October 2023

In the realm of showbiz, the golden rule is to “Know your audience,” and cigar maestro Ernesto Perez-Carrillo is taking this adage to heart as he embarks on his next creative journey. Enter “Escapade,” a unique release that introduces a trio of cigars, each bearing a distinct blend. What makes this release truly captivating is the role consumers play in determining which version of Escapade will return in 2024 as a limited edition, courtesy of a consumer-driven voting process.

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo proactively engaged with customers through Zoom sessions to delve into their preferences and desires when it comes to cigars. Armed with their valuable insights, he set out to create a cigar that strikes a harmonious balance—a milder smoke that welcomes newcomers to the world of cigars while offering seasoned aficionados a complexity that they can savour.

“I was excited to work on these blends because I felt challenged to create a mild cigar that perhaps I am not known for,” Perez-Carrillo reflects. “I kept in mind what beginning smokers are looking for in a cigar, while at the same time staying true to the complexity our current smokers enjoy, to offer them an alternative to our regular lines.”

Crafted with meticulous care, these cigars are brought to life at Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic. Each cigar shares the same dimensions—a 6-by-52 toro. While the full blend details remain a mystery, the wrappers have been revealed. One sports a Nicaragua Corojo ’99 cover leaf, another is adorned with an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper, and the third is cloaked in a leaf of Ecuador Habano. To differentiate them, each cigar is graced with a distinct band in a unique colour.

To obtain an Escapade three-pack, aficionados must purchase a box of E.P. Carrillo cigars. They can secure one of these exclusive three-packs by attending an E.P. Carrillo Escapade event (held from November 1 to December 31) or by sending a photo of their box-purchase receipt to info@epccigar.com. It’s worth noting that only 1,000 three-packs will be made available, and each package includes a QR code, allowing consumers to cast their vote. The blend with the most votes will return next year as a limited edition of 1,000 boxes, anticipated to be released around mid-February.

Lissette Perez-Carrillo, Ernesto’s daughter, is playing a pivotal role in this engaging journey, hosting Zoom sessions to connect directly with consumers. These sessions serve as a platform to learn about their cigar experiences and the pivotal moments that led them to their first cigar. “The E.P. Carrillo Escapade has been such a fun project. We anticipate that new smokers and seasoned smokers alike will enjoy these blends,” Lissette affirms. “We have made it a priority to listen and engage with consumers to elevate their smoking experience.”

This initiative is not the first time Perez-Carrillo has invited customers to influence the creation of a new cigar. Past fan-driven limited releases include the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash, where customers voted on their favorite blend, and the Pledge Lonsdale Limitada, developed in response to the demand for a smaller ring gauge cigar that still delivers a big punch of flavour. This commitment to involving customers in the creative process reflects Perez-Carrillo’s dedication to producing cigars that resonate with his audience and enhance their smoking experience.

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