Since most releases that are shown off at the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show are known weeks or months in advance, there are very few times that there are any major surprises.
That was not the case in the E.P. Carrillo booth this year, as the company showed off a new project that was kept under wraps until the show. Dubbed Ernesto’s Humidor after company founder Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr., the box holds 30 cigars in a 6 x 54 toro vitola that were said to be blended by Ernesto for his own personal use.
The 30 cigars are split into three different sections, with each section holding 10 cigars in three different blends.
- E.P. Carrillo Ernesto’s Humidor Colorado (6 x 54) — Ecuadorian sumatra wrapper, Nicaragua binder and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos
- E.P. Carrillo Ernesto’s Humidor Connecticut (6 x 54) — Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Nicaragua binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic
- E.P. Carrillo Ernesto’s Humidor Maduro (6 x 54) —Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Sumatra binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic
According to the company, only 500 humidors were produced, but that the cigars inside can continue to be ordered until the tobaccos for each specific blend are no long available. Retail cost for each of the humidors is $375, meaning each cigar retails for $12.50.
- Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo Ernesto's Humidor Colorado
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Toro Extra
- MSRP: $13.15 (Boxes of 10, $395)
- Release Date: Nov. 1, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Covered in a reddish brown wrapper that has some obvious tooth to it, the E.P. Carrillo Ernesto’s Humidor Colorado features quite a few bumps running up and down the length. There is a fairly large soft spot just under the band and the cigar is a just a bit more spongy than normal when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of pungent barnyard, hay, nuts, tobacco, Worcestershire sauce and generic sweetness, while the cold draw brings flavors of creamy leather, dank earth, sweet molasses, peanuts, dark chocolate and a touch of pepper.
The Ernesto’s Humidor Colorado starts off the first third with one dominant flavor above all others: a dank and somewhat bitter earth note that does not seem to want to recede anytime soon. There are other notes present, including a powdery dark cocoa, roasted peanuts, leather, barnyard, and espresso beans, but they are definitely taking a back seat in the profile so far. Smoke production off of the foot is plentiful, and there is a very large amount of black pepper on the retrohale. The draw is excellent so far, and while the burn is a bit wavy, it is not bad enough to have to touch up yet. Strength-wise, the E.P. Carrillo Ernesto’s Humidor Colorado starts off at a very low medium, and barely budges by the time the first third comes to close.
Thankfully, the start of the second third sees the bitter earth note from the first third drop to almost undetectable levels, replaced by a nice creamy leather and oak combination interspersed with notes of bitter espresso beans, hay, licorice, cinnamon and peanuts. The smoke production remains high, but the black pepper on the retrohale has fallen off considerably, allowing me to retrohale quite a bit more often. Construction-wise, the draw continues to impress while the burn has to be touched up twice to keep from getting out of control. The overall strength has barely increased, but it is getting closer to a solid medium bit by bit.
The final third of the Ernesto’s Humidor Colorado features the same creamy oak and leather combination from the second third as the dominant note, but there is a stronger generic sweetness that is interlaced and continues to increase as the final third burns down. Other flavors of grass, aromatic cedar, meatiness, nuts and a slight floral note flit in and out, and the smoke production continues to be quite high overall. The burn has finally evened up, and the draw is still excellent, and while the strength has increased, it barely hits a solid medium by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch left.
- The inside of the lid of the box these are packaged in says Ernesto’s Humidor No. 1 as well as Edition 2015, suggesting that there may be more releases in this series down the road, although the company says there are no specific plans at this time.
- The band is a bit underwhelming visually, and I really wish they had gone with something a bit more striking instead of simplistic.
- Each of the three samples I smoked had one soft spot somewhere: on top of the band, just under the band and halfway down the cigar. Interestingly, while the spots were noticeable, they did not seem to affect the construction in any negative way.
- Although the amount varies, I usually retrohale on just about every puff when I smoking, but the black pepper that was present for basically the entire first third had me rethinking that option.
- You can see our coverage of the E.P. Carrillo booth at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show here.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
If I had to describe this cigar in one word, it would be inconsistent. One of the samples I smoked was a very good cigar, with decently complex flavors and good construction, while the second had a nice maple sweetness that really increased my enjoyment, but featured a burn that needed to be touched up constantly and a draw that was much too loose. The third sample was in between the two, with a faint generic sweetness, more distinct flavors and a good draw, but a burn that was far from perfect. If you get a good one, you should be very pleased, if you get one of the others, you will likely not take the time or effort to come back to them.