Longtime readers of this site will recognize Federal Cigar as the New Hampshire-based chain of stores has been home to a plethora of limited releases from some of the most popular cigar brands over the last few years. One of those brands has been E.P. Carrillo.
While there have been other releases for the store, E.P. Carrillo and Federal have created a series of sorts, modeled after the iconic Bolívar Gold Medal. It started two years ago with the E.P. Carrillo Federal 92nd Anniversary Medalla D’ Oro, a modified version of the 2012 Short Run release that looks very familiar to the Gold Medal, foil and all.
Since then, there have been two additional releases, including the Medalla d’Platino. As the name implies, the second version of the cigar uses a platinum-color foil as opposed to gold. As for the cigar itself, it measures 6 1/2 x 44, the same as the original 92nd anniversary release, but this time the modified internal Short Run 2012 blend is wrapped in an Ecuadorian corojo 99.
- E.P. Carrillo Federal 92nd Anniversary Medalla d’Oro (6 1/2 x 44) — March 2013 — 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- E.P. Carrillo Medalla d’Platino (6 1/2 x 44) — November 2014 — 250 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- E.P. Carrillo Medalla d’Noche (6 1/2 x 44) — December 2014 — 250 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo Medalla d’Platino
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 44
- Vitola: Lonsdale
- MSRP: $8.75 (Boxes of 10, $87.50)
- Release Date: December 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
One of the three samples I smoked for this review had a very noticeable soft spots. While the tobacco portion of the cigar looks great, the packaging comes off a bit awkward with the band not forming well against the cigar itself, awkwardly hanging out. Aroma off the foot provides some sweet cedar, floral and a bit of cocoa. From the cold draw, it’s a wood mixture along with a sweet floral flavor, enjoyable, but not complex.
Things start out with warm woods, big roasted coffee notes, and a smooth woody finish. It takes a few puffs, but eventually the Medalla d’Platino gets going smoke production-wise. Eventually, the flavor develops to include an array of woodiness, sunflower seeds and some coffee. From the start, what flavors the Medalla d’Platino actually presented were pleasant and decently developed, but it feels like the cigar is holding back. Construction is fine: a solid draw, acceptable smoke production and even ash, albeit, one that is definitely not firm.
The array of woodsy flavors sticks around for the second third, as does the coffee flavor, but the latter is now much more like burnt coffee. That said, I enjoy things a bit more, largely thanks to an interesting smoky whiskey note. Construction remains the same on the E.P. Carrillo, with the ash holding on a bit more.
Salty sunflower seeds return joining a woodsiness and coffee flavor that is more reminiscent of the first third, although holding onto a bit of the creaminess of the second third. In addition, Worcestershire sauce and some muted berry flavors also flow in and out, never sticking around for more than a handful of puffs. While the burn tightens up, the smoke temperature unfortunately picks up a bit. That being said, the most enjoyable flavors seem to occur when the cigar is pushed even if things get a bit warm.
- As Patrick Lagreid noted in his review of the Medalla d’Noche, keeping the band on the cigar is awkward and not something I would recommend doing.
- The original Bolívar Gold Medal measured 6 1/2 x 42.
- In case you were wondering, there’s been a few attempts at remaking the Gold Medal.
- I don’t really know why the Cardinal band was used for this release.
- The claim is that the wrapper change makes the stronger than the original Medalla d’Oro. If it did add anything to that effect, I found it pretty negligible. There’s a chance that people might visually associate the much darker wrapper with the fuller body, but the actual body I felt didn’t seem much different. Now, the original Medalla d’Oro is close to two-years-old, so comparing them in their respective states now will show the newer, darker cigar as stronger; but not when comparing them to my notes for the original.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- If you would like to order the E.P. Carrillo Medalla d’Platino, Federal Cigar still has them in stock.
While this was not bad, I don’t think it particularly worked. So many times we are guilt of suggesting “how awesome would this be with this wrapper” or “this blend, in this size”—and more often than not, there’s a reason why that cigar hasn’t come out yet, moments like this. The Medalla d’Platino is far too dull and muted for my liking and pales in comparison to the original release leaving me not so impressed with the "let's just change the wrapper."