E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary

The E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary is a limited edition shop exclusive cigar to New Hampshire based retailer Federal Cigar. Since 2011, when it celebrated its 90th anniversary; the retailer has commissioned various manufacturers to produce exclusive cigars for the shop, including ones for subsequent anniversary. This year (2016), for its 95th anniversary, Federal Cigar turned to two manufacturers that have done many shop exclusives for Federal in the past – E.P. Carrillo and My Father Cigars. Today, we take a closer look at the E.P. Carrillo-made cigar, the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary. Over the past five years, Federal Cigar has built a reputation for getting some of the best shop exclusives on the market – and the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary continues that reputation as it delivers an excellent offering.

In addition to the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary, the Flor de las Antillas Box-Pressed Torpedo by My Father Cigars is also being produced for the 95th anniversary celebration. Below is a list of the exclusive cigars that have been commissioned over the years for Federal Cigar’s anniversaries.

As mentioned, Federal Cigar has a long history with E.P. Carrillo for shop exclusives.  This is the fifth shop exclusive E.P. Carrillo has done for Federal and the third one for an anniversary.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

The E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary Cigar is highlighted by a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper that has been aging an extra year at Tabacalera La Alianza in the Dominican Republic. The cigar also has a binder is an Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf that has also been significantly aged.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan, including the Esteli Region
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza SA)

Vitolas Available

The E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary cigar is available in one size – 6 x 52 box-pressed Toro. The cigar is sold in 15 count bundles. A total of 200 bundles were produced.


The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary has a rich coffee bean color. Upon closer examination, there is some darker marbling that can be seen on the surface. The wrapper itself has some oil on it. For a box-press, there are probably more visible veins and more prominent visible wrapper seams, however I found this gave the cigar some charm. The box-press is on the sharper side and gives the cigar an almost rectangular look when looking at it from the footer.

The E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary Cigar features two bands. This year’s edition uses the Federal Cigar logo. A similar band was on the Oliva Federal 93rd cigar, but for the 95th the band design was slightly tweaked. The Federal Cigar logo features an American Eagle with a shield at the center. A gold wreath surrounds the eagle. Above the eagle is the text “FEDERAL CIGAR” sitting on it in white font with gold trim. Toward the bottom of the band is the text “Est 1921” – also in white font with gold trim. To the left and right of the logo is a series of gold medallions going toward the back of the band sitting on a black background. Gold trim also surrounds the top and bottom of the band.

The band is similar to the band style introduced with the E.P. Carrillo 5th Anniversary cigar. It features the red square containing the gold “E.P.” cursive logo. That square rests on a thick black stripe that also contains several rows of gold pin striping. Just under the red square is the text “CARRILLO” in white font on a black background. Below the thick black stripe is a thick pale yellow stripe. There are three rows of gold dotted lines sitting on the thick yellow stripe.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. After the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a combination of earth and coffee as well as a slight cedar-spice note. Overall I consider this a very good pre-light draw experience. At this point I was ready to light up the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Flavor Profile

The start to the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary delivered more notes of roasted coffee and earth. In addition, I picked up some notes of black pepper. The coffee notes went primary early on. The earth and black pepper became secondary. As the cigar moved through the early stages, I also picked up a chocolate note in the background. Meanwhile the black pepper was present on the retro-hale along with a subtle floral note.

By the midway point of the first third, the coffee and earth notes started floating back and forth as to which was the primary note. The pepper also varied in intensity at various points, but it still didn’t make it into the forefront. Meanwhile the chocolate notes remained grounded in the background – providing the right amount of sweetness.

During the second half, I found the earth notes had the edge over the coffee, pepper, and chocolate notes. As the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary moved into the last third, I saw the pepper notes start to increase in overall intensity. While there was more spice during the last third, the spice never overpowered the other flavors. This is the way the cigar experience came to the close. I found the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th to have an excellent nub – one that remained firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

Overall the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary scored quite nicely when it came to burn. While the burn line did have some curvature from time to time, this is a cigar that was never in danger of tunneling or canoeing. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. I found this to be a firm ash that came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The combustion to the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th was excellent as the cigar had an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.


Burn of the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary

The draw to the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary was not too tight, nor too loose. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from. I also found the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th to be a cigar that produced an abundant amount of smoke through the cigar experience.

Strength and Body

When it came to both strength and body, I found the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary to be one of the bolder E.P. Carrillo cigars released in quite a while. I found this cigar started out medium to full in strength and full-bodied. The strength increased along the way, but fell just a little short of being a full strength cigar. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned up-front, when it comes to shop exclusive cigars, Federal Cigar is one of a select group of retailers that has delivered an impressive track record. Over the years, the E.P. Carrillo – Federal collaboration has proven to be a successful one. With the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary, it is another successful installment in the Federal Cigar story. I found the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th Anniversary to be one of the better Connecticut Broadleaf cigars made by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.  If you are a fan of a bold Connecticut Broadleaf cigar, the E.P. Carrillo Federal 95th is going to be the cigar for you. Given this is a stronger, fuller cigar, I’d recommend this to a more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would easily smoke again. It’s worthy of a box (bundle) purchase.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
Score: 92


News: Federal Cigar 95th Anniversary Cigar to be Made by E.P. Carrillo
Price: $8.75
Source: Cigars Provided by Retailer
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