|E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011 (on a Short Run 2010 box)|
If you have been either following this web-site or the cigar industry in general, you will know that 2011 is intended to be a huge year for the E.P. Carrillo. Plans are for five cigar releases during the calendar year. Earlier in the year, two extensions were released as a part of E.P. Carrillo’s core line- the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut and the E.P. Carrillo Elencos. Now it is time to turn to one of the 2011 limited releases for E.P. Carrillo. This one is the second limited run release under E.P. Carrillo’s Short Run line and is appropriately titled the “E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011”. Once again, E.P. Carrillo steps up to the plate and delivers with a great cigar.
For the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011, the expectations were high in my book. The first Short Run release, the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 was one of my favorite cigars last year – finishing as my #15 Cigar for 2010. As implied by the name, “Short Run” implies limited edition – meaning the cigar is meant to be produced in a limited batch on a yearly basis. The plan is for 1500 boxes to be produced for the Short Run 2011.
Let’s analyze the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011 and see what it brings to the table:
As I mentioned when I previewed the E.P. Carrillo 2011 a couple of weeks ago, the blend has some similarities on the surface to the Short Run 2010. The Short Run 2011 uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper as opposed to the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper that was used on the Short Run 2010. The Habano wrapper was intended to provide for a stronger smoke on the 2011 than the 2010.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
I’m a fan on how E.P. Carrillo uses creative names for the vitolas. There are three vitolas for the Short Run 2011 and the names differ from the Short Run 2010.
Bombones: 4 7/8 x 50
Canonazos: 5 7/8 x 52
Inmensos: 6 1/4 x 60
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this cigar experience, I sampled the Canonazos vitola. I gently placed a straight cut into the cap. It was on to perform the pre-light ritual. The pre-light draw provided some notes of wood as well as subtle notes of mixed fruit and spice. I was pleased with the dry draw I got from this cigar. It was then on to toast the foot and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Upon the initial draws of the cigar, I was treated to notes of pepper and char (not a bitter char, but something more analogous to the char on a steak). I also detected some notes of nut in the background. The initial pepper notes were stronger at the beginning, but soon settled back. It wasn’t quite a “Don Pepin Pepper Blast”, but it was close.
After the pepper and char notes subsided, more of a cedar spice emerged. It was at this point that I also detected notes of nut. On the 2010 Short Run, the nut flavors had a very buttery taste to them. On the 2011, I noticed the nut had more of a cashew flavor to it. By the 10 percent point of the smoking experience, even the cedar spice had subsided and I was left with mostly wood and nut. At this point, I was a bit concerned the flavors had gone a bit flat.
Around 15 percent, I noticed a new flavor note that I had not gotten from an E.P. Carrillo smoke before – some floral notes. It was at this point things started to pick up. By the 1/3 point, the body had significantly increased. The nut notes were definitely leading the charge with the floral notes going into the background. I also noticed the spice picked up in intensity as well. The cedar spice had morphed back into a black pepper feeling. By the midway point the cashew and pepper flavors were holding and any floral notes were gone. In the last third, the pepper eclipsed the cashew flavors – making for a lot of pop on the finish. The finish provided an outstanding nub – firm and cool.
Burn and Draw
E.P. Carrillo consistently scores high marks in these categories. The E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011 does not disappoint here. The burn required only one or two touch-ups. The burn rate and temperature and temperature were perfect. As for the draw, no issues here – flawless from start to finish.
Strength and Body
One thing I can definitely say – the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011 has more strength than the Short Run 2010. I assessed the Short Run 2010 as a “medium”, but for the Short Run 2011 I put this on the high end of a “medium to full” with the finish definitely crossing into the full side. As for body, like the Short Run 2010 this falls into the medium to full range, but can make the argument for in the first third the body was medium.
The E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011 is a very good smoke. The obvious question is how does this stack up with the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010? The 2010 had some wonderful butternut notes and a very subtle complexity. I do think the 2011 isn’t quite as complex as the 2010. I also think the 2011 offers more in terms of strength – and that strength balances nicely with the flavors offered up. If forced to make a choice, I would probably pick the 2010 version over the 2011, but this is not a knock on the 2011. This is still a cigar I’d reach for again.
Strength: Medium to Full (Full at the end)
Body: Medium to Full (Medium at beginning)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Disclaimer: This cigar was gifted to me by a friend who made a visit to Corona Cigars in Orlando, Florida.