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 Pledge Apogee. This is a cigar blend previously assessed back in the Prequel (Robusto) size back in October 2021.
Wrapper: Connecticut Havana
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza
Apogee: 6 1/4 x 58
At the 2021 Premium Cigar Association Trade Show, E.P. Carrillo introduced a third size to its Pledge line known as the Apogee. The Apogee introduced the widest format in the line to date – measuring 6 1/4 x 58. While Apogee is the third size of the Pledge line, the Pledge line itself is the third blend in the Perez-Carrillo Series – a series that pays homage to members of company founder Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s family. In this case, the Pledge pays homage to all cigar smokers – part of the extended family of E.P. Carrillo. Today, we turn our attention to the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Apogee.
The E.P. Carrillo Pledge is produced at Ernesto Perez-Carillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza located in the Dominican Republic. The blend features a Connecticut Havana wrapper over an Ecuadorian binder and all-Nicaraguan fillers. Like the rest of the Pledge line, the Apogee is box-pressed. One noticeable thing about the Apogee is that it seemed to have a much flatter trunk press compared to its sibling, the Robusto-sized Prequel.
The E.P. Carrillo Pledge Apogee opened up with notes of black coffee, licorice, earth, wood, and a slight amount of black pepper. Early on the coffee and licorice notes moved into the forefront. At times the notes had fusion together, and at other times they were separate and distinct. The earth, wood, and pepper settled into the background. The second third saw licorice notes fade into the background. There was a gradual increase in the pepper and cedar. By the final third, the coffee notes remained primary. The pepper and cedar closed into the forefront but didn’t quite reach there. The licorice and wood notes also helped round things out.
The flavors delivered were medium to full-bodied. The strength started out at a medium level and progressed to medium to full in the second half. The burn was mostly low maintenance and did not require frequent touch-ups to keep a straight burn path. The draw was more open than I prefer, but didn’t have any adverse effects.
The Apogee size is one that is appealing to me – and the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Apogee delivered a satisfactory smoking experience. However, it’s hard not to compare this to the Prequel size which simply delivered a superior smoking experience. The flavors are in the same wheelhouse, but they seemed better balanced with the Prequel. As a result, I’m simply more inclined to pick up the Prequel size as opposed to the Apogee. Coming in at $15.95, this is not an inexpensive cigar and at just under $11.00, I’m inclined to go to the Prequel size. In the end, if the Apogee size is something that interests you, I’d recommend trying a sample first.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Licorice, Wood, Earth, Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Previous Assessment: E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel
News: E.P. Carrillo Pledge Apogee Makes Debut at 2021 PCA
Brand Reference: E.P. Carrillo
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop