E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro

The E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro is a special retail-exclusive limited edition cigar for Federal Cigar in New Hampshire.   The cigar has been released to commemorate Federal Cigar’s 92nd Anniversary.   This is not the first time that Federal and E.P. Carrillo have teamed up on a project.  In 2011, E.P. Carrillo released a special corona version of their Short Run 2010 blend (the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No. 4) as a part of Federal Cigar’s 90th Anniversary.  Now this time Federal and E.P. Carrillo collaborate on a new blend – the E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro.   Medalla D’ Oro stands for gold medal – and that is an appropriate name.   This cigar is a clear winner in terms of its construction, packaging, and flavor profile.  It might represent both E.P. Carrillo and Federal Cigar’s Anniversary Series best work to date (and there have been some good ones).

As we mentioned above, retailer exclusive cigars are nothing new for the folks at Federal Cigar in New Hampshire.  In 2011, for Federal Cigars 90th Anniversary, several manufacturers provided exclusive cigars.  In addition to the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4, there was the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 109 and the Arturo Fuente Federal Queen B.  For the 91st Anniversary, My Father Cigars provided special blends of the My Father Le Bijou cigar. (in which one of the blends, the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped version would became a regular production retail exclusive to Federal Cigar).

Let’s take a closer look at the E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro and see what this cigar is all about.

Blend Profile

If you look at the banding to the E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro, it uses the E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012 banding.  This is because the Medalla D’ Oro has its roots with this blend.  While the Medalla D’ Oro has a similar tobacco profile to the Short Run 2012, but the Medalla D’ Oro has extra ligero in the blend.

You might remember, the E.P. Carrillo NWC Short Run 2012 was a combination two other E.P. Carrillo cigars.  The NWC Short run 2012 uses the same Ecuadorian Connecticut as the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Cigar.   It also utilizes the binder and filler from the E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro.  This carries over to the Medalla D’ Oro.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut  
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf 
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican  

Vitolas Available

The E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro has been released in one size – a 6 1/2 x 44 lonsdale.  The cigars are packaged in boxes of ten.  According to our friends at A Cigar Smoker’s Journal (who had the first exclusive report on this cigar), 500 total boxes have been produced.


Since the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper of the Medalla D’ Oro is the same as the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut and NWC Short Run 2012, it has many of the same characteristics.  It has a light brown color with a slight colorado tint to it.  There is some oil on the wrapper.  The cigar itself has a pig-tail cap.

E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro – foil cover removed

From the way this cigar is banded and boxed, this cigar really stands out.  The banding is identical to the NWC Short Run 2012, but it rests toward the center of the cigar.  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.

The most striking feature is the gold foil that covers the cigar from the cap to the primary band.
Open box of the E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

After I carefully removed the foil from the top of the cigar, I opted to place a straight cut into the cap of the cigar.  Even though the cigar had a pig-tail, I still opted for the straight cut as opposed to pulling the tail off.  When I started the pre-light experience, I was treated to a mix of berry and wood notes.  The berry notes are something that was a staple of the NWC Short Run 2012 pre-light, so there was no surprise here.  Overall, this was an outstanding cold draw.  At this point, I was ready to light up the Medalla D’ Oro and begin the smoking experience.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Medalla D’ Oro had a strong blast of pepper on both the tongue and the retro-hale. The pepper soon receded into the background and gave way to a berry sweetness as a primary flavor.  The way this cigar was positioned is that it had a “very creamy finish”.  This was definitely the case with the Medalla D’ Oro – especially in the early part of the smoke.  During the early stages of the cigar experience, the creamy finish started on the after-draw and definitely lingered on the tongue.

Later in the first third, the cream notes moved into the full draw and blended very nicely with the berry notes.  As the Medalla D’ Oro moved into the second third, there was an increase in wood and spice and the cream notes started to receded.   The berry notes were now joined by the wood and pepper spice.  The way the berry and pepper fused, it created almost a cinnamon quality to the flavor profile.

In the latter stages of the cigar, the spice took on more of a pepper-like quality.  The end of the cigar definitely had the spice notes in control.  There was no harshness at the end.  The resulting nub was ideal – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.

Burn and Draw

This cigar is vintage E.P. Carrillo when it came to construction and this is reflected in the burn and draw.  These attributes on the Medalla D’ Oro score extremely well.  The burn line was razor sharp from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight with a white color. The ash virtually had no flaking along the way.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the E.P. Carrillo Medalla D’ Oro

As for the draw, it was flawless.  This made for a low maintenance cigar to puff on from start to finish.

Strength and Body

Of all of the blends in the E.P. Carrillo portfolio that use this particular wrapper, the Medalla D’ Oro definitely has the most kick to it from a strength perspective.  There is no doubt the extra ligero amps up this blend.  The Medalla D’ Oro starts out medium strength and in the second half it progresses to medium to full strength.

As for the depth of the flavors, I assessed the Medalla D’ Oro to start out medium-bodied.  In the second half, the flavors progressed to medium to full-bodied.   By the end of the cigar, these flavors crossed over into full-bodied territory.  Overall, the strength and body counter each other very well, but I gave the body a slight edge.

Final Thoughts

When I look at the Medalla D’ Oro, this is a case where the stars in the sky align.  This is the right blend coming together – in the right size.   To me, the extra ligero, combined with the lonsdale shape elevates the NWC Short Run 2012 blend to a whole new level.   E.P. Carrillo was our #1 ranked manufacturer in terms of 2012 scoring on Cigar Coop.   The Medalla D’ Oro starts 2013 off in fine fashion.  Overall, I found this to be nothing short of a home run.  This is the type of cigar I would recommend to the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast.  It is definitely a cigar worthy of a box purchase.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half, Medium to Full (2nd Half), Full (End)
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: Memorable
Score: 95

Source: This cigars for this assessment were provided by Federal Cigar. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.