E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan ’98 Criollo (Jalapa)
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto-Napoleon”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $6.75
Number of Cigars Smoked Prior to Review: 1
Accompanying Libation: Water

1

2

Today we take a look at the new E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015.

HISTORY:
Not much to tell. Everyone and his brother has reviewed this cigar and if you aren’t familiar with the E.P. Carrillo line, you are living on Uranus.
This is the 6th consecutive year that Carrillo has released the Short Run blend.
Only 1500 cigars per size are on the shelves.

DESCRIPTION:
It is a gorgeous, very oily russet brown. It looks like a baked potato was rolled around in melted butter.
The cigar itself is a stout, densely packed stick. With just a small amount of give and no sound of cracking heard when doing this.
Seams are very tight. A small amount of veins. A couple tree trunk veins. The wrapper is very smooth to the touch. The triple cap is clean. And the same Carrillo cigar band with the exception of the words: “Criollo 98” and Short Run 2015 written on it.

AROMA AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The shaft gives off several appealing smells: sweetness, cocoa, earthiness, nutmeg, and fruit. The foot and clipped cap smell of dark cocoa, spice, floral notes, coffee, and cedar.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Napoleon: 5 x 50 $6.75
Vencedores: 6 x 52 $7.75
Imperios: 6 x 60 $8.75

FIRST THIRD:
First puffs are sweet and spicy. There is nutmeg, cinnamon, earth notes, cedar, and aromatic wood.
Espresso is up next. Nice punch to it.

The strength is medium/full within the first minute of smoke time. And the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 has the “IT” factor. It is oozing with amazing grace and sophistication.

I’m not a big Carrillo fan. I think ol’ E.P. blends a one trick pony line. They aren’t bad mind you. But I’ve just never been bowled over by one. I liked the La Historia. The others have a thread running through them that immediately identifies them as a Carrillo blend. I always get the feeling I’m smoking some version of a La Gloria Cubana.
3

I read a couple other reviews and they weren’t all that kind to this cigar. They use a rating system and it never reached 90. I don’t know if it was all about humidor time or it was their 4th cigar of the day.
But the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 is way better than that.
This cigar has a very high premium quality to it.

At the 1” burned mark, the flavor profile blossoms: Creaminess, spice, caramel, brown sugar, floral notes, Curry spices, spicy cinnamon, wood, and black licorice.
4

This cigar is sumptuous and the best Carrillo I’ve smoked. Why? Because the linear adaptation of flavors vs. time. It is a slow roll that keeps my interest peeked at all times.
Other Carrillo blends have been good but were like eating scrambled eggs.

SECOND THIRD:
There is a burn issue that is destroying my experience. I had no such problems with the previous cigar. I’ve had to retouch the cigar three times.
Other than that, construction is good. Nice long ash…without acrobatics of lying on my back on the floor while smoking.
Some smokiness appears out of nowhere. A fire cured element. It is subtle but there none the less.
5third

This is where the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 seems to lose the interest of some reviewers. Me? So far, so good.

HALFWAY POINT:
It’s been a few minutes and the burn issues seem to have been worked out. Fingers crossed.
The strength is still at medium/full.

And the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 is on perfect cruise control. No dissolution of flavor elements. Same rich complexity and sophistication. A lovely blend.
Dried fruit appears now. Mango. I make my own smoothies now instead of paying for those Atkins Shakes. At Trader Joe’s, I got a big bag of unsweetened mango chunks. Love that flavor.
6half

I’ve only allowed the sticks to humidor marinate for a few weeks. Carrillo blends are much better after a few months.

LAST THIRD:
I’m sorry. But the reviewers who get to smoke every goddam cigar in the universe because they are always kind to the manufacturers, don’t give the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 its props. This is an excellent cigar. Sure, I’m a nobody who is going out of business, but maybe it is a good thing that I don’t have manufacturers constantly sending me $18 cigars to smoke. Cigars at that price range are usually no better than good $7 sticks. Then whoosh goes that manufacturer sponsor. Blink of an eye.

The licorice really soars now. Flavors move around: Orange citrus, black licorice, dried fruit, creaminess, spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cedar, smokiness, espresso, and brown sugar.
That is a lot going on!
7third

The char line is pretty much dead nuts now.

Strength is moving towards full. And so is the nicotine. The spins have attacked.
Still digging the flavors. Very good cigar and the best of the Short Runs.
8

PRICE POINT:
I applaud Carrillo for keeping this edition of the Short Run inexpensive. Kudos brother. The main reason I am leaving reviewing (See post: “Into the Sunset”) is due to the absolutely outrageous pricing of new cigars and the sheep that get with the program that find it in their heads that if it’s expensive, it must be good.

I belong to a cigar group and all they do is auction off “in” cigars. Either the “Flavor of the Moment” or the DE crap. It is unbelievable. Someone shows a photo of a good, regular production cigar and no one pays attention. But show photos of Caldwell, Dirty Rat, or Lost & Found and they go nuts. Don’t get me started about all the folks auctioning Cubans.

Some manufacturers are brilliant with their packaging. It lures you like a frog to a worm. Price? Who cares? It looks cool. Win/Win for the manufacturer that is putting out mediocre blends under the guise of “Look what we found in a warehouse simmering for 7 years.” The reason they were there for 7 years is that original owner probably thought they weren’t good enough to market. So the cigars just sat; waiting.

The bottom line is that this is an excellent blend and worth the $6.75; and maybe more. And mind you, this is a limited production run.

SUMMATION:
The price point alone is a great reason for trying this cigar. Although, I’m guessing most of you have.
The E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2015 is a nice slow roll. It starts immediately with interesting flavors. It continues on a path that increases the interest and finds a very rich complexity, nice balance, and a long chewy finish.

Considering how Nicaraguan heavy this blend is, it is a nice change of pace. No massive dose of chocolate. And full of interesting flavor elements.
The cigar is a great, nonviolent coup d’état over the past Short Runs.

The jam packed stick made this a long smoke for a Robusto. Final smoking time: 90 minutes.

There were some construction issues due to the char line requiring so many touch ups. But that ended pretty much by the halfway point.
I highly recommend this cigar.
9

Here is Why You are Really Reading Me Cause It Ain’t for the Reviews, Honey Pie:
1974

Curved Air’s first tour was with the original members of the band. I was the only new addition. They were very nice people; at first. They treated me well. Of course, that would change. Politics of Dancing.

A PR photo shoot was planned to be at Miles Copeland’s house in St. John’s Wood. A block away, was the famous EMI Studio, also known as Abbey Road Studio. It was the only road in London that the city stopped putting up street signs. They painted the name of the road on block walls in front of houses. Tourists stole the signs about 15 minutes after they were installed.

Stewart lived in a flat about 3 doors down from the studio. We were really poor. Management only paid us 50£ a week to survive on. But they also paid our rents and expenses. On the road, the pay doubled.

Stew and I hung out together a lot. So we had dinner together all the time. He showed me his poor man’s dinner of cooked spaghetti with melted butter and four brussel sprouts on it. Actually, it was very tasty. And cheap. That’s right. Only 4 brussel sprouts. Two per man.

I had only known the band a week when we did the photo shoot. We hadn’t even rehearsed yet. Darryl, the leader and violinist of the band, picked me up in his little Triumph. A two seater with a bit of a tiny storage area behind the seats.
After picking me up, we headed to Miles’ house. The shoot was a lot of fun because I had never done anything like this before. I was only 24. And my first foray into big time music. Plus it was my chance to meet the band and SONJA!

Getting into his car required a can opener and a shoe horn. When the photo shoot was over, we immediately went to Miles’ bar and helped ourselves. Miles wasn’t around. Miles had one of those 200 year old houses that was lavish and historical.

It was time to leave and Sonja asked for a ride home to Hampton Heath. I allowed her the front seat and I found myself jammed into the back like a small piece of luggage or rat dog. Man, that was uncomfortable.

It began to just pour buckets of rain on the way. And it was rush hour. Both of them smoked cigarettes and I have never smoked a cig in my entire life; hand to God.

The windows had to be closed because of the torrential rain. Not even a tiny crack open. Pretty soon, I got car sick. The cigarette smoke and the cramped quarters and the stopping and going really did a number on me. I begged them to open a window but when they tried, the rain came in.
We finally dropped off Sonja. I was sick as a dog and it had taken us a good hour to get her home.

She invited us in and Darryl accepted because he wanted a drink. He was an alchy. Sonja immediately came on to me. I must have been pale as a ghost and ready to blow chunks. She rubbed herself up and down against me. First time at that age, I couldn’t get a boner.

This is the only photo I have of that photo shoot. L-R Florian Pilkington-Miksa, Francis Monkman, Sonja Kristina, Darryl Way, and me.
curved air1a

I got in the front seat and told Darryl how car sick I was. He laughed and told me he had the cure. We stopped at a pub. He told me the cure was a snifter of brandy. I had my doubts but I was new to the band and played along.

Well, as you can imagine, the brandy only made it worse. We got back in his car where I immediately puked on his floor. We pulled over, in the pouring rain, and he made me clean it up. He was gagging from the smell, and sight, of what I did. I started to get the dry heaves.

All I could think of was I wasn’t making a good impression on my boss.

The car’s windshield wipers didn’t work right and Darryl had to keep putting his arm out of the window and use a rag on the glass so he could see. Meanwhile, I used another rag to get rid of the fogged wind screen. (That’s what they call a wind shield in the UK)

We got to a four way stop controlled by Bobbies. Darryl couldn’t see and went right through the stop. A Bobbie in the middle of the road stopped us and began to yell.

Darryl explained and the cop let us go. Darryl drove about 30 feet and actually hit a Bobbie controlling traffic. He was going slow and just knocked him over. All of the cops descended on us and the yelling did not help my stomach. But they let us go with a warning. In America, we would have both been gunned down in the car. Bobbies were pretty even keeled blokes. They had to be. NO guns. Just a night stick.

An hour later, I was finally home. Where I went straight to bed and lay there moaning for God knows how long.

They never let me hear the end of that. For over two years, that story came up every 20 minutes in mixed company.

I have never written about this. Why now? Who knows? I must suffer from PTSD from that incident.

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1 reply

  1. You and I have been on the same page about “the business” since day one, or maybe two. Those other creme de la creme douchebag Nafkeh reviewers have left a taste in my mouth more sour than the greenest of Cuba Aliados. I’m loathe to see you go, but am grateful for the great memories you’ve generously shared with us through the years…in baby Jesus’ name.
    Mozel Tov to you in ressurecting your musical career. A talent such as yours must be shared with the world!