Casa Carrillo Procigar 2024

Wednesday, February 21, was the first full day in Santiago of Procigar 2024, and the highlight of the day was the visit to the Casa Carrillo factory. Casa Carrillo may be an unfamiliar name to followers of Cigar Coop, but there is a very good reason. It is the new name of Tabacalera La Alianza, the factory founded and owned by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. The change was announced on the eve of Procigar 2024. Attendees of Procigar 2024 were the first visitors to see the factory under the new name.

The now-named Casa Carrillo is a 40,000-foot facility that opened in 2009. The word “casa” is Spanish for home, reflecting the essence of the Perez-Carrillo family. However, it wasn’t just the factory name that changed. There was a complete rebranding of all components of the factory. Perez-Carrillo told Cigar Coop the name change was part of a year-long process.

Casa Carrillo operates in an industrial trade park known as La Corporation Zona Franca Industrial in Santiago. Zona Franca Industrial is home to factory operations of several cigar companies, including General Cigar Dominicana, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia, Swisher International, and De Los Reyes. As the name indicates, it is a “free zone” for trade and provides a strategic advantage to those companies.

Ernesto and Jorge Luís Fernández Maique (called “Maique”) were our hosts for the visit. Ernesto hired Maique to be the General Manager of the factory in late 2021. Maique has worked in various roles at Habanos S.A. Additionally, he is said to have played a vital role in the development of the Cohiba Behike.

At Casa Carrillo, we were treated to a factory tour and a pairings seminar. Maique led the factory tour and put on an absolute clinic on how to run a condensed factory tour. He took the group through the cigar-making process from when raw tobacco is received through packaging. As I have said on previous factory tour recaps, I’m not going to attempt to walk you through the cigar-making process, as it would be akin to writing War and Peace in each instance.

For our visit, parts of the factory floor were turned into a seminar hall and dining hall. That innovation is one of my favorite things to see on a tour for things like this. Much better than using a conference room. It really helps contribute to the vibe of the event.

Ernesto led the pairings seminar and, like Maique, put on an absolute clinic. The seminar featured three cigars. Two of the cigars were the E.P. Carillo Encore Majestic and E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel. The third was a cigar with seven years of age and adorned with the old Tabacalera La Alianza band.


After visiting Casa Carrillo, we returned to the Hotel Gran Almirante for another seminar. Michael Herklots of Ferio Tego and David Perez of ASP hosted this one on the effect a wrapper leaf has on a cigar.



The evening was a Welcome Dinner/Gala. Keeping with the tradition of previous years, it was held at Parque Central in Santiago and included a buffet dinner, music, and a dance competition.

For the record, the music was quite loud.

Each evening, attendees were given a box of cigars. The box contained one cigar from each of the manufacturers who are members of Procigar.


During the Welcome Dinner, attendees could observe artist Feliberto Pichardo painting. Pichardo’s artwork will be auctioned off at the charity auction, which will be held on the final night.

Tomorrow is another full day of factory and farm tours followed by the traditional White Dinner.

For full Procigar 2024  coverage, see our Procigar 2024 Coverage Hub

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop