From 2010 to 2016, there were two limited edition cigars from E.P. Carrillo that were staples each year – the Edición Limitada and the Short Run Series. The Edición Limitada was an annual premium release featuring a different blend, while the Short Run Series (until 2016 when it was added to regular production for a while) was an annual small batch limited production line that was sometimes available in multiple sizes. In 2016, both the Edición Limitada and Short Run series were put on hiatus. One can infer several factors caused this: a restructuring of the E.P. Carrillo portfolio, the uncertainty of the Deeming Rule from the FDA, and the eventual success of the Perez-Carrillo Famly Series. In 2021, E.P. Carrillo would release its first Short Run Series release in five years. It would be called the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2021 – and today we take a look at that cigar in the “Extended Play” (Toro) size.
The Short Run Series has featured different wrappers each year:
- Short Run 2010 (Ecuadorian Sumatra)
- Short Run 2011 (Ecuadorian Habano)
- Short Run 2012 (Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade)
- Short Run 2013 (Ecuadorian Sumatra)
- Short Run 2014 (Dominican Corojo)
- Short Run 2015 (Nicaraguan Criollo)
- Short Run 2016 (Ecuadorian Habano)
- Short Run 2016 Nicaragua (Nicaraguan)
- Short Run Retro 2021
The “retro” theme is inspired by the fact that the company will be adorning the cigars and packaging with the original E.P. Carrillo logo for the boxes and bands. It is also a throwback to company founder Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s days as a drummer as each of the names is inspired by musical records (Short Play, Extended Play, and Long Play).
Without further ado, let’s break down the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2021 Extended Play and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
This blend of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 reminded me of an old-school E.P. Carrillo blend – namely: Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan tobaccos for binder and filler, and additional Dominican fillers. Production comes from Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza
As mentioned above, the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 is available in three sizes. Each is presented in 24-count boxes.
Short Play: 5 x 50
Extended Play: 6 x 52
Long Play: 6 x 60
The E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play had a dark brown wrapper. There was a decent amount of oil on the wrapper. Upon closer examination, some darker mottling can be seen on the wrapper. There are some visible veins, but the dark color of the wrapper hides them well.
There are two bands to the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021. The first band is the original one that was found on the earliest releases from E.P. Carrillo. Its red, yellow, black, white, and gold color scheme band bears the E.P. Carrillo name and logo. More specifically this band has two major stripes -a yellow one across the top half and a black one across the bottom half. On the yellow stripe is a red square with the letters “E.P” in a classic scripted gold font. There are also beige leaves going across the yellow stripe. The black stripe has two sections. The lower section is the larger one which features the text “CARRILLO” in white font. The upper portion has a pattern of small gold leaves. The two sections are separated by a red stripe. In addition, there are tan pinstripes across the bottom and top.
There is a secondary band below the main band. It is a black band with gold trim. On the black background, it says “Short Run” in gold letters.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered a mix of earth, leather, and a slight amount of cedar. This wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but since the pre-light draw is not included in the final score or value rating, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to toast up the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The E.P. Carillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play kicked off with notes of chocolate, almond, cedar, earth, dried fruit, and mixed pepper. The chocolate and almond notes moved into the forefront with the cedar, earth, dried fruit, and mixed pepper settling in the background. Later in the first third, the almond diminished and started floating between the forefront and background. Meanwhile, fruit and cedar increased and there was a layer of mixed pepper on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the E.P. Carillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play, the earth notes moved into the forefront. The chocolate notes started to float back and forth between the forefront and background. The almond notes settled in the background with the cedar, pepper, and dried fruit. There was another slight increase of the pepper and cedar.
The final third saw the earth notes remain grounded in the forefront. The pepper and cedar increased again, but still didn’t make it into the forefront. There were still notes of almond, chocolate and dried fruit rounding out the flavor profile. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the E.P. Carillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play was one that meandered from time to time. It required several touch-ups in order to keep a straight burn path and straight burn line. The resulting ash had several mixed shades of gray. This was an ash that wasn’t overly loose, but was not loose or flaky. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw to the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play was on the open side. Normally I prefer a touch of resistance on my draw. This didn’t result in any adverse effects from a combustion standpoint. At the same time, this cigar produced abundant layers of smoke.
Strength and Body
The strength of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play started out medium. By the midway point, there was a slight increase in strength and the cigar’s strength just closed the threshold to medium to full. Meanwhile, the flavors of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play started out medium to full and stayed there for the duration of the smoking experience.
In terms of strength and body, both attributes balanced each other nicely – with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
In the past 4 years, E.P. Carrillo has been on a roll with some highly acclaimed cigars, but when I think back to E.P. Carrillo, one of the lines that drew me to the company was the Short Run line. It was great to see the Short Run return – retro packaging and all. Flavor-wise, the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2021 Extended Play fired on all cylinders. The wonkiness of the burn is what kept this cigar from reaching the 90 point plateau and Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence. Still, it was great to see this line return, and I hope there are more Short Run releases. This is a cigar I would recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast and one I wouldn’t discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar I would buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Earth, Chocolate, Almond, Cedar, Dried Fruit, Mixed Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop