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Staff Reviews

E.P. Carrillo Inch #60 Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

I’m reviewing E.P. Carrillo Inch in the No. 60, a chunky 5.875 x 60 format. E.P. Carrillo is named for brand founder and celebrated cigar-maker Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. He is best known as the man behind La Gloria Cubana. Perez-Carrillo pioneered a number of big ring gauge cigars when he launched La Gloria Cubana Serie R during the Cigar Boom of the 1990s. He found much success with La Gloria prior to selling the brand to tobacco giant Swedish Match in 1999.

La Gloria Cubana was folded into the portfolio of General Cigar Company alongside other name brands, including Macanudo and Cohiba. Perez-Carrillo served as a brand ambassador for La Gloria Cubana for a decade before departing General Cigar. In 2009, he debuted his eponymous E.P. Carrillo brand. Success again followed. He scored 96 points and the ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ title from Cigar Aficionado for E.P. Carrillo Encore in 2018, as well as 95 points and ‘#2 Cigar of the Year’ honors for E.P. Carrillo La Historia in 2014.

E.P. Carrillo Inch continues the fascination with big ring gauge shapes. The name, Inch, is a reference to the thickness of the cigars – one inch, or a 64 ring gauge. Not all Inch cigars are exactly an inch thick, but they all come within striking distance, including a 70-ring size that surpasses the mark. The No. 60 I’m smoking today is more than fat enough for my mouth with its 60-ring thickness.

A blend of aged Nicaraguan and Dominican long-filler tobaccos is tucked inside a Nicaraguan binder, while a reddish-hued Ecuador Sumatra wrapper encapsulates the entire package. The cigar itself is quite hefty with a little bit of give when squeezed. Aromas off the wrapper include leather and black pepper with a raison-like sweetness. The cold draw is muted, but I pick up hints of bran cereal and salt.

Once I spark up the cigar’s large foot, an odd combination of flavors surfaces. Notes of burnt toast, leather, and soy sauce dominate with a peppery undertone. As the immense amount of tobaccos heat up, the profile becomes somewhat chalky, dry, and musty. The smoke is thick with a doughy mouthfeel.

As I reach the halfway mark, the flavor turns bitter. Tart, citrus-like impressions surround bold notes of espresso. Fortunately, the second half of the Inch shifts and offers redemption. Bitter spices fade out, revealing a more agreeable profile of earth and leather notes.

Due to its overwhelming thickness, the cigar burns slow. Smoother notes of espresso accompany a vanilla-like sweetness. The finish balances out nicely, while intermittent notes of black pepper and cedar linger.

E.P. Carrillo Inch No. 60 is a prime example of why I tend to avoid big ring gauges. I prefer a relatively snug draw, and this cigar is the exact opposite. No effort is required to pull smoke through the cigar, which, sadly, makes it burn very hot. When a cigar burns hot, it can also burn uneven burn. Thankfully, the Inch didn’t require any severe touch-ups, but its burn was far from perfect. Strength-wise, E.P. Carrillo Inch is right in my wheelhouse. It starts off as a solid medium-bodied smoke and slowly progresses to full. At its strongest, the Inch is a 7 out of 10.

Nowadays, almost every cigar line offers a 60-ring size if not bigger. E.P. Carrillo Inch is a decent option for fans of thick shapes. I have smoked several of these behemoths over the years, and when they are on, they are top-notch. Do yourself a favor and try the three different wrapper options E.P. Carrillo Inch is rolled in to see which one you like most. Personally, I prefer the Natural over the Maduro and Colorado varieties.

87rated

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