Cigar Makers

The next generation of Carrillos looks toward a bright future

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Ernie Jr. (whose formal name is Ernesto Perez-Carrillo III) is a striking young barrel of energy and a true gentleman. Prior to meeting him in-person at IPCPR, while gathering some pre-show details about the their new company for, and most recently, this article, he was extremely conscientious and helpful. His sister Lissette is a bit more reserved, yet equally charming. She’s also a very attractive young woman who exudes the savvy demeanor of a corporate attorney; and as a graduate of Columbia Law School, she is. (Forget it guys, she’s also married with children.)

“I can’t tell you how excited our family is about the prospects of EPC Cigar Co.,” said Ernesto Sr. “When we discussed starting a new cigar company, we agreed that, in order for the company to grow and flourish for future generations, the lifeblood of the business had to be grounded in tradition with a focus on innovation.”

Over the next three to eight months, EPC Cigar Co. will be releasing two products: The E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009 (limited edition), followed by the core line in April, 2010, which will initially include four to five frontmarks.

“My father worked on countless blends for about five months before deciding on the blend for E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009,” said Ernie Jr. “Those who know my father well, know that he sets an extremely high bar for himself and won’t release a product until he thinks it’s perfect. My biggest fear, when I left my job to start this venture with my father was, what if it takes him five years to come up with a blend? Luckily, he fell in love with the Inaugural blend right away, and with no hesitation he said, ‘This is it.’

Due to arrive in select B&M and online cigar stores by December of this year, the aptly named E.P. Carrillo Edición Inaugural 2009 is blended with 2 to 3-year-aged Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos and an exclusive, 3-year-aged Ecuadorian wrapper. Also unique to this cigar is its use of two binder leaves, a Nicaraguan and a Dominican, both aged 5 years. The cigar is available in only one size, a 5 3/8″ x 52 Robusto, and will be presented in boxes of 10 cigars.

“The taste will appeal to the majority of cigar smokers,” said Ernie. “It’s a smooth, creamy, medium-body smoke characterized by rich, intricate flavors and an inviting aroma.”

Many cigar stores are already taking pre-orders for the E.P. Edición Inaugural 2009 cigars, which will retail at $130 per box ($13/cigar). Only 2,500 boxes will be available (as produced and aged) per month from the initial December release until April 2010 when the core line is released, so cigar smokers are being encouraged to get their orders in as soon as possible.

As to the future of EPC Cigar Co.,  Ernesto Sr. said: “While we will leverage our family’s one hundred-plus-year-old history in the cigar industry, we are also looking forward to trying new things on several fronts – blending, manufacturing, marketing, selling, lobbying, etc.”

Ernie Jr. agrees: “Since my father left Swedish Match-General Cigar to start EPC Cigar Co., the question that I keep hearing is whether or not he can ‘replicate the magic from the 90’s.’  From the smile on his face, I think he has some more magic up his sleeves.”   (_[ca]__{{{

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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