E.P. Carrillo won themselves another cigar of the year from Cigar Aficionado for the Pledge Prequel. Released in September of 2020 it was something easy to miss because, lets face it, we were all fairly preoccupied. The Pledge Prequel got its name from the fact that it is actually part of a trilogy of cigars released called the Perez-Carrillo Series. The first in 2014 with La Historia (E-III claimed #2 cigar of the year in 2014) and then in 2018 with Encore (which took home cigar of the year for 2018 as well). “Only these cigars are allowed to bear the name Perez-Carrillo and each vitola is an homage to someone within the family and celebrate the pride, joy, and cigars of the Perez-Carrillo history.”
Taking a look at the cigar the wrapper is a rich dark chocolate brown color with slight mottling, a bit of tooth to it and a slick oil sheen. It’s box pressed body is very firm and full to the touch, a bit on the veiny side with seams that are nice and tight. The smell is sweet tobacco, chocolate and cedar. The cap cuts without causing construction issues and from the cold draw I pick up flavors of Licorice, vanilla and of course tobacco.
The first third of the cigar starts with lots of pepper which dissipates after a few puffs and then turns more creamy with some earth and spice on the back end. The burn is spot on and even along with a plenty of medium weighted smoke
Transitioning into the second third the cigar remains creamy but adds a bit of bitter dark chocolate and some leather, with pepper still coming in at the end. The burn staid very sharp and the smoke production was more than satisfactory.
In the final third the flavor becomes a bit more woody, the bitter chocolate becomes more sweet and there is a lingering flavor that is familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. The burn never faltered and the smoke production was always ample.
After smoking a few of these I can see why this cigar got such a high rating it did not disappoint at any time. Starting off at a medium smoke and then transitioning into medium full at the end the flavors will keep you paying attention to this cigar for the duration. Because of its popularity from the cigar of the year award it was a little difficult to find for a bit but most retailers have them back in stock now so when you see them at the shop make sure you grab a fist full of them you won’t be upset about it.
Wrapper – Connecticut Habano
Binder – Ecuadorian
Filler – Nicaraguan
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 pints