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Today we will be taking a look at a limited store release, the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4, a Federal Cigar anniversary exclusive! A couple months back Rick Gadway, owner of Federal Cigar in New Hampshire, told me about a E.P. Carrillo cigar he had coming down the pike, he explained that it would be a Short Run blend, but in a smaller vitola, a Corona. I immediately thought to myself how great it would be to have a Short Run 2011 in a nice, small No. 4 size but, I was even more excited when I was informed that it would be the 2010 Short Run blend! While I have enjoyed the Short Run 2011, I am personally a bigger fan of the 2010, so this came as a wonderful surprise.

This cigar marks the third cigar this year that Federal Cigar has released for their store’s 90th anniversary. You most likely remember the Tatuaje 109 that was released last February, but there was also a small twenty-five box release of specially marked Arturo Fuente Queen Bs with Federal Cigar 90th on the cellophane. As with the Tatuaje 109 Reserva, Rick Gadway will be adding a local customer perk to this E.P. Carrillo release. From Charlie’s news story:

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In much the same manner as the 109, Gadway is offering two different versions of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4, albeit packaging differences. For local in-store purchases, Gadway will have fifty (50) cabinets of fifty (50) cigars. Each SLB (sliding lid box) has 2011 Federal Cigar Cabinet Selections No.4 inscribed on the front.

Gadway is a stickler for tradition and explained that he is using traditional No.4 packaging (20 count boxes) for the phone and internet orders. There will be one-hundred and fifty (150) boxes of twenty (20), which will be offered to Gadway’s out of state customers.

As of November 1st pre-orders have already started, cigars will start to ship December 1st.

For those of you unfamiliar with Federal Cigar:

Federal Cigar has been providing the Seacoast and southern New Hampshire area with quality tobacco products since 1921. Originally founded by Melvin Goodman, United Cigars served the Portsmouth, NH area for over 90 years. Rick Gadway owns and operates the stores and if you know Rick or have spoken with him you know that he is very passionate about cigars. He doesn’t just sell cigars, he buys cigars, smokes cigars and pretty much lives cigars. I have got to know him over the last couple years and you would be hard pressed to find a better retailer.

There are four locations of Federal Cigar in the southern New Hampshirearea and they are all fantastic shops with large selections.

Federal Cigar Locations:

  • Epping, NH
  • (603) 679-2447
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • (603) 436-5363
  • Dover, NH
  • (603) 436-5363
  • Plaistow, NH
  • (603) 378-0573

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4 1.jpg

  • Cigar Reviewed: E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
  • Size: 5 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Vitola: Corona
  • MSRP: $5.50 (Cabinets of 50, $275.00 & Boxes of 20, $110.00)
  • Date Released: December 1, 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 150 Boxes of 20 & 50 Cabinets of 50 (5,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

(Editor’s Note: The actual release will have secondary bands, there is a picture here.)

The cigar looks great. It has a light chocolate wrapper with a soft but gritty feel, perfectly applied triple cap and a seamless wrap. The cigar is most certainly solid but it has a slight give to it. The pre-light aroma coming off the cigar is wonderful: cedary, earthy, buttery, with notes of milk chocolate and coffee. The pre-light draw is mellow with soft bread notes, as well as a touch of saltiness and some barnyard.

Starting off in the first third the cigars opens up with a plethora of flavors! I am getting cedar, earth, sweet chocolate, coffee as well as a soft vanilla note through the nose. There is a perfect touch of spice to the cigar up front and it increases on the finish through the nose especially. The actual finish is sort of short, but shows a real nice aged tobacco, earth and vanilla mix — a fabulous start.

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4 2.jpg

Coming into the second third the cigar progresses nicely and with it comes an added spice kick. The cigar is perfect in its balance. There is a ton of flavor coming out of this cigar, but all the flavors remain balanced and never overpowering one or the other. I start to get a real distinct sweet honey flavor that is thick and chewy and coats the mouth. The core flavors of cedar, earth, coffee and some barnyard make up the profile, but the added sweetness of the honey and vanilla really make it come together.

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4 3.jpg

Finishing up in the final third the flavors continue to get even sweeter and creamier and the smoke is lush with a real nice thickness to it. That wonderful honey flavor from the last third only increases and it mixes with some aged tobacco and cedar notes to create an extremely mouth watering profile. Again, just extremely balanced and full of flavor.

E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4 4.jpg

Final Notes

  • While I love the Short Run 2010 blend and I know it was a fantastic line, this vitola is just a few steps ahead in terms on flavor, complexity and balance. These cigars were rolled VERY recently (roughly 3 weeks ago) and considering that I am astounded at how good they taste and I would imagine a little humidor time will do even more wonder to them.
  • This vitola has always been a personal favorite of mine. It always seems to enhance any blend and especially when you’re using a wrapper such as the Ecuadorian Sumatra you really want a vitola that brings out that wrapper and its flavors and this does, you can really taste the sweet, saltiness from it.
  • The overall performance of the cigar was perfect, each sample burned very well and while the draw was a touch on the tight side it did not produce any negative results. It wasn’t really tight, just a touch snug for my preference but still overall it’s a well constructed cigar.
  • As I mentioned in the Intro notes these cigars have already gone on sale, if I were you I would jump on them because they might not last long. To pre-order call Federal Cigar at 877.424.4270 or buy them directly HERE. Federal Cigar is the ONLY place to buy these.
  • Final Smoking time was 50 minutes.
90 Overall Score

This is just a no brainer in my eyes. I will certainly be making the drive to purchase a cabinet of 50, I can tell you that much. It’s everything you love out of the 2010 Short Run blend, but taken a step further with more flavor, increased complexity and incredible balance. Right out of the gate the cigar assaults you with flavor and the spice increases a touch each third, while the finish is rather average in length, it is full of flavor and richness that is hard to find. hese will be ready to smoke right off the delivery truck but I can’t even imagine what a year will do to them.

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About the author

Steve Valle wrote for Smoking Stogie, a precursor to halfwheel, from 2010-2011.

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