Assessment Updates will be posted on this web-site to: 1) Assess “pre-review” cigars that were not given a rating or score (typically pre-release cigars); 2) Provide numeric ratings to cigars previously assessed prior to the implementation of the numeric scoring system; 3) Provide a re-assessment and re-score of a previously assessed/score cigars.  Today, we provide an assessment rating and score to the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural.  This was a cigar we were fortunate enough to smoke a pre-release sample of back in September, 2012.

E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural

A couple of days ago, we provided an assessment rating to the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Maduro.   Back in September, we provided a pre-review for the other blend that is a part of the Cardinal series, the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural.  When we smoked the Cardinal Natural, this was a cigar we did not know a lot about, but we really liked it.  Since then, we have learned quite a bit about this offering. Now that the Cardinal Natural has made it to the retailers, the time has come to give it a final rating and score.

We now know the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural has binder and filler from Nicaragua and is surrounded by an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.  It is available in three parejo sizes – a 5 x 52, a 6 x 54, and a 5 1/2 x 56.

The flavor profile of the Cardinal Natural has some nice complexity to it.  It consists of a nice combination of roasted nuts, pepper, natural tobacco, and citrus – all flavors found on the pre-release.   The post release cigars I smoked seemed to have more in terms of nut flavor and less in terms of citrus than the pre-release I smoked.   The depth of these flavors start out medium to full-bodied in the first half and progress to full-bodied in the second half.  The strength of this cigar keeps pace with the depth of the flavors – namely medium to full strength in the first half and full strength in the second half.

The burn and draw of the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural remained outstanding on the post-release cigars.

While I give a slight edge to the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Maduro, the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural is still one terrific cigar and worth checking out.

Click here for our pre-review of the E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Natural.

Assessment: Memorable
Score: 93