E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III

At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada E.P. Carrillo launched a line that had been talked about for quite some time – the E.P. Carrillo Perez-Carrillo La Historia.  Word of that project first surfaced back in January 2013 on the Cigar Dave Show when it was noted that a “Perez-Carrillo” branded cigar was in the works. The project ended up being known as the E.P. Carrillo Perez Carillo La Historia, but the cigar is pretty much now commonly being called La Historia. While La Historia was released this Fall, no doubt it has gained significant attention as of late when it was named Cigar Aficionado’s #2 for 2014. Over the past few months, I have had an opportunity to smoke the La Historia in the size that captured the Cigar Aficionado honor – the E-III. Overall, I did find this to be a solid smoke – and probably the best size of the blend.

When Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. left General Cigar Company over five years ago to found the E.P. Carrillo company, it very much became a family operation.  Perez-Carrillo brought in his daughter Lissette and son Ernesto III to work along aide with him.  As Perez-Carrillo explained in a video, La Historia is a tribute to both the women (his mother wife, and daughter) and men (his father and son) in the family.  It is also a tribute to the family’s roots in Cuban tobacco.

Without further ado, let’s break down the E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

The blend is a multi-national blend with tobaccos from four countries.  The wrapper is a San Andres Mexican, the first regular production E.P. Carrillo cigar to use it.  Last year, the E.P. Carrillo Edición Limitada 2013 became the first E.P. Carrillo cigar to use it, but that was a one time release.

Wrapper: San Andres Mexican
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican

Vitolas Available

The E.P. Carrillo La Historia was launched in three sizes.  Each of the sizes are box-pressed (a first for E.P. Carrillo).  The cigars come in ten count boxes with.

El Senador: 5 3/8 x 52
Doña Elena: 6 1/8 x 50
E-III: 6 7/8 x 54

The vitola names pay homage to members of Perez-Carrillo’s family.  El Senador pays homage to Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Sr (Ernesto’s father) who was a Senator in Cuba from Pinar del Rio.  Doña Elena pays homage to Ernesto’s wife, while E-III pays homage to Ernesto’s son, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo III.

The ten count boxes are a departure from most of the other regular production lines by E.P. Carrillo.  They are much more elegant and intricate in terms of design.

Packaging of the E.P. Carrillo La Historia 

Appearance

The San Andres Maduro wrapper of the La Historia E-III has a rugged style that is common to many wrappers with this leaf.  The wrapper itself has a mocha color to it with a light coating of oil. There are some visible veins which contribute to the ruggedness of the wrapper, but the wrapper seams are decently hidden.  The box-press itself was firm with no soft spots.

There are two bands on the cigar.  The primary band is the most intricate in terms of design by E.P. Carrillo to date.  The center of the band features a red and gold chest-like design.  Sitting on the chest is the text “Perez Carrillo” is in a large silver cursive font and the text “La Historia” just below it in white cursive font.”  To the left of the chest is the portrait of a woman in a tobacco field which is said to be Perez-Carrillo’s grandmother.  To the right is a portrait of a woman with Miami in the background who resembles Lissette Perez-Carrillo.   On the far left of the band is the Perez family coat of arms.  On the far right is the Carrillo family coat of arms.  The band itself has a gold foil-like trim around it.

The secondary band is much simpler.  It is red with gold trim.  On the red background is the text “PEREZ CARRILLO” in white font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting the E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap.  Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw experience.  The dry draw of the La Historia E-III delivered a sweet syrupy mocha-flavored note.  I didn’t get much in the way of spice on the pre-light.  Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the La Historia to be satisfactory.  At this point I was ready to light up the La Historia E-III and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Flavor Profile

The E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III started out with a short blast of black and white pepper. Once the pepper subsided, earth notes and a syrupy sweetness (similar to the pre-light draw) emerged. This sweetness was a combination of mocha, but it also exhibited some black cherry notes – reminiscent to the E.P. Carrillo Limitada 2011 Dark Rituals. Meanwhile on the retro-hale, I was detecting notes of white pepper.

Throughout the first third I found the syrup-like sweetness and earth to alternate.  Closer to the midway point the syrup-sweetness became more of a classic mocha flavor (with the cherry notes significantly diminished).  The earth and mocha flavors remained primary while the pepper was still secondary.

In the second half, the earth notes became the primary flavor with the mocha and pepper now secondary.  Heading into the final third, the pepper notes emerged and came pretty close to reaching the forefront.  The pepper never got overwhelming. The mocha notes occasionally still surfaced in the forefront.  This is the way the cigar experience came to a close.  The resulting nub was excellent – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

The La Historia was a very well-constructed cigar and this reflected nicely on both the burn and draw.  For the most part this was a low maintenance burn.  The burn line remained relatively straight and required only occasional touch-ups along the way.  The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color.  The ash was on the firmer side.  The ash came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the E.P. Carrillo La Historia E-III

As for the draw of the La Historia E-III, it was not too loose and not too tight.  While I usually like a little resistance on a draw, I am finding more and more with box-pressed cigars that I prefer the draw to be like it was on this cigar.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspecitve, I did not find the La Historia E-III to be a nicotine bomb.  Overall I assessed this as a medium strength cigar from start to finish.  As for the flavors, these are not going to be ones that weigh heavy on the palate.  I also assessed the La Historia as being a medium-bodied cigar.  The strength and body both counter each other nicely – with neither attribute overshadowing the other.

Final Thoughts

I’ve smoked the La Historia several times over the past few months. This is a cigar that time seems to be very kind to. I didn’t find this to be the type of cigar that is going to deliver anything revolutionary flavor-wise – as these are pretty typical flavors I would expect from a San Andres Maduro. I did find that the flavors produced did play well together. I’ve said many times that San Andres Maduro can be very dominant on a blend – and there is no doubt with the La Historia this will be the case, but this was more from a sweetness perspective as opposed to a spice perspective . Most importantly I found the E-III to be the size that really worked with this blend. This is a cigar that I would recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and the ten count boxes make this an attractive box split.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
Score: 91

References

News: Perez-Carrillo La Historia by E.P. Carrillo
Price: $8.75
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer and Purchased
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 117
Stogie Feed: E.P. Carrillo La Historia