“The E.P. Carrillo got a lot of accolades over the past few months – and with good reason. This is a fantastic offering by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.”

Wrapper: Connecticut Havana
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza
Prequel: 5 x 50
Price: $10.75

Sponsor: No
Samples Provided for Initial Review: No
Review: E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel (10/21/21 and 4/12/21)
Appearances on Countdown (By Year/Brand): 7 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2021)

Coming in at #16 is the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel. The Pledge is the third installment of E.P. Carrillo’s Family Series line. It’s most famous because it was the second cigar on this line to capture Cigar Aficionado’s #1 Cigar of the Year.  The name Pledge is meant to be a homage to all cigar smokes. it was actually chosen from input from consumers who visited the E.P. Carrillo booth at Cigar Aficionado’s 2019 Big Smoke Las Vegas event.

The E.P. Carrillo Pledge is highlighted by a Connecticut Havana wrapper. Company founder Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr is known for working with Ecuadorian Sumatra and Connecticut Broadleaf, and in recent years we’ve seen him use this wrapper many times. It’s been used on releases for Crowned Heads (Four Kicks Maduro, Mule Kick LE 2018 and on E.P. Carrillo’s Original Rebel Rebellious and TAA Exclusive 2018 cigars. As for the remainder of the blend, it features an Ecuadorian binder and all-Nicaraguan fillers. The Prequel is a classic 5 x 50 box-pressed Robusto. The cigar is produced at Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza in the Dominican Republic.


EP Carrillo Pledge Prequel

Flavor-wise, the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel delivers notes of coffee, licorice, black cherry, wood, and pepper. This is a cigar where the flavors are in the medium/medium to full range throughout the smoking experience. These flavors are countered by medium strength.

This is the eighth year since the Countdown was launched in 2010 that E.P. Carrillo has secured a spot on one.  This cigar also gives the Dominican Republic its second cigar on the 2021 Countdown.


For details of the 2021 Cigar of the Year Countdown, see our 2021 criteria.

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Photo/MediaCredits: Cigar Coop