Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the E.P. Carrillo La Historia in the 656 size. This is a cigar line we previously assessed most recently in the Regalias d’Celia back in 2015.
Wrapper: San Andres Mexican
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
656: 6 x 56
In 2019, E.P. Carrillo would deliver a second cigar for the Tobacconists Association of America (TAA) Exclusive Series with the La Historia 656. As the “656” indicates, this is a 6 x 56 line extension to La Historia. 2019 would be the first time in four years that the La Historia line received a line extension. Along with the 656 line extension, 2019 would also see a figurado size be released as a part of the E.P. Carrillo 10th Anniversary set. Today we take a closer look at the La Historia 656.
The TAA Exclusive Series consists of cigars made by leading manufacturers that are exclusively sold at TAA member retailers. The TAA is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers is approximately 80. The TAA has defined itself as:
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.
There are 14 cigars released for 2019 as a part of the TAA Exclusive Series:
- AJ Fernandez New World Redondo
- Brick House Ciento Por Ciento TAA Exclusive by J.C. Newman Cigar Company
- CAO Brazilia Select
- Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2019
- Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 by My Father Cigars
- E.P. Carrillo La Historia 656
- Eiroa Jamastran 11/18
- Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserva Presidente
- Joya de Nicaragua Selección de Torcedor
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 50th Segunda Edición Natural
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 50th Segunda Edición Maduro
- La Palina Silver Label Toro
- Timeless 2019 Limited Edition for Nat Sherman
- Tatuaje TAA 51st
As mentioned, this is the second year in a row E.P. Carrillo has provided an exclusive cigar to the annual TAA series. While this year’s blend was a line extension to La Historia, last year the company provided what was described as a whole new cigar.
The blend to the La Historia 656 is the same as the regular production line. The cigar consists of a San Andres Mexican wrapper over an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and a combination of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. Blended by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr, production comes out of his Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic. The 6 x 56 size comes in ten-count boxes.
The La Historia 656 began with notes of coffee, cocoa powder, earth, black cherry, and a slight amount of mixed pepper. Early on the coffee and black cherry notes became primary with the mixed pepper a close secondary note, and the earth and cocoa further back. As the cigar progressed through the first third, the coffee notes became the signature flavor of the 656. There was an increase in pepper during the second half, and in the last third the spices closed in on the forefront.
The flavors were bold full-bodied flavors from start to finish. Strength wise, the La Historia started out medium before progressing to medium to full in the second half.
I have found La Historia to be a line where size matters. The best sizes have been the Regalias d’Celia (5 7/8 x 58 Box Pressed Torpedo) and the E-III (6 7/8 x 54). The 656 doesn’t quite stack up to those vitolas, but it still provided a good smoke. The problem with this cigar is one that a lot of TAA cigars have. TAA releases have been positioned as the best cigars by the best manufacturers for the best retailers. This is not the best size in the line. In the end, I’d recommend trying a sample of this cigar, but my money would still be on the Regalias d’Celia and E-III sizes.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Black Cherry, Cocoa Powder, Earth, Mixed Pepper
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Previous Assessment: E.P. Carrillo Perez-Carrillo La Historia Regalias d’Celia
News: E.P. Carrillo La Historia 656 to be Released as TAA Exclusive
Brand Reference: E.P. Carrillo
TAA Exclusive Series 2019 Reference: 2019 TAA Exclusive Series
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop