On November 16, 2021, legendary blender Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. turned 70 years young. The company celebrated this milestone birthday by releasing a special limited edition cigar. The idea was to go into the blend archives of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and find an unreleased blend that was not released for various reasons (such as limited tobacco). Ernesto had three blends in mind, so the decision was made to make a sampler of the three cigars. Consumers would then smoke three blends and vote for their favorite one. The winning blend would then be released in a more widespread release. Today, we take a closer look at the winning blend – a blend highlighted by a Mexican San Andres wrapper called the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash.
We first saw the three-pack sampler at the 2022 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show. When the sampler was released, it was made available at events – or as a gift with a qualifying box purchase of E.P. Carrillo cigars. A card was made available in the sample pack, and consumers would use a qualifying code to vote for their favorite cigar.
The other catch is when the sampler was released, the blends were not disclosed. They were only denoted by a ribbon color. The idea here was to make this as close to a blind sampler as possible and not have any preconceived notions about what the blend was. When the winning blend was announced, Ernesto did reveal what the blends were. The company said consumers overwhelmingly voted for the Mexican San Andres wrapper, garnering around 70% of the votes. The following were the wrappers of the three cigars.
Red Ribbon – Jalapa Wapper
Platinum Ribbon – Mexican San Andres (Winning Cigar)
Yellow Ribbon- American Broadleaf
Let’s turn our attention to the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash cigar, the winning cigar, and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Mexican San Andres wrapper, the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash also features Ecuadorian binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Production is handled at Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Dominican, Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Aliana
The Platinum Bash was released in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro. This is the same size included in the Original Platinum Bash Sampler. A total of 500 ten-count boxes were produced.
The E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash had a darkish chocolate wrapper. Upon closer examination, some mottling could be seen. The wrapper also had some oils on the surface. There were some very thin visible veins on the surface of the wrapper. Despite the dark color of the wrapper, there were still some visible seams.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash. Once the cap was removed, it was time for the pre-light draw. The pre-light draw consisted of a combination of mocha and earth. The mocha note is what I refer to as a compound note and is a combination of chocolate and coffee notes. While it was not an overly complex pre-light draw, it was still satisfactory. At this point, it was time to remove the footer ribbon of the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash, toast up the footer, and proceed into the smoking phase.
The E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash opened up with more mocha and earth notes – along with some wood and a slight fruit sweetness. Early on, the mocha notes moved into the forefront. The earth, wood, and fruit notes settled into the background and were joined by some mineral and mixed pepper notes. Toward the end of the first third, the slight amount of fruit sweetness had dissipated. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
As the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash moved through the second third, the coffee component of the mocha became more dominant, and toward the midway point, the mocha transitioned to a black coffee note. Just past the midway point, the earth notes joined the coffee in the forefront. Meanwhile, the mineral, wood, and pepper notes provided secondary flavors from the background.
The final third saw the earth and coffee notes remain the primary notes. There was an increase in the pepper spice, and it became the most prominent secondary note. The wood and mineral notes rounded things out from the background. This is the way the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn performed quite well on the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash. This cigar did not require frequent touch-ups to maintain a straight burn line and straight burn path. The resulting ash had a salt-and-pepper complexion to it. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it was also far from a loose and flakey ash too. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
If you have followed my assessments, you will know that I like a touch of resistance on my draw. This is exactly how the draw was with the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash. In this case, this was also a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash started out as a medium-strength and medium-bodied cigar. As the cigar experience commenced, both the strength and body increased in intensity. By the second half, the flavors were in medium to full territory. As for the strength, while there was more in the second half than in the first half, it remained in the spectrum’s medium range.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
Overall, I like everything about the banding and packaging of the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash. The silver/platinum bands, and the platinum ribbon look nice against the dark cigar. The boxes are similar to the boxes used on the three-count samplers. Again, I like the platinum-style backdrop and the leaf design on the box.
While the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash has excellent construction and a decent amount of complexity, the cigar was a bit of a letdown in the flavor department. The first third was good, but the remaining two-thirds saw the flavors get a lot less interesting. Still, the E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash scores a respectable 88 points. Price is not factored into the numeric score on Coop. If this was a $7.50 cigar, 88 points were enough for me to recommend a buy. The Platinum Bash is a $15.00 cigar. While not a bad cigar, it did not perform like a $15.00 cigar should. Ultimately, I recommend trying one before purchasing and see what you think.
Key Flavors: Mocha, Earth, Fruit, Mineral, Wood, Pepper
Complexity: Medium Plus
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash Scheduled for April Release
Brand Reference: E.P. Carrillo
Photo Credit: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on October 22, 2023 @ 6:17 pm