Prelude Ernesto Perez-Carrillo needs no introduction. He has been a staple in the modern cigar industry and I would be insulting your intelligence if I were to continue to speak on him. EPC Cigars began a massive overhaul of their packaging and brands earlier in the year. I would like to think I had something to do with it. The moment I laid eyes on the new Short Run 2016 band I knew it was something special and broke a trend I saw with EPC branding, which was way too conservative. I drafted a letter up and sent it to their marketing department. A few months later came the massive change. Did I have something to do with it? Maybe. But who cares, really. The re-branding looks amazing across all lines in my opinion. Since it all started with the Short Run 2016, that is what will be getting reviewed on today. An annual release that comes in a single vitola, this year it's a 6 x 52 Toro.
"Before The Flame"
Short Run 2016 is a uniform, oily, medium dark brown, almost looks a maduro shade. It contains a few prominent veins, tight seams, and nice triple cap. Aroma is of chocolate, fruit, leather, nuts, cedar, and natural tobacco. Cold draw was a bit uneventful with light notes of wheat and fruit.
1/3 "The Appetizer"
First draw releases notes of fruit, earth, and pepper. A nice, strong, sharp white pepper. Fruity sweetness and caramel come alongside notes of wood. At almost an inch the flavor shifts, sitting the white pepper in the back and a semi-sweet wood being in the core, along with sweet fruit a little behind it. As those flavors materialized chocolate jumped in a half step behind them. Earth is far in the back. Nearing the 2nd the earth increases moving alongside the wood and the white pepper increases as well but not to the levels it was at the start.
2/3 "Main Entrée"
The 2nd third begins with a salty addition that isn't just salt, it's riding something else that I haven't had a chance to call (and it would remain unknown). A light chocolate joins the wood notes. The pepper note has morphed from white pepper into more of a green pepper flavor. At almost the halfway point sweet earth takes full control, centering itself directly in the middle of the flavor profile. So the flavor rundown at this point is; sweet earth, chocolate, green pepper, wood, and now sunflower seed. Towards the back of the 2nd the flavors are reminescent of the Jericho Hill blend, it was actually like I was smoking a Jericho Hill cigar. I find this very interesting given the fact that Jericho Hill is a My Father manufactured cigar, and wouldn't seem to have any connection to Huber and Carrillo's blending relationship. At times the fruit notes crank it up and then proceed to go back down.
There is a good mix of wood and earth with notes of salt, roasted nuts, and white pepper. It begins to settle in to a less intense semi-sweet earth and white pepper profile. The nub got harsh but self-corrected and the fruit came back a bit to bring the cigar to an end.
This started in the medium-full range and once it got to the 2nd third the flavors and body dipped down substantially, no more than medium. By the end of the 2nd it was back up to the lower side of medium-full. The cigar would end at the aforementioned intensity.
A couple touchups necessary but not much else to speak of, which is a good thing.
The EPC Short Run 2016 is a good cigar with a medium complexity level. With good construction, a great look, and good flavor profile, I can recommend picking up a few of these to see how you may like it.