Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Encore brand stands out in many ways for what it has, namely winning Cigar of the Year in 2018 and scoring 96 points. But it also stands out for what it’s missing—a robusto.
Encore, which hit the market for the first time in the spring of 2018, is an absolute rarity because it has been a cigar brand without a robusto size. Robustos are the most popular size in American cigar shops, and just about every brand has one.
That’s changing this week, with the release of the E.P. Carrillo Encore El Futuro, a robusto measuring 5 inches long by 50 ring gauge. It’s set to retail for $11.90, but the release will be limited for now, with an initial shipment of 1,000 boxes, each containing 10 cigars. E.P. Carrillo will expand the distribution of the size come this summer, taking more orders for the new smoke at the PCA trade show in Las Vegas, and it will become a standard part of the Encore line.
As the fifth size in the line, El Futuro joins the Celestial, which is a toro, the El Primero, a Churchill, the torpedo-shaped Valientes and the Majestic, a size that we categorize as “odd,” as it doesn’t quite fit our other size parameters.
This new smoke has the same dimensions of another Cigar of the Year made by E.P. Carrillo, the Pledge Prequel.
Like all Encores, El Futuro is made in the Dominican Republic under the watchful eye of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, an industry veteran with more than 50 years of experience. The cigar is crafted from an all-Nicaraguan blend, one that Carrillo calls medium-to-full in body. In blind tastings at Cigar Aficionado, we have generally found the Encore line to be a little less powerful than the Pledge line. In our Cigar of the Year writeups, we described the Pledge Prequel as medium-to-full, while rating the Encore Majestic in the medium-bodied range.
You’ll see a rating in an upcoming Cigar Insider.