One of the more surprising developments in the cigar world in 2022 has been Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.’s increased connections to Nicaragua. In the span of two months, it was announced that Tabacalera La Alianza S.A., the Dominican factory owned by Perez-Carrillo Jr., would make a Cuba Aliados line for Oliva Cigar Co., and that Plasencia would make an INCH brand for E.P. Carrillo to sell.

The INCH Nicaragua is made at Plasencia Cigars S.A., the Estelí, Nicaragua-based factory also referred to as El Cathedral—using Nicaraguan tobaccos grown by the Plasencia family. This includes a shade-grown wrapper from Jalapa as well as other tobaccos from Condega and Estelí.

It’s offered in three sizes.

  • E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua No. 62 (5 x 62) — $9.95
  • E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua No. 60 (5 7/8 x 60) — $10.95
  • E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua No. 64 (6 1/8 x 64) — $12.50

The INCH line debuted in 2012 and took its name from the fact that one of the vitolas had a thickness of 64 ring gauge. Given that the ring gauge number is equivalent to 64ths of an inch in diameter, that means that the INCH Nicaragua No. 64 has a ring gauge that is equal in diameter to an inch, while the size I’m reviewing is roughly 94 percent of an inch in diameter.

This is the second INCH line to be made entirely of Nicaraguan tobaccos. In 2018, the company released the INCH Ringmaster, which uses Nicaraguan tobaccos but like all of the previous INCH lines, it is made at Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.

  • Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua No. 60
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 7/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Vitola: Gordo
  • MSRP: $10.95 (Box of 24, $262.80)
  • Release Date: July 2022
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

This is obviously a very large cigar, though it’s not quite the length of a standard gordo. The first thing I notice are the bands because there is a lot going on with their design. I think the end result works well and there are some high points for me—I find the top of the main band to be very regal-looking. That said, the bottom band seems somewhat out of place and one of the five different fonts used—a more modern-looking sans serif—looks very out of place. The bands are rather large, but even with both on the cigar I can tell that the E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua No. 60’s wrapper is not the most consistent color-wise. There are black spots, a general change in color length-wise and some mild discoloration around the veins. My first sniff at the wrapper reminds me of pasta salad, but subsequent smells reveals a mixture of milk chocolate, dry pasta, mustard powder and acidity. The aromas are fairly intertwined and I find them to be medium-full. The foot smells more intense with a wide-ranging milk chocolate flavor and some potato starch. I get a different version of the milk chocolate on the cold draw, more of a chocolate syrup flavor that is very sharp over some red apple, earthiness, chocolate milkshake and artificial vanilla. While that sounds very sweet, there’s a sharpness to the main chocolate flavor that reduces the sweetness.

The E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua No. 60 begins with a dry profile of earthiness, chocolate, roasted nuts and a poultry-like meatiness. Pretty early on, popcorn emerges out of the dryness, though it’s eventually overtaken by a multi-dimensional earthiness. At times the earthiness is like a pile of leaves, a lot of the time it’s more like the smell of wet soil after a rainfall, other times there are some more mineral aspects to it. Beyond that, there’s a creaminess that reminds me of a milky cheese, lots of generic woody flavors and some perfume-like aspects, such as bergamot, a fragrant citrus fruit. A semi-sweet cookie dough emerges during the finish but is quickly replaced by lots of hay followed by rye bread and a muted oak. The flavors are all fairly intense, but there’s a lack of crispness to them that has me wanting more. Retrohales have mustard, peanuts, some herbal flavors and a distinct herbal flavor that reminds me of marijuana flower after it’s been vaporized. The finish of the retrohale has damp earthiness, popcorn, herbal flavors and a very strong and long-lasting gritty earth flavor that sits on my tongue for a minute after I take a puff. Flavor is full, body is full and strength is medium-full. Construction is excellent, though I find the ash falls off quicker than normal, seemingly right around the one-inch mark each time.

A hearty cedar emerges before the halfway mark of the cigar and seems poised to take over as the strongest flavor in the profile, but a combination of earthiness, nuttiness and cedar end up edging it out for the top spot right as the midway point. Given how strong those four flavors are, it’s tough to consistently pick up much else, but I find varying types of pepper—there’s a consistent green pepper and a stronger, but less consistent black pepper—along with peanut butter. The finish is creamier with the peanut butter carrying itself over from the main flavor to the finish. Similar to the first third, there’s a multi-dimensional earthiness, including a flavor that reminds me of the smell of pencil lead, a flavor descriptor that is generally mentioned on this site only by Brooks Whittington. After the halfway mark, the finish adds some leather and the green and black peppers get more intense. When I push the smoke through my nose, the E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua No. 60 delivers a toastier profile that has some nuttiness. Beyond that, there are mild flavors of honey, apple sauce and white pepper. It seems like a creaminess is suppressing those flavors, though I’m not sure what it would be without them. Whereas the retrohales were smoother than the main flavor in the first third, the finish of the retrohale gets noticeably harsh in the second third. There’s some residual nuttiness on the tongue, but what’s in my nostrils is largely harshness, green pepper and black pepper. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-full. Construction remains excellent.

I wasn’t expecting the E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua No. 60 to get creamy, but that’s what happens in the final third of each cigar. There is not only a lot of creamy flavors, but they seem to stick to my palate in a way that is different than normal. Beyond that, there’s earthiness, oak, white pepper and black pepper. The earthiness continues to be a lot more than just generic earthy flavors, but it’s not as strong as before. The finish has earthiness, black pepper, creaminess and a building harshness that eventually overwhelms the black pepper as the most prominent burning sensation in the profile. Retrohales have more harshness than ever before, but there’s also a small amount of floral flavors which makes for an interesting contrast. There’s also red pepper, black pepper and damp earth. While I find flavors like sourdough bread and citrus during the finish of the retrohales, I generally avoid doing them because of how harsh the finish has gotten. Flavor is full, body is full and strength is medium-full. One cigar needs a minor touch-up in the final third to help with an uneven burn and declining smoke production, but construction is otherwise very impressive.

Final Notes

  • I am not surprised to see another factory producing the INCH. Privately, I’ve heard that Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. has had issues keeping up with production, something that Crowned Heads, a client of the factory, has publicly mentioned.
  • Late last year, RoMa Craft Tobac announced that it was working with Perez-Carrillo Jr. for a brand called Quinquagenario, which is being made at Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. That cigar is currently slated for a Spring 2023 release.
  • While it’s not the style that I would personally gravitate towards, I’ve always liked the INCH bands. It’s designed to mimic the look of a ruler, and I’ve always found it to be very well done. The ruler-inspired artwork also appears on the boxes.

  • E.P. Carrillo produced this very well-done video. I wish it was a bit longer and I wish there were more shots that showed off some of the art and furniture, which looks awesome.
  • I’m not sure there’s a factory that makes or has made as many different vitolas as Plasencia Cigars S.A. At this point, it’s more a question of what sizes the factory doesn’t make. It’s made everything from these large ring gauge offerings to a ninfa-sized perfecto to a hexagon-shaped 6 x 60.
  • I find the finish of the retrohale to be rather lengthy, oftentimes lasting more than a minute.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve smoked the other INCH cigars, so I’m not sure what the current state of them is or how this compares.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time is two hours and 45 minutes.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Famous Smoke Shop carry the INCH Nicaragua No. 60.
88 Overall Score

I was a bit skeptical about why there needed to be another INCH line from E.P. Carrillo. This is—by halfwheel's count—the eighth iteration of the INCH brand, albeit the first to be made by a different factory. What I found was a cigar that was very easy to smoke and pretty enjoyable, especially outside of the retrohale in the second half of the cigar. I’m curious to know where the harshness came from and why my palate, specifically the olfactory nerves in my nose were so sensitive to the harshness. Outside of that, there’s little to complain about with the INCH Nicaragua, it checks a lot of the boxes people look for in a 60-ring gauge cigar: great construction, the ability to be smoked quickly and a decent value proposition given the sheer size of the cigar. However, if I’m going to smoke a 60-ring gauge cigar, I’d prefer one with a bit more complexity and refinement.

Avatar photo

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.