EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Brillantes

EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Brillantes

Origin : Dominican RepublicEP Carrillo cigars
Format : Brillantes (Robusto)
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Shade (Ecuador)
Filler : Nicaraguan & Dominican
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $5 each

I love cigars. Be it mild Connecticut Shade or spicy Corojo, my taste runs the gamut of cigar flavor profiles. But I am also a very picky cigar smoker. This can lead to exuberant exclamations of praise, or acts of vocal vilification. I’m passionate about cigars and I’m never at a loss of words when asked for my opinion. So, when we talked about reviewing cigars with Denis, I warned him upfront that anything could happen. He was cool with that. Now that the disclaimer of out of the way, I can proceed with my review of the E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut, Brillantes.

Lookin’ good…

When a cigar is golden-brown in color, it usually means it’s wearing a shade-grown wrapper from Connecticut or Ecuador. That delicate wrapper is mild in flavor and will often foreshadow a cigar of similar strength. To some cigar smokers that is a bad thing. We live in a time when stronger cigars are in vogue and there can be a prejudice against cigars of low intensity. But these days, cigar makers have created some wonderful blends underneath the mild facade of the Connecticut Shade wrapper. Unfortunately, the Carrillo New Wave Connecticut is not one of them.

EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Brillantes

At first glance, the CNWC looks great. With its nice golden color and smooth texture, this is an inviting cigar. But upon ignition it quickly becomes clear that its beauty is only skin deep.

Fool’s gold…

I really wanted to like the CNWC. I feel that mild cigars get a bum rap and I always root for the underdog. But this stick had nothing going for it. Of the two I had for review, I had to put the first one down before the mid-way point. I found it tasteless with a sour finish. To its credit it was not harsh, but the CNWC tasted more like paper than tobacco. And its aroma resembled that of burnt leaves. It was clear that this stick was doing nothing for the cause of the Connecticut Shade wrapper.

A second chance…

But rather than judge prematurely, I waited a few days before smoking sample no. 2. Man, that turned out to be a disaster! Upon ignition, this second CNWC split its wrapper halfway down its length! This was not good. I knew that since the wrapper had split and pulled away from the binder, the blend would be ruined. But smoked it I did… for about a half inch. To have gone any further would have blown out my palate, and I wasn’t about to let that happen. Fool me once, blah, blah, blah.

EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Brillantes


Cigar folks often use the term “good for its price”. To me, a cigar is either good or bad, and price has nothing to do with it. It is true that some cigars seem over-priced while others can be terrific bargains, but to justify a ho-hum cigar by its price seems, to me, nonsensical. At $5.00/stick, the CNWC might seem like such a cigar, if it were simply ho-hum. But to pay anything for a cigar with no flavor and a sour finish is simply no bargain at all.

Just one man’s opinion…

But as I started out saying, I’m a picky cigar smoker. Perhaps there are some folks out there who enjoy the CNWC. I mean them no disrespect. We all have different tastes and expectations. But to this smoker, I’d rather smoke nothing at all than a cigar of which any price is too high.

Flavors: Paper, burnt leaves
X Factor: 0
Finish: Sour
Strength: Mild