At the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, E.P. Carrillo debuted its Original Rebel line. The inspiration for this line came from Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley, referred to E.P. Carrillo owner and founder Ernesto Perez-Carrillo as “the original rebel”. The name struck a cord with Perez-Carrillo and he decided to launch a new line using the name. Original Rebel consists of two distinct blends – a natural wrapper offering known as Original Rebel Maverick and a maduro wrapper offering known as Original Rebel Rebellious. Today we take a closer look at the Original Rebel Rebellious in the 54 (Toro) size.
When Original Rebel was unveiled in 2016, it was part of a deeper strategy by 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. As a part of the portfolio overhaul, most of the portfolio has been aligned into one of five different groupings.
The E.P. Carrillo Original Rebel is in a grouping known as the E.P. Carrillo Dimension Series. The company describes this line as follows:
Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is widely believed to have created the BIG RING gauge craze of today while he was with his prior company. Today, at EPC Cigar Co., Ernesto is at it again with the Dimension Series. He adds to his claim to fame by having created the INCH line and since it is all about dimensions, his next claim to fame is the smaller ring gauge, Interlude and the non traditional sized Rebel. The Dimension Series of cigars is all about the size and how that size relates to the smoker’s experience.
The Dimension Series includes three lines and six blends:
- INCH by E.P. Carrillo (Maduro, Natural, Colorado)
- Interlude by E.P. Carrillo (Maduro, Natural)
- Original Rebel by E.P. Carrillo (Rebellious, Maverick)
Without further ado, let’s break down the Origin:
The maduro wrapper of the E.P. Carrillo Original Rebel Rebellious utilizes a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over an Ecuadorian binder and Nicaraguan filler. The cigar is produced out of Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza)
The E.P. Carrillo Original Rebel Rebellious is available in three sizes. Each of the three sizes is available in 10-count boxes.
52: 5 1/2 x 52
54: 6 1/2 x 54
56: 7 1/2 x 56
The E.P. Carrillo Original Rebel Rebellious 54 had a dark roasted coffee bean color to it. Upon closer examination, some darker mottling could be seen on the surface. There wasn’t much in the way of oil of this wrapper. When this wrapper is touched, it had somewhat of a rougher feel. While the darker color of the wrapper did a good job at hiding the wrapper seams, there were some visible veins. The cigar features a loosely covered footer and a short thick pig-tail on the cap.
The band to the Original Rebel Rebellious has a red, orange, black, and gold color scheme. The top of the band features a small gold “EP” scripted logo on a rounded black square with gold trim. Just below the logo is the text “CARRILLO” in a large gold font. On the center of the band is a gold ribbon with the text “THE ORIGINAL” in a thin black font. Right below the ribbon is the text “REBEL” in large gold font and just below that is the text “REBELLIOUS” in white font arranged in a curved fashion.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling the pig-tail off the Original Rebel Rebellious 54, I opted to use a straight cut and remove the cap and pig-tail together. I then proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of coffee, earth, and a slight mMaduro sweetness (a cross between natural tobacco and dried fruit). Overall I considered this cigar to have an excellent pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the Original Rebel Rebellious 54 and enjoy the smoking experience.
The Original Rebel Rebellious 54 started out with notes of slightly sweetened coffee, classic wood, cedar, and mixed pepper notes. As the Rebellious 54 moved through the first third, the coffee notes emerged as the primary note. While the cedar, wood, and pepper notes moved into the background, there was also an underlying creamy texture. Meanwhile the retro-hale produced a combination of sharp cedar and mixed pepper notes.
The second third of the Original Rebel Rebellious 54 continued the flavor profile of the first third. By the midway point, some of the classic wood notes moved into the forefront alongside the coffee notes. Toward the latter part of the second third, the cedar and pepper notes increased and the creamy texture dissipated.
The last third of the Original Rebel Rebellious 54 saw the spices join the classic wood notes in the forefront. The coffee notes remained a close secondary note. During this stage, I also picked up a slight citrus note. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature but slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The Original Rebel Rebellious 54 maintained a relatively straight burn path. I didn’t find this to be a cigar that required frequent touch-ups. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper complexion. This was a cigar that didn’t have the firmest of ashes. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
As for the draw, it was on the open side. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from. Simultaneously, this was a cigar that produced a decent amount of smoke along the way.
Strength and Body
Overall I found the Original Rebel Rebellious 54 packed a nice punch. The cigar started out medium to full in terms of strength and body. Both attributes increased in intensity and by the second third, the strength and body moved into full territory – where they remained for the duration of the smoking experience.
In terms of strength versus body, I found both attributes balanced each other nicely – with neither overshadowing the other.
The 2016 overhaul of the E.P. Carrillo portfolio has produced a lot of exciting new offerings for E.P. Carrillo fans. The Original Rebel Rebellious might be one of the revelations from the new releases that were a part of the portfolio revamping. When it comes to Connecticut Broadleaf, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has been a master of working with that wrapper and with the Rebellious 54, it’s another great example of what he can do with it. This is a bold cigar that isn’t short on flavor.
Because this is a stronger and fuller cigar, it’s one I would recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. While this is a pricier cigar for E.P. Carrillo, the ten-count box certainly makes this worthy of box consideration. This is one I would reach for and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Classic Wood, Cedar, Mixed Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Third), Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Third), Full (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Original Rebel by E.P. Carrillo Launched at 2016 IPCPR
Brand Reference: E.P. Carrillo
Image Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted