Since 2009, E.P. Carrillo has released an annual limited edition cigar, generally referred to as the Edición Limitada, and 2015 was no different, except in some ways it was. The 6 x 54 cigar doesn’t bear the Edición Limitada name, but instead uses the English version, Limited Edition. It also removes the secondary band in favor of a one-piece presentation with a new black, gold and red color scheme.
For the cigar itself, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Jr. incorporated a different technique for finishing off the Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. Borrowed from a process used in Cuban chinchalles, 25 leaves are gathered and then folded around the central veins and left to age slowly, a process that Perez-Carrillo told halfwheel is designed to help smooth out the flavor of the leaves while giving them a silky texture.
- E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada Inaugural 2009 (5 3/8 x 52) — December 2009 — 15,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (150,000 Total Cigars)
- E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2010 (6 x 54) — November 2010 — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2011 Dark Rituals (6 1/2 x 56) — October 2011 — 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2012 (6 1/2 x 56) — November 2012 — 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
- E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013 (6 1/8 x 54) — October 2013 — 1,500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- E.P. Carrillo 5 Year Anniversary (6 1/2 x 54) — August 2014 — 3,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2015 (6 x 54) — November 2015 — 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2015
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $15 (Box of 10, $150)
- Release Date: Nov. 18, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
While the cigar is plenty attractive in its own right, it’s not the wrapper or anything about the tobacco that catches my eye first; it’s the band. E.P. Carrillo has been steadily evolving its bands, and this appears to be another subtle design step forward, and that’s before realizing that Limited Edition is in English, whereas previous cigars in the series were denoted as Edición Limitada. As for the cigar, however, it’s the color of the wrapper that is most striking, offering some great visual depth and a shade that reminds me of the wet trees of the Pacific Northwest, almost a mix of red clay and rich brown earth. It also has just a bit of tooth, something that almost always sits favorably with me. The roll quality looks very good; the seam is visible and there are spots where the veins become prominent with the occasional bump, but overall I’m fine with the appearance. It’s a very firm cigar, consistent from top to bottom, and the cap is a layered thing of beauty. There are aromas of sweet dough off the foot, a bit of pepper, cedar, and at times a certain effervescence to the final package. The cold draw is on the firm side as well, with a bit of damp bark and espresso grounds up front, lightly coated by just a bit of generic sweetness.
The E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada opens with a somewhat restrained profile; earthy and offering a dash of pepper, but without the bang that many other cigars tries to create. Where the cigar really shines is in its aroma, which has me thinking of the northwest on a damp day when the trees are saturated and the bark is putting off its distinctive smell. It’s the aroma that calls me back to the cigar, which quickly pivots and adds in more pepper for both the nose and palate, a steady progression where both white and black pepper work to beef up the cigar while adding some vibrant punch by way of some chili pepper. As the flavor and smoke continues to become fuller, I keep finding a hole at its core, like a symphony lacking percussion. After about 40 minutes and not much progress with the burn line, I’m beginning to get concerned that either I’ve ignored the cigar or it has planned a much longer engagement with me than I had; given that it hasn’t gone out once I’m beginning to think it’s the latter and that has me a bit concerned for what I may be in for time-wise. Notes of rich chocolate begin to emerge without adding much sweetness to the cigar, setting up the first third to close with an increase in black pepper and a much fuller body than what has been offered to this point. The result is more gravitas on the palate, something that seemed lacking given its overall profile. Combustion through the first third has been near perfect, with an even burn line and no problem getting ample amounts of smoke.
There’s another pivot in the flavor at the start of the second third, as just after the cigar added some heft on the palate, it delivers a bright punch of pepper in the nose, making retrohales much more substantial. In some samples it is almost too much, not in the sense of becoming harsh, but just leaving a biting finish right between the nose and mouth. From there, the pepper becomes a bit sneakier; take a puff from the cigar and it won’t hit you right away, but take two, maybe three back to back, and the nose quickly gets overwhelmed by it. By the midpoint, the gravitas has lifted and the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2015 has a lighter, almost peppermint flavor leading the way, reminding me of Altoids in both taste and texture of the smoke. It’s an enjoyable flavor that doesn’t stick around for long as the cigar wants to get back to its heavier profile, using that to cross the midpoint as the burn rates seems to be picking up a bit from what it established in the first third. The burn has been fantastic to this point, with just a slight flowering and chipped ash the only thing I can begin to mention as a complaint, though neither affects the ash’s structural integrity.
After spending most of its second third alternating between flavor and strength profiles, the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2015 settles into the fuller and heavier version for the final third, though the pepper has died down a bit and no longer commands the senses quite as much as it did before. The ash continues to build into strong clumps that hold on easily for an inch and beyond, often to the point of getting me nervous about where they might come off and inspiring me to be proactive and detach them with a flick of the wrist. More notes of tree bark and earth set up the final notes of the cigar, with some coffee grounds mixed in at times to give it a bit of a gritty, earthy feel in the mouth, with any trace of sweetness long gone. Heat becomes a bit of a factor, but a patient puffing rate will help get this cigar down to a compact nub of a cigar.
- In addition to this being the first of the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada releases with the English name on the cigar, it’s also the first one to use a single band.
- The E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2016 is scheduled to be out this month, this time in a lone 6 x 52 toro vitola and with a new look for the band.
- There is also an 8 x 58 INCH Maduro on the way.
- In June 2015, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Jr. was featured in the Portraits series.
- This cigar was formally unveiled at the 2015 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, alongside another limited edition release, Ernesto’s Humidor. The three cigars in that release also come in a 6 x 54 vitola, just like this cigar.
- Federal Cigar in New Hampshire will be celebrating its 95th anniversary later this week with a limited edition from E.P. Carrillo.
- You could make the case that the E.P. Carrillo 5 Year Anniversary doesn’t belong in the Edición Limitada group, but we consider it to be part of the series given that there was no 2014 release and the production number and release style were almost identical to the rest of the series.
- I’m not sure I would use the term silky to describe the wrappers on this cigar, though they are fairly smooth. I would love to compare this blend done without the technique E.P. Carrillo used on the wrappers to see just what the difference would be.
- Final smoking time was two hours on average.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar and Cigar.com both carry the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2015.
For whatever reason, E.P. Carrillo’s portfolio has almost always found favor with me, and the Edición Limitada 2015 is no exception. Its rich, earthy and fairly peppery profile is very enjoyable, though at times it lacks some of the depth of the company's other cigars. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what this cigar is missing, but it’s that certain nuance and complexity that pushes cigars from the very good category into being excellent. That said, the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada is still a very, very good cigar that I could see myself smoking regularly and without complaint.