Looking for a cigar to buy, but don’t know which to choose? Each month we smoke a cigar from our humidor at Havana House and review our experience with it! Maybe it will inspire you to try it too!
Reviewed by: Ross from the Windsor shop
About the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel Robusto Cigar
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: U.S.A./Conn. Habano
Size: 5″ by 50 ring gauge (Robusto)
The E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel may look like just another dark, box-pressed cigar but there’s a story behind this incredible smoke that started in 2014 when Ernesto Perez-Carrillo released another brand called La Historia. It was a tribute to his family and one the finest cigars he’d released up to that point.
One particular size, the E-III, came very close to making Cigar of the Year and was ranked the No. 2 smoke of 2014. At the time, we didn’t know that La Historia was part one in what came to be a trilogy.
In his 50-year career, Perez-Carrillo has owned factories big and small, worked for a major corporation, and has been making cigars on his own terms for the last decade. Now a two-time Cigar of the Year recipient, the man who’s done it all in the cigar business has done it again.
The start of the E.P. Carrillo Prequel erupts with a bang, large amounts of black pepper and spice on the retrohale threaten to overwhelm any flavours that might be present.
Thankfully, both die down very quickly, leaving behind a dominant creamy cedar followed by notes of coffee. There is also a noticeable caramel sweetness on the retrohale.
As I get to the middle of the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel the caramel sweetness on the finish begins to fade into the background.
In terms of construction, both the burn and draw continue to impress, while the smoke production continues to be both copious and dense. I found the cigar to be mild to start with, but it’s definitely medium strength now.
There are a few major changes to the profile during the final third of the E.P. Carrillo Pledge, the familiar combination of creamy cedar and coffee is ever present. The caramel sweetness on the retrohale seems to be increasing.
In addition, both the spice and the black pepper on the retrohale seem to have gained a new life. Finally, while I am not surprised when the strength easily passes the medium mark early in the final third, it seems to stall just past that point, ultimately failing to increase even to the very last draw on the cigar.
This cigar burns for a deceptively long time. The compact shape extends past an hour before a creamy cedar, lingering finish falls into place. E.P. Carrillo Pledge is a dark and uniform cigar. It tastes the way it looks: substantial. But its profile doesn’t vary tremendously.
E.P. Carrillo Pledge is a dense cigar. Its compressed shape mirrors a mars bar. The construction is impeccable. A stark white ash develops with no indication it will flake or fall off early. You light the cigar up and you know that no touch ups are needed, the draw has a slight resistance to it, and it feels so good.
After a somewhat surprising start of aggressive spice and pepper, the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel dialled its profile back enough to show off just how good the blend is.
While the resulting profile was a bit more linear than I would like, both the coffee and creamy cedar notes that dominate the profile combine so well with the caramel sweetness that is also present. Throw in the construction that was just short of amazing. This is a must try cigar.
Ross Rating: 9 out of 10
Cigar Pairing Idea
What alcoholic drink would I pair it with? To make this experience even more special I cracked open a bottle of Dalmore cigar malt, the deep depth of this whisky really added to the cigar profile.
What soft drink would I pair it with? Something sweet, something special. Regular Coca-Cola in a glass bottle.
Would I smoke this again? I have smoked almost an entire box of these cigars so I would most definitely have another.