The E.P. Carrillo Dusk is a new line by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo that made its debut at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show. Dusk was one component of what was a deeper strategy by the E.P. Carrillo – namely a full overhaul of the products in the E.P. Carrillo portfolio. This consisted of a combination of re-blends, re-packaging, and new blends. The overhaul was significant and was a story on the Cigar Coop Top 12 news stories for 2016. Today we take a look at the E.P. Carrillo Dusk, which is a new addition. I recently had the opportunity to smoke the Dusk in the Solidos (6 x 60) size. Overall, I found this to be an impressive maduro offering from E.P. Carrillo.
As a part of the portfolio overhaul, most of the portfolio has been aligned into one of five different groupings.
The Dusk is in a grouping known as the E.P. Carrillo Classics Series. For all practical purposes, this is a grouping of what could be considered E.P. Carrillo’s foundation (i.e. everyday) smokes. The company describes this as follows:
The Classics are the type of cigars we all know well. Those cigars that are traditional in make and style. They are akin to a favorite sweater or pair of comfortable shoes, a smoke that we crave anytime of day. Ernesto Perez- Carrillo reinvented tradition with the Classics Series by adding his personal touch to a traditional approach.
The Classics Series includes the following offerings:
- E.P. Carrillo Cardinal Impact (Natural and Maduro) – Repackaged, Reblended
- E.P. Carrillo Core Plus (Natural and Maduro) – Repackaged, Reblended
- E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut – Repackaged
- E.P. Carrillo Dusk – New Blend
The Dusk is a dark maduro offering. With the Classics Series, it is worth noting that there are three maduro offerings in the line – Cardinal Impact Maduro, Core Plus Maduro, and the Dusk.
Without further ado, lets take a closer look at the E.P. Carrillo Dusk and see what this cigar brigs to the table.
As for the blend of the E.P. Carrillo Dusk, the company is keeping much of the details high-level. As with all E.P. Carrillo cigars, the Dusk is made at Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory.
Wrapper: United States
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza)
The E.P. Carrillo Dusk is available in four sizes. Each of the four sizes are available in 20 count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Stout Toro: 6 x 52
Obscure: 7 x 54
Solidos: 6 x 60
The E.P. Carrillo Dusk Solidos has a dark espresso colored wrapper. Upon closer examination, some subtle darker marbling can be seen on the surface. The wrapper has a light coating of oil on it. There are some visible wrapper seams and a few visible veins. The surface of this wrapper is bumpy and overall I would classify the Dusk Solidos as having a rugged look.
The design of the Dusk band is consistent with the rebranding and re-packaging seen across the E.P. Carrillo portfolio, but with features still unique to the Dusk. The band itself has a midnight blue background with gold trim. The center of the band features the gold “EP” scripted logo on a rounded red square with gold trim. To the left and right of the logo are gold medallions and gold adornments. The lower part of the band has a pseudo secondary band effect. It also is midnight blue with gold trim. There are images that appear to show a nighttime view of the Dominican Republic. On the middle of this lower section of band is the text “DUSK” in gold font. Toward the bottom of the band is the text “Flor Fina” (in cursive) and text “THE CLASSICS” both in gold font arranged in a ticker tape style.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the E.P. Carrillo Dusk Solidos, I used a large ring gauge cutter to clip the cap. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided notes of earth, coffee, and cedar. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Dusk Solidos and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Dusk Solidos started out notes of coffee and cedar. There was also a sweet raisin note I detected. Normally, I find raisin flavors to be a sign that a cigar is young, but not in this case as it was very pleasant. The raisin notes quickly moved into the forefront. Meanwhile the coffee notes transitioned into a mocha (combination of coffee and chocolate) which became a close secondary note. Further in the background were cedar notes and a slight nut flavor. On the retro-hale, I picked up a combination of raisin and cedar.
During the second third, I found the raisin note came a notch down with the sweetness. At the same time the mocha notes popped nto the forefront from time to time. Meanwhile the nut and cedar remained in the background.
When the Dusk Solidos reached the last third, the cedar notes came to the forefront and I found there was some white pepper mixed in. The raisin and mocha notes were now secondary and the nut flavors were gone. This is the way the Dusk Solidos came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the E.P. Carrillo Dusk Solidos performed quite well. The cigar maintained a relatively straight burn path as well as a straight burn line. This cigar needed some occasional touch-ups along the way, but overall I was quite pleased with how this scored for a 60 ring gauge cigar. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color and was on the firm side. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
As for the draw, the Dusk Solidos had the right amount of resistance – i.e. not too loose, nor too tight. This cigar produced a lot of smoke and was an low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
From a strength and body perspective, I found both attributes of the Dusk Solidos to be in the medium range. The cigar stayed in this range from start to finish. This was not my first go-around with smoking the Dusk blend. I had smoked some the smaller sizes with less age and did find them to have some more intensity. Whether its the size and / or aging factoring into things, I don’t know.
The strength and body of the Dusk Solidos balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
There are a lot of maduros in the E.P. Carrillo portfolio. One thing I have liked about them is how each of them deliver a different story. Normally I shy away from a a cigar that delivers too much sweetness, but there are cases where I find things click. The Dusk Solidos is one of those cigars where it works. On top of that, this is an excellent 60 ring gauge cigar. Let’s remember that Perez-Carrillo was one of the earlier pioneers in delivering the big ring cigar to market. Overall this is an excellent cigar that I could give to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar that I would smoke again – and it’s worthy of a box split.
Key Flavors: Raisin, Mocha, Cedar
Finish: Very Good
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: E.P. Carrillo Dusk Makes Debut at 2016 IPCPR Trade Show
Source: Purchased, E.P. Carrillo
Brand Reference E.P. Carrillo