November 11, 2012

E. P. Carrillo Cardinal Series Maduro No. 54 (6 x 54)

Video review HERE.

The Cardinal Series is the newest addition to the E. P. Carrillo cigar portfolio. It is said to be the fullest bodied of the E. P. Carrillo cigars. These cigars come in 2 versions; a natural wrapper and a maduro. Today I am reviewing the maduro version.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Nicaraguan from 3 different farms

They come in 3 sizes:

No. 52 (5 x 52)
No. 54 (6 x 54)
No. 56 ( 5 1/2 x 56)

The Carrillo's call this the "richest, most full bodied cigar in the E. P. Carrillo portfolio".

These cigars were suppose to ship to shops in late October so they should be on shelves now.

This is a beautiful dark brown cigar with no veins. The wrapper is smooth and slightly oily. The cigar has nice density.

After cutting the cap the test draw was great. At light up the initial flavors were heavy coffee notes which I might call espresso, sweet notes of molasses, and a nice amount of black pepper. I would give the pepper rating a 6. There were also some underlying notes of cedar.  I let the cigar sit for a minute or two to let the flavors develop.

At the 3/4 inch point the flavors settled down into coffee, sweet molasses, cedar, and at the tail end of the sweet spice was vanilla. The finish is a sweet, thick cream with lingering pepper. The cigar is medium to full bodied at this point. The coffee notes changed from espresso to straight black coffee shortly after light up.

Close to the midpoint the cedar notes are very rich and sweet. The molasses notes have changed to more of a white chocolate flavor. The pepper remains very good. The finish is still one of a sweet cream and some of the coffee notes have filtered over. The lingering pepper on the finish is more intense now.

The cigar did not change much from the midpoint to the end. The main players are coffee and sweet, rich cedar. The white chocolate is still around but it's secondary. The black pepper remained very good. The finish remained unchanged. The cigar ended up medium to full bodied. This was another very good cigar from the Carrillos. If pressed I would give the edge to the natural but this was an excellent cigar. If you are a big fan of maduros you could easily put this cigar ahead of the natural. It's all what your preferences are.

Score: 93

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