The newest smoke from EPC Cigar Co. takes the thick cigar trend to a new level. Inch by E.P. Carrillo, a line of three cigars with ring gauges no thinner than 60, have just been completed and will be on their way to cigar stores over the next two weeks.
The cigars are adorned with bands made to look like old rulers (see photo), and the fattest of the trio has a ring gauge of 64, making it one inch thick.
They come in two wrapper varieties: maduro, made with Connecticut broadleaf wrappers, and natural, which is made with Ecuadoran wrappers grown from Sumatra seeds. The maduros aren't much darker than the Sumatra, which have a rugged orangey brown look and is quite streaky.
Cigar Aficionado received samples of the cigars and smoked one of the 64 ring gauge Sumatras. It had a peppery note to start, then mellowed into some leather notes with a chewy finish. As with many ultra-fat ring gauge cigars, it was a somewhat difficult draw, but it burned well.
The company is making this a regular addition to its growing line of cigars, but they expect to make only about 100,000 to 125,000 of the Inch cigars this year, based on limited supplies of some of the Dominican filler tobacco used in the blend.
"A lot of the fillers we're using from the Dominican Republic were grown in very small quantities," said Ernesto Perez-Carrillo III of the new cigar.
Most of the filler blend is Dominican, with a bit of Nicaraguan viso. The binder is also Nicaraguan.
The cigars were first announced in May in a story on this website, and they are coming in a bit cheaper than originally planned. They will retail for $7.75 to $10 per cigar.
Look for a vertical brand tasting in an upcoming issue of Cigar Insider.