The E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol is a new line by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo that made its debut at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show. The name “Capa de Sol” translates to “wrapper of the sun” and is named for the Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper of this cigar. Capa de Sol 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. Capa de Sol was one of the new blends introduced. Today we take a look at the E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol in the Sultan (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 E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol is in a grouping known as the E.P. Carrillo Elite Series. For all practical purposes, this is a grouping of what could be considered some of E.P. Carrillo’s more premium cigars. The company describes this as follows:
Hours spent on tobacco farms and fields looking for the perfect leaf. Hours spent on the factory floor blending to create the perfect cigar. Ernesto Perez-Carrillo spends these hours creating the Elite Series. Cigars that are worth the name Elite, due to the use of unique tobaccos and blends. A master achievement in flavor, character and time spent for each cigar to be called Elite.
The Elite Series includes the following offerings:
- E.P. Carrillo New Wave Reserva – Repackaged
- E.P. Carrillo Selección Oscuro – Repackaged
- E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol – New Blend
Let’s take a closer look at the E.P. Carrillo Dusk.
As for the blend of the E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol, the company is keeping much under wraps. As with all E.P. Carrillo cigars, the Dusk is made at Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza)
The E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol is available in four sizes. Each of the four sizes is available in 20-count boxes.
Robusto Royal: 5 x 52
Exclusivos: 6 x 54
Primades No. 5: 5 3/4 x 52
Sultan: 6 x 60
The E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol Sultan’s Ecuadorian wrapper had a medium brown color with a colorado red tint. Upon closer examination, some subtle darker mottling could be seen on the surface. The wrapper had a light coating of oil on the surface. I found the surface to also be slightly bumpy. While there were some thin visible veins, most of the wrapper seams were well hidden.
The design of the Capa de Sol band is consistent with the re-branding and re-packaging seen across the E.P. Carrillo portfolio, but with features still unique to the Capa del Sol. The center of the band features the gold “EP” scripted logo on a rounded red square with gold trim. Below that is the text “CARRILLO” in white font and just below that text is the text “Elite” in red cursive font. To the left and right of the logo are gold medallions. The text “Hand” and “Made” flank the medallions on the left and right side, respectively. The left and right side of the upper two-thirds of the band is red with a gold background with gold adornments. The far right has a gold, white, and red shield.
The lower part of the band has a pseudo-secondary band effect. It also has colors of orange and red. There are images that appear to show a rich sunlight view of the Dominican Republic. On the middle of this lower section of dark red ribbon. The middle of the ribbon has the text “CAPA DE SOL” while the left and right side have the text “FLOR” and “FINA”, respectively – all in white font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the E.P. Carrillo Capa De Sol Sultan, I used a straight cut to remove the cap. The dry draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco, classic wood, and a slight cedar spice. Overall I considered this to be a very good pre-light draw. I then lit the Capa del Sol Sultan and prepared to evaluate the cigar.
The E.P. Carrillo Capa del Sol Sultan started out with notes of wood, natural tobacco, and some black pepper. Early on, the wood and natural tobacco notes moved into the front. The natural tobacco also had a nougat-like sweetness quality to it. As for the black pepper, it became a background flavor early on, but remained present on the retro-hale.
During the second third, I found the wood notes became the main flavor in the forefront. By the midway point, the natural tobacco/nougat sweetness receded into the background. The black pepper was still present in the background, but had increased in intensity.
The final third saw some earth notes join the woody notes in the forefront. The pepper had slightly increased, but never took over a primary note. In the background, there was still a subtle natural tobacco/nougat sweetness. This is the way the cigar experience wrapped up for the E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol Sultan. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
In terms of the burn of the E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol Sultan, I found it had a tendency to meander at times. While some touch-ups fixed it, there were still several of them needed along the way. The resulting ash was on the firmer side with a salt and pepper color scheme. The burn temperature was ideal. I did find the burn rate was a little fast for a 6 x 60 (I smoked this in about 70 minutes), but this didn’t have any other adverse effects other than a shorter smoking time.
The draw to the E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol Sultan was impressive. This was a draw that had a touch of resistance – which is something that I like. This made the Capa de Sol Sultan an enjoyable cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength and body perspective, I found the E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol Sultan to have just enough kick to be considered a medium to full strength, medium to full-bodied. I didn’t find there was much in the way of variance of the intensity level of both of these attributes. Throughout the smoking experience, both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither overshadowing the other.
I’ve said it many times, 60 ring gauges get a bad rap. I do realize the size of a 6 x 60 is not one that appeals to all cigar enthusiasts – especially connoisseurs; however, I also feel someone should not immediately dismiss a blend because of the viola shape. When it comes to making 60 ring gauges, there perhaps is no one better at doing that than E.P. Carrillo’s founder, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. With the Capa de Sol, he nails a terrific flavor profile. The only negatives were the faster burn rate and that the burn itself required more maintenance than I prefer. Still, I thought the positives outshined the minuses. This is a cigar I’d probably steer to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again – and it’s one worthy of a box split.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Wood, Nougat, Earth, Black Pepper
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: E.P. Carrillo Capa de Sol Makes Debut at 2016 IPCPR
Source: E.P. Carrillo
Brand Reference: E.P. Carrillo