When Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, owner of EPC Cigar Co., released the Encore cigar line last year, he had two or three rollers in his factory making Encores. Now that Cigar Aficionado named the Encore Majestic the Cigar of the Year for 2018, he’s had to assign 16 rollers just to keep up with demand.
Normally, his La Alianza factory produces about 2 million cigars a year. If demand for the Encore keeps up, Perez-Carrillo thinks he’ll make about 2.4 million cigars for 2019—but that’s a safe, conservative estimate. It could possibly go up to 2.5 million; however, Perez-Carrillo is a humble guy who doesn’t like to brag.
I visited the factory during last week’s ProCigar Festival tour in the Dominican Republic and Perez-Carrillo showed me some of the production steps necessary for making this most distinguished cigar. I took some photos in hopes of relaying to you the journey that each Encore takes. Some of the steps, however, had to be kept secret, so I couldn’t show you everything.