Pre-Release Group Review: EP Carrillo Short Run 2016

The EP Carrillo Short Run 2016 is a departure from the norm for the folks at EPC.  The Short Run is not a new concept, but the 2016 edition has a few new facets to it.  First off it is available in one vitola.  The 2016 Short Run will be available only in a 6 x 52 toro while previous iterations were available in three different sizes.  It also has a new band.  The 2016 band is predominantly gold with red, black and white accents.

OK, enough of that...

EP Carrillo Short Run 2016

Size: 6 x 52

Vitola: Toro

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Production: 2,500 10-count boxes

MSRP: $12.00

Samples smoked for review: 1-2 per reviewer

Cigars for review were provided by EPC Cigar Co.

Note: We used the CigarFederation Rating System


Rob's Rating - 89 AKA "5-Pack Purchase" with COTY potential

First off, I want to say I am happy that we are getting some EPC reviews up on CigFed! Ernesto blends some of my favorite sticks out there, so I'm happy to get more EPC stuff in the rotation.  I have been a fan of the Short Run series for awhile, but I rarely get my hands on any.  With that being said, I will be on the look out for more of the 2016 edition.

Flavor: The Short Run 2016 got off to a beautiful start. Notes of cream, cedar, graham cracker and nuts on the palate were highlighted by white pepper and baking spice on the retrohale.  As we progressed to into the second third the spice took a monumental step forward.  The creamy flavors managed to hold their own and some nutmeg showed up as well.  We're talking about some serious cream and spice. The spice calmed down in the final third, but so did everything else.  The profile was a bit up and down.  The up was way up and the down wasn't all that low. 

Construction and Performance:  Spot on.  The Short Run 2016 burned slow (I smoked this one for just about two hours) and never went out on me.  It got to the point where I actually tried to let it go out and it wouldn't.  The burn was clean and the ash was strong.  The draw was perfect.  Absolutely no complaints.

Final Thoughts: I'm going to borrow from my baseball prospect studies and say the Short Run 2016 has a high ceiling and a high floor.  There is some Cigar of the Year potential here.  I have one sample left and I want to revisit it before IPCPR.  I have a feeling it's going to smooth out and I'm going to have to up my rating into the "box-buy" area.

Matt's Rating - 86 AKA "I'd buy a couple"

The EPC Short Run is a cigar I always find myself picking up year after year. A few have wowed me, but they're always solid. This year's is a departure from recent versions. First, the new big, gold band with the new EP logo is a departure from all previous EPC cigars. Additionally, the tan Ecuador Habano wrapper is lighter than I remember recent Short Run blends being. The wrapper is smooth and clean with a slight oily sheen to it. I clip the cap with my table top guillotine and take some prelight draws. Initially, I get a sweet fruit flavor. Cold draw feels very open.

The cigar is much stronger off the light than I expected. There are some very subtle hints of that sweetness from the prelight, but the first inch is powerful especially through the nose. The dominant note is the pepper spice. I'm really surprised by the spice - its on Pepin levels. The draw is perfect for my liking and I'm getting huge smoke output on each draw. The burn line is almost poker straight and the ash held on for over an inch and a half before falling. At the one inch mark, the cigar started mellowing a bit, and while the spice remained the dominant note, it took on a sweet aspect.

I'm an hour into this cigar and firmly in the middle - it is smoking slow, but hasn't gone out on me once. Great construction. There is still a peppery spice that is dominant through the nose, but it is taking on an almost floral note. There is a bit of woodiness to the smoke on the front of the tongue as well. Literally as I type that last line, the cigar goes out on me right before I hit the band.

The draw and construction have still been great, but I can't get over the spice in this cigar. At times I get subtle hints of sweetness and a woody/earthy flavor here and there, but the spice is what is keeping my attention. The power of the cigar has mellowed from the first inch, but we're in the medium-full range firmly.

This cigar was good, but very one dimensional. It wasn't a powerhouse, but it was a spice bomb. I'd love to see what some time does to this cigar because I think if it mellows out a bit, it could be stellar. I'm just so surprised by this cigar because it is a divergence from everything I've smoked from Ernie before - I find it closer to the E-Stunner than previous Short Run releases. I'm going to pick up a few more of these to sit on awhile with the potential of grabbing even more depending how they smoke in a few months.

CigarFederation Group Rating: 87.5 AKA "5-Pack Purchase"

Both Matt and I see some serious potential here!

Views: 246

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on May 2, 2016 at 1:53pm

Big fan of EPC stuff, looking forward to smoking one of these in the next few months.

Comment by Charlie on May 2, 2016 at 1:54pm

I want t0o try this one...I hear its the best of the Short runs...

Comment by atllogix on May 2, 2016 at 2:02pm

Looking forward to it for sure!

Comment by Matt Ross on May 2, 2016 at 3:28pm

Very interesting.  As I said, this is a cigar I'm definitely picking up more of, and I can see myself grabbing even more depending on my next experience, but my experience was so different than what I've seen in reviews elsewhere that it is comical - and I'm a guy who likes spice in his cigars.  I've actually read reviews of this that practically list this as a mild-medium, and that makes me wonder if we smoked different cigars.

Comment by RobbyRas on May 2, 2016 at 6:00pm

I think I neglected to talk about strength... i'd give it a solid medium... the spice took off at the end fo the first third and peaked in the middle... i LOVED the first third and enjoyed the end... but the middle was a bit crazy... 

Comment by Doug on May 2, 2016 at 6:03pm

Probably plays into the whole fact the some people don't know the difference between strength, body, and spice.

Comment by Charlie on May 2, 2016 at 6:32pm

Stogie Guys just gave this smoke 5 Stogies out of 5!

Comment by Matt Ross on May 2, 2016 at 7:04pm

Charlie - I read that. Ashby knows his stuff...that's why it blows my mind that our experiences were so different.

Comment by Charlie on May 2, 2016 at 7:09pm

Yea, rarely do I disagree with his reviews...there are a few others that highly rated this smoke, EPC (and EPC made/blended) cigars usually hit the spot for me, I'm rarely disappointed with his smokes.

Comment by Ky70 on May 5, 2016 at 2:13pm

Have to pick up a couple of these.  I've been appreciating  Ec. Habano wrappers lately and this one sounds like my speed


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