#22 2023 Cigar of the Year

#22 2023 Cigar of the Year: E.P. Carrillo Allegiance Sidekick


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Sidekick: 5 x 50
Price: $12.00

Sponsor: No
Samples Provided for Initial Review: No
Review: E.P. Carrillo Allegiance Sidekick (10/9/23)
Appearances on Countdown (By Year/Company): 9 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2023)

The Details

The #22 2023 Cigar of the Year is the E.P. Carrillo Allegiance Sidekick. The Allegiance is the fourth installment of the Perez-Carrillo line. The Allegiance is a cigar that Ernesto Perez-Carrillo blended, but it is being produced from Oliva’s TABOLISA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. It was the second project by E.P. Carrillo to be produced outside its Tabacalera La Alianza factory. Other projects we have seen are the E.P. Carrillo INCH Nicaragua out of Plasencia and the Short Run 2023 out of Oscar Valladares’ factory. The name Allegiance pays homage to the many partnerships and alliances the Perez-Carrillo family has forged over the years. In the case of the Allegiance, the partnership is strong, as Oliva had one of its Cuba Aliados projects produced at Tabacelrera La Alianza.

The E.P. Carrillo Allegiance features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over all Nicaraguan tobaccos. This is the first installment of the Perez-Carrillo series to use a Sumatra wrapper. While this leaf is new to the Perez-Carrillo series, it is not new to Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and Oliva, as both parties have developed successful cigars with that wrapper. The Sidekick is a classic 5 x 50 Robusto.

The Allegiance Sidekick delivered a profile of wood, earth, fruit, and pepper notes. While it wasn’t the most overly complex cigar, the E.P. Carrillo Allegiance Sidekick delivered excellent flavor from start to finish. This cigar impressed me because the flavors still performed exceptionally well in the final third. The strength was medium throughout the smoking experience. The flavors started out medium-bodied, but they did progress to medium to full-bodied in the second half (hooray!).

For E.P. Carrillo, this is the ninth appearance on the Countdown – with the most recent appearance in 2021. This is the fourth Nicaraguan-made cigar to make the 2023 Countdown thus far.

Note: On this audio/video recording, we incorrectly said E.P. Carrillo had eight appearances on the Countdown. In reality it was nine as below.


Photo/Media Credits: Cigar Coop