In December 2009, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. released his first cigar under his new E.P. Carrillo brand, the aptly named Inaugural Edición Limitada 2009.
More lines quickly followed after that, and every year like clockwork, a new Edición Limitada has emerged in the last three months of the last four years. We got our first look at the 2013 incarnation at the 2013 IPCPR trade show and convention in July. Last month, Patrick Lagreid confirmed the final details, and the cigars began shipping to retailers shortly after:
This year’s release is the fifth Edición Limitada from E.P. Carrillo, who began the line in 2009 as the first release under his new company. This year’s blend uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a dual binder of Nicaragua and Brazilian Habano leaves, with filler coming from Nicaragua. As with previous releases, it will be available in a single vitola, a 6 1/8 x 54 parejo, the first time this size has been used for an Edición Limitada. Moreno describes the cigar as medium to full bodied.
One notable change this year is that the box count is moving from 10 cigars to 20 cigars, though Moreno wasn’t able to immediately provide an explanation for the change. There will be 1,500 individually numbered boxes produced for a total of 30,000 cigars, making this the second largest E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada to date. In 2009, 150,000 cigars were released, while in 2010 just 10,000 cigars were produced. In 2011 the number jumped to 20,000 cigars before falling back to 15,000 cigars in 2012.
Suggested retail price for the E.P. Carrillo 2013 Edición Limitada is $15.00 per cigar and $300.00 per box.
With the addition of the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013, there have now been five different Edición Limitadas released. They are:
- 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)
The boxes that the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013 come in look like this:
Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Brazil & Nicaragua
Size: 6 1/8 Inches
Ring Gauge: 54
Vitola: Toro Gordo
MSRP: $15.00 (Boxes of 20, $300.00)
Date Released: October 23, 2013
Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
A dark espresso bean-colored wrapper covers the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013, smooth but not silky to the touch and showing very little oil. There are some obvious bumps up and down the length, as well as a few veins that are obvious. The aroma coming from the wrapper is a combination of strong leather, earth, dark chocolate and black pepper, while it is quite spongy when squeezed, almost to the point where I am wondering if it is underfilled.
The E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013 starts out with a strong earthy note, along with flavors of dark chocolate, espresso, leather and oak. There is a strong and persistent bitterness underneath the rest of the flavors that invades the rest of profile in the first third, but it does start to recede noticeably as the first third comes to an end. There is almost no pepper or spice at all, either in the mouth or on the retrohale, nor is there any appreciable sweetness that I can detect. Construction-wise, there is a significant split in the wrapper starting close to the foot, but it does not affect the burn as much as I thought it would, and the draw is spot on with just the right amount of resistance. The strength ends the first third at about medium, while the smoke production is about average.
There is a major shift in the profile of the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013 during the second third, with quite a bit more sweetness evident, and significantly less bitterness as well. The profile becomes slightly creamier with flavors of roasted nuts, oak, leather, dark cocoa and earth flitting in and out. The sweetness starts to become more distinct, tasting much like a dark cherry fruitiness, and the bitterness is long gone by the halfway point in the smoke. Both the burn and the draw continues to tow the line with the first third: the burn is wavy while the draw is still wonderful and the smoke production has actually increased in volume.
The final third of the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013 is much the same as the second third: dark cherry sweetness, slightly creamy and dominant notes of leather, earth, dark and powdery cocoa and roasted nuts. There is no pepper or spice anywhere in the profile by this point, either on the retrohale or the mouth, and that does not change as the cigar ends. The burn has really evened up, the draw remains wonderful and the smoke production is quite copious. Strength-wise, the E.P. Carrillo ends up being firmly between the medium and full marks. When I finally put it down with a little less than an inch left, the cigar is still cool.
- I was surprised at the harshness of the opening third on each one of the samples I smoked, as it is somewhat uncharacteristic of E.P. Carrillo blends in general that I have enjoyed over the years. Having said that, I smoked three different samples at three different times, and the profile remained pretty much the same for each: bitter and harsh in the beginning, gradually switching over to more of a sweet and creamy base in the second two thirds.
- All three cigars I smoked for the review came from the same vendor and presumably the same box and they were kept at 65/65 for about a week before they were smoked, so take from that what you will.
- If the first third tasted anything close to what the final two thirds tasted like, this cigar would have received a significantly higher score. Having said that, the final two thirds were extremely enjoyable, if a bit monotonous flavor wise.
- Edición Limitadas are obviously nothing new and most prominently used by Habanos S.A.
- The ash is extremely flaky with small bits falling off all the time, but interestingly, the first main body of the ash did not totally fall off until after an inch and a half or so.
- Two out of the five Edición Limitadas that have been released so far have had official names other than just Edición Limitada: the original 2009 Inaugural and the 2011 Dark Rituals. If there is a rhyme or reason for the difference in the naming scheme, I can’t see it.
- While the bands from 2010-2012 featured the same font, the 2013 features a non-italic font that is noticeably different.
- This is the first time that one of E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada releases is in 20-count boxes instead of 10 count boxes, thus pushing the price up quite a bit for people wanting a box. The official reason for the change was that the elaborate box for the 2013 version was just not cost effective to enough to make 10 count boxes, but I imagine that the change was quite a sticker shock to people who had been purchasing boxes of these since the beginning.
- Having said the above, the boxes are astoundingly gorgeous and appear very well made, at least from the sample we saw at the show.
- All five Edición Limitada from E.P. Carrillo so far have used different wrappers and all five have been different lengths.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel from site sponsor Mike’s Cigar.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged a relatively quick one hour and 35 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Famous Smoke Shop and Mike’s Cigars have them in stock as of this moment.
To say I was surprised at the horrible opening these cigars had would be a massive understatement. The E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013 seems to be a tale of two smokes: bitter and harsh in the beginning on all three samples I reviewed, and sweet, slightly creamy and woodsy in the final two thirds. I really enjoyed the profile of the final two thirds of each sample, but unfortunately, even after the problematic first third the newest incarnation in the Edición Limitada series lacks the nuance and complexity that I really have come to expect in most of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.'s blends. The overall construction is fine, as is the smoke production, but in the end this is not a blend that I can see myself smoking again unless the problems with the first third resolve themselves after some rest.