After the success they have had with their Short Run, Core Line and Edición Limitada 2010, E.P. Carrillo really wanted to branch out and produce a milder, more flavorful cigar with a very competitive price point.

Enter the New Wave Connecticut blend. Using a Connecticut wrapper from Ecuador, a binder from Nicaragua and filler from both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, this blend will be shipping to retailers late next week in four different vitolas.

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  • Divinos: 6 x 52 — $6.25 MSRP
  • Brillantes: 5 x 50 — $5.25 MSRP
  • Stellas: 5 1/8 x 42 — $4.50 MSRP
  • (not pictured) Gran Via: 7 x 49 — $7 MSRP

I asked Ernesto Perez-Carrillo III why they are releasing the New Wave so soon before the IPCPR show in Vegas in July—when most of the new cigars from manufacturers are typically announced—as well as how many of the New Waves they are releasing, and he has this to say:

The line will be available year-round, every year, so we don’t really have any set volume limitations/goals. At the trade show, we’ll be releasing the Maduro, so we wanted to stagger the new releases vs. all at the show.

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  • Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Divinos
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $6.25 (Boxes of 20, $125)
  • Release Date: March 2011
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4

The E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut is an impressive looking cigar, with a very light brown wrapper that has a noticeable box press to it. The wrapper is totally smooth to the touch, and smells strongly of sweet raisins, cedar and chocolate. It seems slightly light when held, but is quite firm when squeezed. Predraw notes include sweet cedar, apples and chocolate, with a hint of spice.

The first third starts out with more spice on the tongue then I was expecting, it is a Connecticut wrapper after all, but not overwhelming at all. Even with that, the profile is sweet and creamy from the beginning, with flavors of cotton candy, cedar, and leather. The spice does not increase during the first third, but stays at a constant level throughout.

E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Divinos 3.png

The second third remains sweet and creamy, but there is a shift in flavors: now I taste raisins, generic wood, leather and a slight earthiness. The spice from the first third has dissipated somewhat, but still remains in the background.

E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Divinos 4.png

The final third has most of the same flavors from the previous two thirds, but adds a nice tart, nutty note to the sweetness that really sets off the rest of the profile. .The spice is up and down, but never gets in the way of the sweetness that is present, and actually enhances it. It never got hot at the end, and I was able to easily nub it .

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Final Notes

  • As good as the Divinos was, I honestly liked the Stellas a bit better and would rate it one to two points higher. It was a bit stronger (not much, but a bit) with a bit more spice on the retrohale. and at the price ($4.50) I am not sure you can beat it.
  • The wrapper on the New Wave Connecticut seemed to be a a bit thin. It did not give me any problems while smoking at all, but just something to keep in mind.
  • Being an artist myself, I love the fact that EPC is switching around the colors of the bands to coincide with the different blends. White and red for the lighter Connecticut blend, black and silver for the stronger Elencos blend, etc. It makes them easily recognisable as well.
  • There was a great amount of creamy, sweet smoke that was produced from the cigar while smoking.
  • The burn was a bit wavy for the entire smoke, but the draw was excellent for every sample.
  • The Divinos seemed to be a fairly fast burner for the size, and the final smoking time was one hour and 20 minutes.
92 Overall Score

E.P. Carrillo absolutely nailed this blend. I have been disappointed in the recent lackluster Connecticut releases by various manufacturers who seem to sacrifice complexity in the name of mildness, but the New Wave Connecticut has an almost perfect combination of creaminess, sweetness and spice with great, easily discernible flavors that change from one puff to the next as the smoke progresses. Throw in the price and you have an instant classic on your hands. Of course, you have to actually like Connecticut wrappers in the first place. I have a feeling this will be one of the sleeper hits of the year, and will be getting a box immediately upon their release.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.