February 27, 2012
Origin : Dominican Republic
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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December 20, 2015
Have tried a couple of these recently and the wrapper split on one of them. There was a slight pepper taste throughout, quite pleasant. These were OK robustos at the price, but there are better mild Connecticut wrappers out there: Oliva, Gran Habano.
April 14, 2012
Much respect for telling it like it is. I love La Gloria and EPC, but my recent 2 samples also were bad. I’m pretty sure they were rushed to market and so they probably need a few months to settle down, with the overall harshness from the Amonia still present and overwhelming the palate. I’m going to try them again in a few months, or perhaps from a different retailer, as I’m sure these will be great tasting cigars, they are just too young currently.
March 10, 2012
I got a 5 pack from CI and had the same experience with the robusto. Smoked several toros and churchils and really enjoyed them.
March 2, 2012
Joe’s experience was unfortunate but it shouldn’t deter anyone from trying EPC’s New Wave CT line. Experiences like this happen and are not a rare occurrence, particularly with CT Shade wrapped cigars that are quite often thin. I remember a 5-pack of Cabaiguan Belicoso Fino cigars I had where four of the five sticks had wrapper issues — and mine (I assume Joe’s two here as well) had nothing to do with storage & RH issues.
February 28, 2012
This may be the best Connecticut on the market. The Stella (corona-ish) is my favorite in the line. As they say, there’s no accounting for taste …
February 28, 2012
I have to agree with Darryl. I’ve had a Brilliante and a couple of Stellas and really enjoyed them. I know that we all perceive things differently, but it sounds likes you got a hold of a couple of unfortunate duds. Thanks for the honest take.
February 27, 2012
Wow! I have smoked this cigar plenty of times and never have I experienced that taste or problem. I like the Brilliantes and the Stella’s, now I want to try the Gran Via. I find EP Carrillo cigars to be very enjoyable and always satisfying, I’m not sure what happened on your end, but this cigar is a keeper for me!
February 27, 2012
Wow, enlightening and surprising!!
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