E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012

In 2010, E.P. Carrillo launched their first “Short Run” blend.   The Short Run series is meant to be exactly what the name implies – a limited run cigar.  The first cigar was the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 (our #15 cigar for 2010) followed by the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2011.  Following the release of the 2011, there were some questions on whether E.P. Carrillo would produce a Short Run 2012.  E.P. Carrillo fans can rejoice because indeed a Short Run 2012 is about to be released.  This one is called the E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012.  This cigar was an experimental effort by EPC and it proves to be a successful one.  I’ve recently had an opportunity to smoke a pre-release sample and this cigar is nothing short of a home run.

The NWC in the NWC Short Run 2012 plays a key part in the experiment.  The NWC stands for “New Wave Connecticut”.   The NWC Short run 2012 uses the same Ecuadorian Connecticut as the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Cigar. The core of the experiment is that it utilizes the binder and filler from the E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro.   This is different than the Short Run 2010 and Short Run 2011 which were blends built from the ground up.  One interesting point is that NWC Short Run 2012 takes tobaccos from our top two E.P. Carrillo cigars we ranked for 2011 (the E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro was #8 while the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut was #30).

I can tell you that I exchanged an email message with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo III and he is fired up about this cigar hitting the market.  He has good reason to be excited. Let’s take a closer look at the E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012.  As with all pre-release cigars, we will do a “pre-review” to describe the experience with the cigar, but will hold off on a final assessment rating and score until this is released.

Blend Profile

Here are the official components that make up the E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut (wrapper from the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut)
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf (wrapper from the E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro)
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican (filler from the E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro)

Vitolas Available

There will be three offerings.  There will be 1000 boxes of 24
per vitola are being produced. (For a total of 72,000 cigars).  These sizes are consistent with the Short Run 2010 and Short Run 2011 offerings.

Exquisitos: 4 7/8 x 50
Invictos: 5 7/8 x 52
Reinados: 6 1/4 x 60


For this cigar assessment, I sampled the Invictos (a toro size) vitola. Given that this uses the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut wrapper, the NWC Short Run 2012 does have a strong resemblance to that cigar.   The wrapper is a classic light brown Connecticut shade.  It has a rougher feel to it.  The wrapper itself is somewhat toothy.  There are some dark spots on it, but I did not see any frog eyes (green spots).

The Short Run 2012 differs from its E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut by having a second band.  The first band is the same red, yellow, beige, and gold wrapper found on the core E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut.   There is a second white band that says “Short Run” in gold font.  To the left and right of that text is the year “2012” (also in gold font).  This is the first Short Run release to put the year on the band.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012 Invictos, I went with my usual straight-cut into the cap. Once I started with the pre-light draw, I was treated to some notes of wood, cedar spice, and berry.  The dry draw notes were outstanding.  At this point, it was time to toast the foot of my Short Run 2012 and begin the cigar experience.

Flavor Profile

The start of the cigar experience to the E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012 continued many of the notes I had on the pre-light draw.  I still detected the notes of berry and wood.  Early on, the spice took on more of a form of black pepper.  The pepper did have a slight increase once the cigar experience started.

At the five percent mark, the pepper subsided a bit and some cream notes surfaced.  The cream notes were bolder than most cream notes – they almost had a milk-like quality to it.  Throughout this smoking experience, while the NWC Short Run 2012 did not undergo a lot of flavor transitions, it had plenty in the way of flavor nuances.   The flavors of berry, wood, cream, and spice all complemented each other quite a bit as this cigar burned.

The spice became more cedar-like toward the end of the first third, and became a little more prevalent on the after-draw.  The berry sweetness would subside more in the last third.  There was a little up-swing in the cedar spice toward the finish, but overall the NWC Short Run 2012 finished smoothly.  The resulting nub was a little soft, but it burned cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

The construction of the E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012 was outstanding.  This cigar scores very high in the attributes of burn and draw.   The burn remained razor sharp throughout the entire smoking experience.  The cigar needed minimal touch-ups.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.  This was most impressive considering I smoked this within 24 hours of receiving this pre-release sample.  The draw was effortless.  I use this cliche a lot, but it applies here: this is the kind of draw that made this cigar a true joy to smoke.

Strength and Body

Historically, many Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper cigars have a reputation for being in the mild range for both strength and body.  Over the past couple of years, this has changed as we are seeing more and more of these cigars cross into the medium range for strength and even medium to full for body.  From a strength perspective, the original E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut was a mild strength cigar.   The NWC Short Run 2012 does have some more strength to it.  It doesn’t quite make it to medium strength and I still assess it as mild to medium.

The body is really the story with this cigar.  I came very close to saying the flavors had enough depth to be considered full-bodied.  Overall, I assessed this as one of the few Ecuadorian Connecticut cigars to be medium to full in body (last year, the Xen by Nish Patel also qualified for this range).  There must be something magical in those Core Line Maduro binder and filler tobaccos that give this cigar a bold flavor.  Overall, since this isn’t a very strong cigar, it does allow the flavors to really shine well.

Final Thoughts

We had the original E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut as a Top 30 cigar.  Many other people included the original New Wave cigar on their end of the year “best” lists.  While the original was a great cigar, the NWC Short Run 2012 is even better.  There is no doubt this cigar will be talked about on this web-site when we look at our 2012 countdown.  As I said up front, this cigar is nothing short of a home run and may rank among the top E.P. Carrillo releases ever.  It’s a great cigar for a novice enthusiast who really wants to sample something flavorful.  An experienced cigar enthusiast will love what this cigar brings to the table as well.  This is something I’d consider purchasing a box of – a highly recommended cigar in my book.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good

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