E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2011 – “Dark Rituals”

2011 has seen already four releases from E.P. Carrillo.  A fifth release is due out this fall and it is a follow-up to last year’s popular Limitada series.  This one is titled the E.P. Edición Limitada 2011.  It will be available in a single vitola called “Dark Rituals” (named for its stunning dark wrapper). The Limitada 2011 is the follow-up to the highly success E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2010 – a cigar that made Cigar Aficionado’s top ten for 2010 and was eventually incorporated into E.P. Carrillo’s Elencos line.   The Limitada 2011 is a completely different cigar than the 2010 Limitada, but once again E.P. Carrillo strikes gold as this is another outstanding release by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. and his team.

I managed to obtain a pre-release sample at the 2011 IPCPR.  As with any pre-release sample, I will describe the experiences with this cigar through a “pre-review”.  I will hold off on a final assessment until after the cigar is released.

Blend Profile

The cigar is highlighted by its beautiful dark wrapper.   The final wrapper origin was not officially released and I’m respecting to keep it that way.   I was also very intrigued by the use of Ecuadorian Sumatra for the binder.

Wrapper: Oscuro Maduro
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

Like 2010, there will be single vitola for the Limitada 2011.  The Limitada 2011 is a  6 1/2 x 56 sized “Super Toro”.   This is much larger than the Limitada 2010 which was a 6 x 54 Toro.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

From a pure visual standpoint, the E.P. Carrillo  Edición Limitada 2011 is a true nominee for best cigar appearance for 2011.  The dark Oscuro Maduro wrapper was so stunning that part of me did not want to put a cut into it.  However, I was confident it would smoke as good as it looked, so I placed a straight cut into the cap. There was some nice complexity on the pre-light draw with a good combination of leather, black cherry, and a hint of cedar.  I was more than satisfied with the dry draw from the Limitada 2011, so it was on to the smoking experience.

Flavor Profile

The flavors of the pre-light draw continued at the start of the smoke of the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2011.  The black cherry, leather, and cedar notes were quickly joined by notes of cinnamon.  The black cherry notes provided the right amount of sweetness for this smoke.   It didn’t take long before the leather flavor transitioned very smoothly into an espresso.   As the smoking experience moved through the first third, the cinnamon and espresso notes were in the forefront.  The flavors generated from the Limitada 2011 had wonderful synergy and meshed really well together.

Around 15 percent into the smoke of the Limitada 2011, the cinnamon notes transitioned to more of a classic baker’s spice.  The baker’s spice moved to the forefront in the second third with the espresso and black cherry notes as secondary notes.  The spice would never overwhelm on this cigar and balanced nicely with the other flavors.

An interesting twist happened on the last third.  First the spice notes diminished slightly (as I mentioned above, they never were overwhelming to begin with).  I noticed the black cherry and espresso notes significantly diminish and I detected more of a tea note.   The cigar almost had a bit of a feel of an Illusione core line cigar as it came to a close.   The flavors still meshed well.   I particularly felt this brought the Limitada 2011 to a nice smooth finish.   The nub of the cigar remained cool, although it was a little soft – no harshness whatsoever.

Burn and Draw

This E.P.Carrillo Edición Limitada 2011 was vintage E.P. Carrillo when it came to the burn and draw attributes.  The Limitada 2011 provided a burn that required minimal touch-ups.  It burned at the right temperature and at an ideal rate.   The draw was flawless.  When a cigar draws as good as the Limitada 2011, it becomes a very enjoyable cigar experience.

Strength and Body

Looking at the dark wrapper, I immediately wondered how the strength profile would compare to another EPC maduro – the E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro.   With the core line maduro, from a nicotine profile, I thought it started medium to full before progressing to full strength.  The Limitada 2011 pretty much remained medium to full for the duration of the smoke.  It provided the perfect amount of strength.  As for the body, the flavors are rich and robust.  It definitely is a full-bodied smoke.

Final Thoughts

The E.P.Carrillo Edición Limitada 2011 was a wonderful smoking experience.   I actually think the potential is even higher as the cigar gets more age.   As I mentioned this is a very different smoking experience to the Limitada 2010.   The Limitada 2010 also provided a very positive experience for me out of the gate, and I enjoyed it a lot (especially when it became the Elencos line).  The Limitada 2011 was even better out of the gate, so the sky’s a limit.    I’d probably still recommend this cigar to a more seasoned enthusiast.  As for myself, I look forward to a box of these.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full

Source: This cigar was provided to myself from E.P. Carrillo.  The request was initiated by E.P. Carrillo to myself (Cigar Coop) to provide feedback.  Cigar Coop is appreciative to samples provided but this plays no role in a final assessment