don Pepin also makes wonderful cigars, such as the Blue Label, however some of them have this strong spiciness which could affect the whole balance (personal opinion only). I have been smoking both Cubans and Non Cubans with absolutely no biases in order to have a good idea of both. And, I'd love to hear from other smokers' opinions on both cubans and non cubans.
Review: E.P. Carrillo Core Line Club 52
Today we will be taking at another cigar from an incredibly hot cigar company, E.P. Carrillo which is owned and operated by none other than Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. the man, the legend behind La Gloria Cubana, El Rico Habano, and the owner of El Credito. Over the years Ernesto has focused more on a family operation, a brand that will speak more to what he is about, simple, yet elegant and full of passion.
Since the release of his first cigar the E.P. Carrillo Inagural in 2009 (you can read Brooks’ review HERE) his company has done nothing but release incredible cigars like the Short Run (you can read Brooks’ review of the Delirios HERE) and the 2010 Edición Limitada which we have reviewed here and have enjoyed thoroughly. However up until now he hasn’t produced a full production cigar under the EPC banner. That has all changed with the Core Line…a cigar that is everything you have come to love from EPC but cheaper and easier to find. What a wonderful idea right?
As of now the core line comes in 6 vitolas listed here…
Encantos – 4 7/8 x 50
Regalias Real – 5 7/8 x 46
Club 52 – 5 7/8 x 52
Churchill Especial – 7 1/8 x 49
Predilectos – 6 1/8 x 52 Torpedo
Golosos – 6 1/4 x 60
The boxes that the E.P. Carrillo Core Line are presented in look like this…
Lets get to it shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo Core Line Club 52
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Sumatra Ecuador
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: 80& Nicaraguan & Dominican
- Size: 5 7/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $7.00
- Release Date: 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
On the outset the core line is a nice looking cigar, it may not be as pretty as the other EPC cigars but it’s far from ugly. It has a Colorado Maduro shade wrapper with very few veins but a few lumps here and there. The wrapper feels a bit rough and there isn’t much oil to speak of. It has a very spongy feel to it but is otherwise packed very nice with a tight seam and a nice triple cap.
The pre-light aroma is very earthy with an abundance of sweet tobacco and hay. The pre-light draw is full of earth, it literally taste like a damp forest floor, that aroma you would get from wet leaves and mushrooms, a very nice flavor.
Starting off in the First Third as the pre-light indicated the cigar is very earthy right off the bat but with a nice sweet undertone. The mouth feel is very lush and buttery, a thick cloud of smoke with every puff that is almost chewy. Halfway through the first third the Buttery mouth feel fades and I start to get a lot of coffee and cocoa notes with hints of cedar. The finish is incredibly long and sweet with a bit of spice on the tongue. The cigar is medium in body and more mild/medium in strength.
Coming into the Second Third the cigar takes on a very grassy note. Usually when one detects grass in a cigar it’s thought of as a negative attribute but this particular note is very nice. It taste like what freshly cut grass smells like and it only lasts for maybe 10 puffs and then is disappears like it was never there. Once again the cigar turns creamy…not quite as buttery as in the first third but still creamy indeed. The coffee flavors turns a little bitter giving it an espresso like flavor. The finish is creamy and sweet. The burn is a bit uneven at times and I am forced to touch it up but it isn’t affecting the flavors.
Finishing up in the Final Third the cigar doesn’t deviate too much from the last third. It’s fairly consistent to the end. The creaminess fades and the cigar gets a little hot and bitter towards the end but I am still able to nub it with relative ease. The cigar ends on a solid medium body.
- Ernesto told me that this cigar can be described as a cross between the Inagural 2009 and the Short Run. It’s certainly a great cigar and perfect for the core line because I don’t feel it’s as good as the other limited production cigars he puts out but it’s good enough to stand on it’s own and support a company. The price point on these are amazing and I can’t think of too many cigars that are this cheap that taste this good. This would be a perfect everyday go to cigar.
- The one negative I had in this cigar was the performance, construction wise the burn didn’t perform so well. The burn got very wonky at times and I was forced to touch it up many times.
- I loved the flavor profile. This cigar is full of earthy sweetness with a nice thick creamy mouth feel. It has an incredibly long finish that just goes on forever. The cigar is quite consistent the whole way through. There is a lack of spice and pepper that I yearn for in cigars but that doesn’t prevent it from being enjoyable. It would be a perfect morning or mid day cigar.
- Final Smoking time was 1 hour 27 minutes.
The Bottom Line: I really enjoyed this cigar. I think E.P. Carrillo has become one of the best cigar companies out there. I have been nothing but impressed with everything they have put out and I am so glad they now have a full production cigar that is worthy of their name. I will certainly continue to smoke these and most likely on a daily basis as the price point is amazing. If you haven’t tried this cigar I urge you to and while you are at it try all the other stuff they have as well. You won’t be disappointed. My one wish for EPC in 2011 in that we see a Maduro wrapped cigar. In my opinion a Maduro wrapped Short Run or Edición Limitada type cigar will take cigar of the year on every list out there.
Final Score: 89