The E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance is the fifth installment of the Perez-Carrillo series. It is also the first limited-edition installment of the series. The name is derived from the third and fourth installments of the Perez-Carrilo line, the Pledge and Allegiance, respectively. The idea for the name is credited to former E.P. Carrillo Chief Operating Officer Salim Hanono. While the name is a mashup of the Pledge and Allegiance names, the blend is completely different as it emphasizes incorporating American Tobaccos. Given the name of the cigar and the use of the American Tobaccos, the Pledge of Allegiance was targeted for a June 2023 release just ahead of Independence Day. Today, we take a closer look at the Pledge of Allegiance release.
Below is a list of the five installments (and the year released) of the Perez-Carrillo brand.
- La Historia (2013)
- Encore (2018)
- Pledge (2020)
- Allegiance (2022)
- Pledge of Allegiance (2023 – Limited Edition)
One note on the Pledge of Allegiance is that outside the ultra-premium Aura by E.P. Carrillo release, this is one of the highest-priced E.P. Carrillo cigars to date – coming in at $20.00 per cigar.
Let’s break down the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance without further ado and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
As mentioned, there is an emphasis on the use of American tobaccos with the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance. The cigar features a U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. There are also two different (undisclosed) American tobaccos in the filler. The filler is rounded off with Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. In addition, the blend utilizes an Ecuadorian binder. Production comes from Perez-Carrillos Tabacalera La Alianza facility in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler U.S. (Two Undisclosed Tobaccos), Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza
The cigar comes in one size – a 6 x 54 box-pressed Toro. It was presented in ten-count boxes, with a total of 1,776 boxes produced. Each box was individually numbered.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance had a dark espresso bean color to it. Even with the darker color of the wrapper, a slight amount of mottling could be detected on the surface. There were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. The box-press had a soft trunk-press style to it.
Before commencing the pre-light draw experience, the blue sleeve that covered the lower half of the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance was removed. Once the sleeve was removed, it was on to commencing the cold draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of coffee and earth notes. I considered this an agreeable pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to toast up the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance opened up with black coffee, earth, mineral, and berry notes. Early on, the black coffee and earth moved into the forefront. The mineral and berry notes landed in the background and were joined by some chocolate notes. Meanwhile, the retro-hale delivered a layer of cedar notes.
The second third of the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance opened up with the black coffee and earth primary. The mineral, berry, and pepper notes were secondary. Some cedar and black pepper notes also emerged in the background during this phase. Around the midway point, the coffee notes receded into the background, and the earth notes took over as the primary notes. The pepper increased in the latter part of the second third and, by this point, had also taken over the retro-hale.
During the final third, the earth notes remained grounded in the forefront. There was more in the way of pepper and cedar. In addition, there were still notes of mineral, berries, coffee, and chocolate. This is the way the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
While the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance kept to a straight burn path, it required frequent touch-ups. There were more touch-ups required than I prefer. There was some occasional jaggedness on the burn line from time to time. The ash from the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance was firm with a silver-gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance was on the open side, but it was far from being a loose draw. I usually prefer a little more in the way of resistance on a pre-light draw. In the end, this was still a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor.
Strength and Body
For the most part, the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance delivered a smoking experience on the lower side of medium strength and medium-bodied flavors. A slight increase in intensity in the second half took the cigar closer to “dead center” medium strength, medium-bodied flavors. The strength and body balanced each other nicely, with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
I have been a big fan of the four previous installments of the Perez-Carrillo packaging. With the E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance, this might be the best of the series to date. The red, white, and blue color scheme works well. I also really liked the use of the blue paper sleeve. Overall, E.P. Carrillo hit a home run on the packaging with the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Pledge of Allegiance is a fantastic offering by E.P. Carrillo. It’s a blend quite different from anything Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has blended before. It has excellent flavors and a nice amount of complexity. At $20.00, even in today’s market, it’s not cheap, but I would easily recommend it to any cigar enthusiast. It’s a cigar that I would buy multiples of. Coming in at 90 points, the E.P Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance has earned a Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
Key Flavors: Earth, Coffee, Berry, Mineral, Chocolate, Cedar, Pepper
Burn: Very High
Draw: Very High
Complexity: Medium to High
Value: Buy Multiples
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
News: E.P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance Limited Edition Announced
Brand Reference: E.P. Carrillo
Photo Credit: Cigar Coop