In 2021, E.P. Carrillo announced it was bringing back a small batch series known as the Short Run. The series was launched in 2010 and through 2016, it became a staple of the E.P. Carrillo portfolio. While it was never clear why the series was discontinued, one can infer several factors caused this: a restructuring of the E.P. Carrillo portfolio, the uncertainty of the Deeming Rule from the FDA, the eventual success of the Perez-Carrillo Famly Series, and/or tobacco availability. Fast-forward to 2021 and E.P. Carrillo would bring back the Short Run series under the moniker of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro series. Once again, the Retro series would return in 2022 with the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022. The 2022 Retro release would be the first Short Run release with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Today we take a closer look at the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 release in the Extended Play (Toro) size.
The “retro” theme is inspired by the fact that the company is 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).
One fun aspect of the Short Run Series it has featured different wrappers and blends 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 (Ecuadorian Habano)
- Short Run Retro 2022 (Connecticut Broadleaf)
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 Retro 2022 Extended Play and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 is a five-country multinational blend. In addition to the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, the blend features an Ecuadorian binder and fillers from Nicaragua, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. The Honduran tobacco in the blend marks the first time master blender Ernesto Perez-Carillo Jr. t has used Honduran tobacco since his days when he still was at General Cigar.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan, Mexican, Honduran
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza
As mentioned above, the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 is available in three sizes. Each is presented in 24-count boxes. These are the same vitola names and sizes as from the Short Run Retro 2021.
Short Play: 5 x 50
Extended Play: 6 x 52
Long Play: 6 x 60
The E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play had a nearly jet-black wrapper color. Despite the dark color, upon closer examination, some minor mottling could be seen on the surface. The wrapper itself had a light amount of toothiness to it. There were also some visible seams and visible veins on the surface.
There are two bands to the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022. 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 remove cap of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play. From that point, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered notes of coffee, earth, and a slight chocolate sweetness. Sometimes with coffee and chocolate notes, they fuse together into what I term a “mocha” note. In this case, the notes were separate and distinct. At this point, it was time to toast up the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 and move into the smoking phase.
The E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play opened up with notes of black pepper, coffee, earth, dark chocolate, mineral, and cedar notes. Early on the coffee notes moved into the forefront. The pepper, earth, mineral, and cedar notes settled into the background. The dark chocolate notes floated back and forth between the forefront and background. As for the retro-hale, there was another layer of black pepper present.
During the second third of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play, the coffee notes remained primary. The dark chocolate notes appeared less frequent in the forefront. At the same time, there was an increase in the pepper and earth notes on the tongue. Meanwhile, the cedar and mineral notes remained in the more distant background.
By the final third, the earth and pepper joined the coffee in the forefront. The mineral and cedar notes were in the background, and the dark chocolate notes were in the more distant background. This is the way the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play needed frequent touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and keep a straight burn line. While the touch-ups did the trick, there were more touch-ups than I prefer. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm. This was an ash that had a silvery colored tint to it. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play had a touch of resistance to it. This landed the draw in the sweet spot for me. At the same time, this was a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play started out with medium to full strength and medium to full body. There was a gradual increase in the intensity level of both attributes. While the strength stayed in the medium to full range for the duration of the smoking experience, the body did progress to full territory by the final third.
In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained an edge throughout the smoking experience.
The E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play delivered an enjoyable cigar. The first two-thirds were the most enjoyable parts. The last third saw the flavors a little more muddled – especially as the dark chocolate sweetness had faded. This cigar could have performed a little better on the burn. In the end, the E.P. Carrillo Short Run Retro 2022 Extended Play scored a respectable 89. It’s a cigar I would gear to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. This cigar comes in at a nice price point, and it’s a cigar I would buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Cedar, Mineral, Pepper
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop