Take an E.P. Carrillo deep dive with us, as we sample every EPC cigar in the lineup for this CA review guide: whether you’re new to smoking or a grizzled vet, odds are, Ernesto has something you’ll love…
2017 CA Report: The Enormous 8 – Best Big Cigars
The Enormous Eight: A Smoker’s Guide to the Best Big Cigars
“This guy again?” He rolls up in his Hummer, stomps out in size 14 cowboy boots, flashes a watch with a face the size of an iPad, and lights up a cigar that looks like it was chopped off of King Kong’s hand. He peers at you through oversized aviators and eyes your meager Churchill with pity.
We’ve all seen him, that guy. He used to be the stereotypical big-ass stogie smoker – my, how the times have changed. Nowadays, the trend has shifted and everyone and their grandma is smoking a big stick.
Big ring behemoths, python-like puros, and super-sized stogies – big cigars are roaming our herfs, begging the question: are we truly living in the era of the giants? Cigar makers are certainly rising to the occasion, meeting this huge stogie craving by ramping up production and making more gargantuan gauge cigars.
However, with all these ‘yuge friggin’ cigars out there, things can get confusing for the average cigar smoker. I’ve rounded up the most wanted list for big cigars to help navigate this bold frontier. Be warned, these bad hombres are some of the thickest, longest, and all-around strongest cigars out there.
But before I delve into these delicious behemoths I’d like to impart a few words of advice and tips for smoking a big cigar. If you’re a noob to big cigars you’ll want the necessary equipment, firstly a big ring cutter or punch cutter. When your stogies start getting into the 70+ ring gauge, you’ll find the standard cutter well below par. Use a large ring cutter such as the Vertigo Big Daddy, or some of the other tools designed to do the job in our guide to cutting big cigars. Secondly, when the time comes to light your colossal smoke, unless you want to use half of your herf’s matchbook stock – be sure to use a multi-flame torch lighter.
Now that you have your gear, you’re ready to wrassle up some big ol’ stogies…
The Frontiersmen: MUWAT 7 x 60
I’d be damned if I didn’t include this full-bodied classic. The MUWAT 7 x 60 is the sturdy go-to; he’s got a stomach made of iron and isn’t going to take no gruff. Clad in a dark Mexican San Andres wrapper, a twist of Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade binder, and hearty Brazilian Mata Fina filler, this mighty smoke takes on full frontier flavor with a smooth finish. The MUWAT drives home the sweet flavors of cocoa, woods, and soft leather – a hard-working cigar that won’t quit. The MUWAT 7 x 60 rides lead on the flavor wagon train.
The Card Shark: Inch by E.P. Carrillo – 7 x 70
Cold, calculating, and cumbersome – this hefty Inch by E.P. Carrillo draws huge flavor from an enormous 7 x 70 frame. This full-bodied card shark calls an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a fiery Nicaraguan binder, and rich Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. The massive 70 gauge allows for maximum flavor; Inch features a satisfying spice and notes of caramel and vanilla. When you’re up playing Texas Hold ’em from dusk till dawn, these big cigars are your ace in the hole.
The Outlaw: Asylum 13 Eighty
The Asylum 13 Eighty, he’s the toughest guy in the saloon. He’s a full 6 x 80 and eats nails for breakfast, without any milk. A Nicaraguan puro at heart, CLE constructed this lawbreaker to wreak havoc on cigar cutters and serve frontier style flavor. The Nicaraguan spice this cigar fires out kick starts the palate, while smooth notes of coffee and sweet pepper keep the flavor balance in check. You’ll need some heavy firepower to light this behemoth up and be sure your saddle is tight for a three-hour smoke time. Whether you’re out breaking the law (not recommended), or having a smoke-out in the backyard, the Asylum 13 Eighty makes a great partner in crime.
The Bounty Hunter: CAO Flathead V770 Big Block
“Big Block” as they call him, the CAO V770 won’t stop till he gets his man. He’ll track down your taste buds and make a full-flavor arrest, if need be. Armed with his trusty Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, this box-pressed beast presses its full-bodied strength with sweet notes of earth, cedar, and chocolate. When you’ve got a long journey ahead of you, ride out with the Big Block V770 to get the job done.
The Gunslinger: Rocky Patel The Edge Howitzer 7 x 70
If you’re looking for a fight, Rocky Patel’s The Edge Howitzer is the cigar to give you one. Named after an artillery piece, this madman’s cigar is full-bodied, full-flavored, and quite literally on the edge. The Honduran Maduro wrapper hides the power this perpetrator is packing. Add this premium to your arsenal.
The Drifter: Tatuaje Miami Tainos
Tall (actually, almost 8″ long is more like super-tall) and mysterious, the Tatuaje Miami wanders into town; what could he be hiding? He’s supported by a double corona, 7 5/8 x 49 frame, a lumbering loner with full-body strength and a puro past. The Corojo 99 wrapper adds some spice to the all Nicaraguan blend that’s vaguely reminiscent of a Cuban tang. Tired of dull smokes? Spice things up by welcoming this flavorful nomad to your humidor.
The Oil Baron: Cohiba Macassar 6 x 60 Gigante
His fresh shined boots are propped up on his desk, he puffs on his super-sized stogie luxuriously and works at his menacing plans only Upton Sinclair could dream of. Like the very stereotype of the baron, the Macassar is deeply rich and elegant in flavor. Taking a note from rum distillers, the Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers are aged for four years in rum barrels giving them a spicy, rich, and floral flavor profile. Decked out in a CT Habano wrapper and CT Broadleaf binder, the medium-bodied Macassar always gets his cut. Build your cigar empire and take this Gigante to the bank.
The Lawman: Alec Bradley Texas Lancero
With all this lawlessness running amuck in our little cigar town, we need a bona fide John Wayne hero to clear out these desperados. Who better for the job than Alec Bradley’s Texas Lancero? This longhorn comes in at a bulky 7 x 70 with the full weight of the law on his side and a medium-body for balance. Four-year-old Costa Rican, Nicaraguan, and Honduran ligero add an exotic twist to this Western classic, while Nicaraguan wrapper and Indonesian binder offer a satisfyingly rich, earthy smoke. Bring the generously sized and conservatively priced Texas Lancero home, home on the range!