This single size, 6.5×54 Limited Edition Toro, was created to commemorate the company’s 5th year in business. It features a slightly altered primary band that looks similar to their regular line and a secondary band with the number 5 below an image of a tobacco field. The blend features the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper E.P. is so fond of with an Ecuadorian Corojo binder and Nicaraguan filler.
Country of Manufacture: Dominican Republic
Rolled: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
Quantity smoked: 1
Size: 6.5×54 parejo
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Ecuadorian Corojo ’99
Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí, Condega, Jalapa)
The marbled wrapper is smooth with a dark leathery brown coloration, a few prominent veins and very little tooth. When squeezed between the fingers the 5 Year has some give and a few soft spots, but nothing egregious. E.P. always has some of the prettiest triple caps in the business and this sample is no different. The wrapper smells of leather while the foot smells of toffee and leather. The draw is open with notes of toffee, hay and dry-earth.
First puff’s provide a core of pepper, lightly roasted coffee, dry earth, a woody/leather combination and an extremely subtle toffee sweetness. The flavors meld together at their edges making it somewhat difficult to ferret them out individually. At a 1/2″ the pepper picks up to medium-full, tingling the tongue and sinuses. At this same point, the leather in the profile becomes more pronounced, almost matching the coffee. While the open draw allows for voluminous smoke, it’s a bit arid and tends to leave the mouth dry (keep a drink nearby). Body medium-full mainly due to the intense pepper. Strength Medium-Full.
The pepper and strength going into the second third continue to rise, giving the cigar a hearty quality that pairs oddly against its lighter flavors. A lightly roasted coffee continues atop the profile alongside lesser notes of leather, wood, dry-earth and light toffee. Just as I was thinking the cigar was seriously lacking sweetness, the sugar levels picked up a tad, making it more enjoyable to smoke. While I would still consider the smoke to be a little dry/arid, my mouth watered more in this third allowing the flavors to further penetrate the taste buds. Ash is fairly flaky and tends to fall off around 3/4″. Body medium-full and strength picks up to quite full.
By the final third the E.P. 5 Years has truly settled into its base flavor of coffee. Below that is essentially the same profile as before: oak, leather and dry-earth. I can feel the steady rise of strength in my chest and and my eyes are getting heavy. The pepper mellows occasionally only to assault the sinuses on the subsequent retro-hale. This feature ebbs and flows throughout the entirety of this third. Oddly enough retro-hale is simultaneously more creamy than previous thirds. The sweetness is still lacking but a slightly oily finish helps to offset that. In nub territory, a bitter nutty flavor develops, reminding me of hazelnut or walnut. The strength never seemed to plateau and hit me extremely hard up to the very end. Final third is medium-to full bodied and exceptionally full in strength.
Be warned, this is a powerhouse of a cigar. The strength never wanes from the very first light to the very last ashes. On the flavor side, coffee was clearly the key flavor with an abundance of pepper and lesser notes of dry-earth and leather
My main thought whilst smoking this cigar was “this is deceptively strong”. Usually strength follows with deeper, darker flavors but the 5 Year Anniversary delivers it with a grin while its lighter flavors dupe you. Easily the strongest cigar from E.P. Carrillo since the company launched 5 years ago. My main reason for giving this a V. Pedestrian is the intensity of the flavors never matched the strength. I kept hoping it would develop more sweet or savory characteristics but it continued to parch my palate and deliver a somewhat arid smoke. Complexity was decent with mostly subtle changes from third to third. Construction was inconsequential to the experience which is basically a good thing. Overall, an unbalanced cigar that had some high points but definitely not something I’d go back to often.