Perez-Carrillo Encore | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.125 x 52 Torpedo
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $12.25 ($2.00 cheaper online)

Today we take a look at the Perez-Carrillo Encore.
I checked and only found 3 reviews of this cigar. A cigar that was released 7 months ago. Nicht gut. But I’ve had this baby stowed away for quite a while; so, let’s see…

Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
Released: March, 2018
Regular production
“The cigar began showing up in February 2016, with the company referring to it as the La Historia Encore, using the name of a line that debuted in 2014 under the Perez-Carrillo banner with each size named after an important family member in company founder Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.’s life.

“It would appear at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show as part of the company’s completely revamped portfolio, with an expected arrival in October, though that date came and went with no cigar. It would make another appearance at the following year’s trade show, though little was discussed about it other than it would appear at some point in 2018.

“Finally, the cigar began shipping to retailers on March 15 of this year.
“The musical tie-in should not come as a surprise to fans of E.P. Carrillo.
“The Encore’s name came from the concept of that last song at a concert, the one we all want to hear after a great performance,” said Lissette Perez-Carrillo, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s daughter and co-owner of E.P. Carrillo. “Being a former musician, my dad could relate to that very well,” she added.

“E.P. Carrillo released the Encore in four vitolas, one for each of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.’s grandchildren.

“Other than being a Nicaraguan puro, which is somewhat unique in its own right for the Dominican cigar manufacturer, the Perez-Carrillo Encore is most distinctive for the use of tercios, or bundles of tobacco held together by royal palm leaves and rope.”

SIZES AND PRICING MSRP ($2.00 cheaper online):
6.125 x 50 Toro $11.75
6.125 x 52 Torpedo $12.25
5.375 x 52 Robusto $11.50
6.875 x 54 Churchill $12.50

A strange looking stick. A torpedo but box pressed and with flat back and front to accentuate the skill of the rollers. The cap is a bona fide pyramid and it cost the Carrillo clan 18 months to get it right so the cigar maintained its shape during shipping.

The wrapper is a nice milk chocolate brown with mostly hidden seams, easy on the veins, and smooth with just a touch of tooth.

The shape is extraordinary to look at. Actually, more of an oval than a box press with the flat front and back, the long tall Sally of a torpedo cap and the stick feels like it has the right amount of resistance to squishing. I don’t detect plugs with my fingers.

And lastly, I like the full court mural of a cigar band. There is more going on there than a 1957 military LSD experiment…plus a secondary band and a ribbon footer.

Big notes of lavender floral aromas, milk chocolate, black pepper, cedar, strong earthiness…or dirt, cream, malt, cane sugar, molasses, and a smoky wood element.

Sure as hell…I can bypass the use of my PerfecDraw cigar poker as the airway is wide open.
Big smoky cigar with plumes of the white phosphorescence filling the space around me.

Flavors begin with creaminess, caramel, generic sweetness, black pepper, cedar, and very buttery.

The couple reviews I read didn’t like the cigar. It appeared to be very inconsistent and containing very few appealing flavors. But I gotta tell you…so far, so good. Carrillo has always been an Old School blender. None of his blends are ready in the time you want. You must wait. But the trick with most Carrillo blends is that if you wait too long, the flavor profile disintegrates. They don’t have long shelf lives.

A little complexity brightens things up. Transitions begin. A nice flavorful finish is at hand.
Jethro Tull is playing. Ian Anderson…what a prick. Hopefully, he’s mellowed.

Strength is a solid medium.

At a little over an inch, the flavor profile flattens out. Wha’ happened? It went from very promising to doing a full cavity search on a 450lb man.

Inconsistency. The bane of every blend…especially those from manufacturers that expect you to pony up double digit pricing. This blend should be flying by now. You don’t sell a cigar for $12.25 and then it falls into the clutches of the $4 catalog blend.

Disclaimer…I’m just not a fan of Carrillo products. Except for the La Historia. I think what Ernie blends is pedestrian and produced for the great number of lemmings that will buy anything as long as it has the right amount of PR attached. I had a phone conversation with Jon Huber about a year ago and he told me Ernie Carrillo was his hero and mentor. Hmmm…
The blend becomes bitter. The black pepper surges. All that’s left is some creaminess and a bit of sweetness.

Would I be presumptuous to be calling this Carrillo blend a dog turd at this early stage? It tastes like his inexpensive crap blends.

There is a reason that I’m only the 4th reviewer in 7 months to write about this “special” release. No one wanted to hurt Carrillo’s feelings or they were just to damn afraid to speak up for fear of burning a bridge. Such balderdash. Cowards.

With each puff, the cigar disappoints exponentially. What is it with Carrillo? Clearly, he has the experience and know how and yet he produces drek on a regular basis…even something special. If I were his grandkids whose name was used to describe a size, I’d change my name.

I must perform gyrations with my face to expel demons from the blend…and to find something that tastes good. Black pepper is the only component trying to sell the cigar. All other flavors have disappeared except for some creaminess that lingers on the palate. A pearl necklace indeed.

Once again, I broke my rule of not reviewing a cigar I didn’t have a chance to try before deciding to review it. That’s it…never again. I did a review of a boutique blend a couple weeks ago and the owner was pleased. He showed me his enthusiasm by sending me two cigars. Two different blends. What am I supposed to do with that? I know. I will smoke them when I make a wild guess as to when they will be ready but no review in their future. Two cigars. Jesus Alou!

The cigar goes out. The burn is getting funky white boy.

It’s at this very moment, like so many other dog turds I’ve reviewed, that I realize this has been a total waste of my time, and yours. I should just start and end the review with: “This cigar sucks.” And carry on with my day.
But it does have a pretty cigar band.

The pepper recedes a bit giving my throat a fighting chance. The creaminess, malt, and generic sweetness make their move to be heard above the silence of the blend.

No complexity. Transitions are non-existent. Only the peppery finish shows up for class.

The Perez-Carrillo Encore is all over the place. For a few moments, it seems that some bona fide flavors begin to explore the universe. And then they just lay down and die.

How the fuck does this company have the balls to fuck up a Nic puro and then charge a greedy price point?
I will stick with my La Historias and forget the rest of the Carrillo catalog.

The bitterness is on the wane. Honestly, this is nothing more than a version of some Carrillo 3rd’s sold on CI for $40 a bundle.

Man, I can’t believe this cigar hasn’t made it to the clearance bins online already. What a dud. Carrillo is probably asking himself, “What did I do wrong?” I bet he asks that of himself all the time. I’d pick another mentor.

Just as I was beginning to experience some nice flavors, they disappear like a boner when your kid screams “Daddy. I want some water.”

The late lamented Ian Copeland who was the booker and agent for the Miles Copeland organization in London told me when he was young, his kids would climb upon his back while he was under the covers boinking a girl friend and the kids thought it was cool because they got a bucking bronco ride. Even at 24, I thought that was really weird and sick. But then Ian was nothing like his brothers Miles and Stewart. I liked him.

One single flavor exhibits some sort of exercise in which it tries to maintain some consistency: Creaminess. The black pepper is too strong and if there are any flavors hiding, the spiciness lays waste to them.

Thank you, baby Jesus,…it’s almost over.

Strength is medium/full. The spiciness increases. It’s now a pepper bomb.
This cigar has had months of humi time. So, no excuses.

Who taste tested this cigar blend and said, “Yeah baby, this is da bomb.”

Where was the quality control? It always cracks me up to read the backstory of a cigar blend and all the fol de rol that pumps up its anticipation to be smoked…only to realize its just more cigar industry bullshit. If we PR the shit out of something, it will sell. But listen, eventually, you run out of suckers and your reputation suffers for foisting one more crap blend from your catalog. Any time I visit my local B&M, I have never seen anyone smoking a Carrillo blend. Except for the “INCH.” Which is another drek blend. But it’s big and a lot of smokers with no palate like this cigar because it’s big and macho. Having no taste doesn’t matter.

The pepper is making my throat burn. No longer any discernible flavors left to ponder.
And then, with 1-1/2” to go, flavors emerge. The spiciness relents. And those nice elements I tasted at the start of the cigar return. Too little, too late I’m afraid.
Strength is now full tilt.
Zero consistency.
Stick a fork in me, I’m done torturing myself.


And now for something completely different:

I used to drive Curved Air nuts over this. I would wait for the right moment during a concert and would interrupt the whole thing. I approached the chick’s mic center stage and asked the audience to participate in some fun.

It was called, “Name this Bass Line.” Back in the 60’s and 70’s, bass riffs were more an integral part of a song. And made the song very definable.

So, I would play a long list of riffs from “Dazed and Confused” to Cream’s “Badge.” I must have played two dozen riffs. I could see Darryl’s beet red face on the side of the stage. And afterwards, I got a dressing down from the man, “Who the fuck do you think you are?” That sort of thing. One more reminder I was only a sideman.

But next thing I knew, the music papers were writing about this weird phenomenon on stage with Phil Kohn the bassist of Curved Air.

The audiences loved it. It gave Sonja a chance to rest her voice. And the others a break. Our manager, Miles Copeland came to see us when we played near London to see for himself because Darryl complained about me to him.
Copeland was in awe how I grabbed the audience…and how the audience went nuts. So, he told Darryl to pound sand and to leave me alone. One more nail in my coffin.

Word got out about this little game I played with the audience which took about 10 minutes. After the second song of the night, the audience would chant my name and the music papers gave it a name: “Bass Riff Trivia.”

Oh man, this infuriated Darryl. The other members of the band got a kick out of it and our drummer, Stewart Copeland, got into the swing of things by playing background to my bass riffs.

I became the highlight of the performances. And the longer it went on, the more stage confident I became. The main roadies got behind this and threw tchotchkes into the audience to the first person they perceived as getting the name of the song right first. It was like a bloody carnival.

I never had so much fun on stage…ever. But things got away from me after a while. Other members of the band jumped in ruining the whole thing. They thought they were helping and being cool at the same time. But their over-enthusiasm finally led to the demise of my game.

Darryl, the violinist and Mick the guitarist egos couldn’t stand to be left out so by now they knew my bass riffs and played along with them totally stealing my thunder.

The whole thing lasted maybe a month before I shit canned it. It had run its course and now back to the regular set list. Which ended, of course, with Darryl playing the band’s theme song: “Vivaldi.” Named after Darryl’s favorite composer. In the middle of the song, we would leave the stage and the putz would do a nauseating solo using every foot pedal at his disposal to make it a “Freak Out” display of ego.

Stewart and I used those 10 minutes or so to go backstage where our most trusted roadie, Beric Wickens, had a pipe full of hash ready to go for us. Stew and I went back on stage totally fried.

What made it really crazy was that Darryl would now play the song at double time. It was made up of a circle of fifths and if you missed one or got lost, you were fucked. For Stew on drums, it made no difference; but for me on bass it created havoc.

For those interested in what a circle of fifths is, here is a great explanation:
Answer: The circle of fifths is a pedagogical device that illustrates the order in which key signatures add flats or sharps. It could as easily be drawn in a straight line. Starting with C major the key signature has no sharps or flats. Go up one perfect fifth to G and the key of G major has one sharp. For each fifth you ascend from C another sharp is added to the key signature: D major has 2 sharps, A has 3, etc. When you reach C#, though, you need to stop because you now have seven sharps and that’s as far as we go. In the other direction, go down a fifth from C and the major key on that note, F, has one flat. Another perfect fifth downward brings you to Bb major, which has two flats, and so on as before: Eb has 3, Ab has 4, etc. The downward direction ends at Cb with 7 flats.
Tonic note: Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F C G D A E B F# C#
Key signature: 7b 6b 5b 4b 3b 2b 1b 1# 2# 3# 4# 5# 6# 7#


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10 replies

  1. I tried this cigar a few months ago and it was absolutely DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so disappointed and grossed out. I tried it again a few weeks later because something that bad had to have just been a dud stick. NOPE! It’s just a terrible low-quality blend. All of that beautiful packaging and premium pricing for crap.

  2. Really?!? I have been enjoying the hell out of these. At least I have CA on my side. They gave it a 93 (for the robusto size, this one was 90, I think). To each their own, though.

  3. Having Cigar Aficionado on your side is nothing to brag about. Most of their ratings are rigged. Ever notice that Davidoff rarely advertises with them? And they ALWAYS get very low ratings on every single cigar they make? They make deals and connections with the manufacturers they like and give them inflated ratings. I know very few people that take CA’s ratings seriously.
    But if you like the cigar, that’s cool. When they hit the clearance racks, you’ll clean up.

  4. These cigars are high priced compared to quality

  5. You’re obviously a five star reviewer if you can judge an entire line by smoking one cigar. Keep shitting on things and maybe one day you’ll be as cool as Charlie “I hate this cigar” “rotten strawberries” Minato.

  6. Ever notice that those that criticize and insult me never use their real names? Cowards.

  7. Of all the articles you could have posted that comment on, you chose the one where the reviewer specifically stated that he doesn’t review cigars if he only has one sample.

    At least it certainly had to be an honest mistake(?).

    Cool review. I’m a huge EPC bandwagoner, so I’ll likely be buying a 5-pack of these. It’ll be fun to try a catastrophically low-rated cigar for a change.

  8. was generous by giving it an 85 and made it clear it’s not a good cigar. Stogies on the Rocks liked it but couldn’t name a single flavor. Cigar Obsession found one flavor: citrus. I don’t have the patience to sit through one of his video reviews but finding one singular flavor doesn’t make for an existential experience.
    Lastly, 7 months after its release there isn’t a single review of this cigar other than those mentioned above. What does that tell you? A total of 3 reviews, not counting mine, for a $12.00 cigar that nobody bothered to review? Everyone was afraid to piss off General Cigar and E.P. Carrillo because it’s heading for the clearance bins soon.

  9. Well, it really wasn’t that much of an insult, still, it was a bit uncalled for.
    Anyway, I really don’t get the popularity of EPC blends, perhaps it has something to do with his long time riding of the wave of “master minding” the LGCubana line back in the day when it was one of the few decent cigars made in the US.
    That was fine 20 years ago but now it’s a case of – what have you done for me lately?

  10. 12/20/18…cigar of the year …I doubt it …after being disappointed on to different boxes i’v Vowed no more Carrillo…and im7sticking to it

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