Like many cigar makers Ernesto Perez-Carrillo can trace his history back to Cuba where his father was born in 1904. His father rolled and sold penny cigars in the streets of Havana before working as a tobacco buyer for many years. In 1948 he purchased El Credito, a factory in the city of Havana. Then the Cuban revolution began and the factory was confiscated by the government and the family fled to Miami, Florida.
For the man we know today as EPC, Miami was supposed to be a stepping stone before he made it big in New York as a jazz musician. But like many of us he would wind up walking down a path.
Today we fire up the E.P. Carrillo Encore, the second release in the Perez-Carrillo Series with the La Historia being the first.
Cigar Review: EP Carrillo Encore
Length: 5 3/8″
Ring Gauge: 50
Size: Majestic (Robusto)
The Look: Packaged in 10 count boxes, the box pressed cigars are laid out in one row. The cigar features a milk chocolate-colored wrapper grown in Nicaragua. Under the fingers the cigar feels like fine sand paper . The cigar features some visible veins and a subtle amount of oil. The elaborate band features different hues of brown with some copper foil and a secondary band with the name Perez-Carrillo. In the hand the cigar has a nice weight to it and no soft spots.
The Notes: The cold draw of the EPC Encore serves up notes of wood and a subtle earthy component in the background with a subtle saltiness. The aroma off the foot is sweet with a touch of mocha and hints of dry wood. Once we toast and light the cigar the initial note is reminiscent of toast.
As we move into the first third the burn of my cigar starts a little askew due to some crinking of the wrapper under the cloth foot band. But in a testament to a well constructed cigar it self-corrected once moving past that crease which we have included pictures below to show that it isn’t always necessary to touch up a cigar. The notes of the cigar are consistent with the cold draw with touches of toast, dry wood and nuttiness. The retrohale of the cigar is smooth with a hint of oak.
As the second third continues the notes of pepper begin to develop with a subtle caramel sweetness. The focal point of the cigar continues to be nutty with hints of oak and a earthy finish that is amplified on the smooth retrohale that adds to the somewhat lengthy finish.
As the Encore comes to a close the wood notes are the dominant focal point with a dry earthy finish. There is some subtle nutty components as well along with some subtle pepper on the retrohale. The finish is long and dry so I would recommend having a beverage with this cigar which I believe would pair well with rye.
The Finish: The EPC Encore is a cigar that is defined for the masses. It’s smooth, balanced and flavorful but it is old-fashioned. For me I rather smoke the La Historia, but this cigar is interesting enough to keep a few on hand in the humidor.
Price: $11.69 / $109.99