NOTICE: I review cigars first thing in the morning when my palate is fresh and unencumbered by any previous cigars. What I taste may differ from what you taste if this is your 6th cigar in a row. Since I am retired, I chain smoke all day long and must cleanse my palate prior to lighting up each new cigar. Methods for cleansing a palate is different for everyone. I like to use fresh fruit or yogurt.
This blend was released in the Fall of 2013. The line began in 2009. That is when the Edición Limitadas began. Each year a new blend.
I noticed that this may be the first time that the sticks come in 20 count boxes instead of the norm of 10 count. At $15 a stick, this definitely will put a crimp in your secret stash your wife does not know about.
A total of 1500 boxes were produced and each one numbered. The count has also gone way down from 2009. In 2009, Carrillo released 150,000 Edición Limitadas. Not so limited. This year, it is only 30,000.
OK. On with the review.
Construction is excellent. A nice firmly packed stick with the perfect amount of give. A dark, oily coffee bean colored wrapper that feels very sandy. A flawlessly executed triple cap. And veins that are mostly hidden by the dark color of the wrapper. And a double cigar band; the main one being the standard Carrillo design and the secondary band showing its colors…name.
I clip the cap and find aromas of dark cocoa, leather, sweetness, earthiness, and pepper.
Time to light up.
Great draw and immediate fruity sweetness. Then some black pepper. And a very earthy element that makes the whole flavor profile. There is some wood, cocoa, and coffee to round things out. This is a very meaty, manly cigar. I like most of the Carrillo line but this is something special. I can tell right away where the money was spent.
As I got up to let the dog out, I got a breakfast cereal flavor. Sort of a combo of oats and rice.
I am immediately disappointed by the verklempt condition of the cap. It is just falling apart on me. I used a simple V cut from that giant stainless steel 4 hole cutter so it wasn’t me. I have to clip away at some of the cap. This is inexcusable for a $15 stick.
The entire Curivari line I have reviewed and the recently reviewed Esteban Carreras Chupa Cabra were basically $6-$7 sticks with triple caps and behaved flawlessly.
Big no no Senor Carrillo.
And the char line is getting out of whack. Goddamit. I am forced to correct it to head off any sort of canoe. I preach about this all the time. An inexpensive cigar can’t be just about the tobacco. The construction has to match it every step of the way and so far, this stick hasn’t. Thankfully, I only purchased one stick. And not for the MSRP.
The spiciness is beginning to ratchet up. As this cigar is so jam packed, it is a very slow burner. So I am only at the 1-1/2” line after 15 minutes, or so.
And it is here, that I get my flavor explosion. Here are the flavors, in order: Sweetness, cocoa, a rich earthiness, coffee, creaminess, wood, spice, fruit, and creaminess. Sort of an odd order of flavors but then the leaf stats tell me why.
It is an official flavor bomb with each flavor becoming bolder with each puff. Man oh man, what a great cigar. Except for the lousy cap and foot.
The char line begins to go wavy on me but not enough to require a touch up. Did I get a bad one or all they all like this. After I finish, I am going to read some of the good reviews and see.
The black pepper becomes a very spicy red pepper.
I jump over to the Big Guy reviewer and he must be smoking a different cigar as he is getting almost no flavors. Betcha he smoked it too soon. Or maybe he got a bad one. LOL.
The second third and I’m happy as a clam. This is just a gorgeous tasting stick.
The flavor profile goes unchanged except for the addition of defining the fruit as black cherry. With a bit of plum lobbed in there.
The ash is holding its own. I lost a good inch to bad burn but now you need to punch it to remove it. Famous last words as I just jinxed it and am waiting for the ash to fall on to my lap. I take no chances and knock it off.
I near the halfway point and the flavor profile is burning on all cylinders. At this time, the complexity digs deep. The whole profile changes as the cigar becomes uber rich and nuanced with loads of character and balance.
I get a bit of black licorice. And it becomes very nutty; both almonds (more like marzipan), and hazelnut.
I am positive that this cigar could have been sold for a much friendlier price than $15.00. But it carries with it the baggage of being a once a year limited edition. It’s just greed, that’s all. As usual, manufacturers take us as stupid consumers who think an expensive cigar is something to be cherished and drooled over. But if the other reviewers all report construction issues, word of mouth will get out and Carrillo will be lucky to sell all of the boxes in the short time frame he expected.
As good as the cigar is, I would put it in the $8.00-$9.00 range of value.
There are so many flavors shooting past my palate it is almost impossible to describe. I love the rich earthiness above all.
Loose tobacco at the cap is everywhere and I am constantly picking it away.
Because of the scarcity of the cigar, Atlantic Cigars is selling them at MSRP prices. Unless you are a VIP member and it is a buck and a half cheaper per stick. But if you buy a box of 20, the price drops from $300 to $80 less. That means the sticks are only $6.50 each. Less than half of MSRP. Now that’s a great deal and if my wife was dead, I would snatch a box up…construction problems and all. If you are not a VIP member, the price is $277.00. Or almost $9.00 a stick. Still, a fair price. A 5 pack goes for $62.00. Or $12.00 a stick. So the only way to get a deal is by purchasing a box. Carrillo should have stayed with 10 count boxes making this stick affordable to everyone.
I remove the secondary band. No problems.
The flavor profile is a cornucopia of delight.
The strength started out at classic medium body. By the halfway point, it moved to medium/full. And here with 2-1/2” to go, it is full bodied with a sharp dose of nicotine that came upon me swiftly. Time to slow down. Either that or I will be teaching the dog, who is sleeping on the couch, the cha cha.
Even with the construction issues which went away by the halfway mark, I recommend this cigar. I know it ain’t cheap but a couple singles won’t break the bank and I think this cigar is worth a try.
But I can’t nub a cigar with this much nicotine. The nicotine kick is one of the strongest I’ve endured and it is causing me to be a bit disoriented.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS