E.P. Carrillo Adds Broadleaf Maduro

Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has been slowly increasing the breadth of his product line, but there was one thing missing—a maduro. This week at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, he unveiled his version of a maduro cigar, and it's shipping at the end of next week to cigar stores.

"A lot of people were asking for a maduro," Carrillo told Cigar Aficionado today. "I had looked at Mexican maduro, Brazilian—but this one shined."

This one is Connecticut broadleaf, a hearty, dark and rugged leaf that Perez-Carrillo first used in the 1970s in Miami, when he was making La Gloria Cubanas. Perez-Carrillo is using broadleaf grown in the Connecticut River Valley in 2008/09, which he claimed was superb, with superior yield and great flavor.

He's used the leaf to create the E.P. Carrillo Maduro, an eight-size line that's identical in dimension and suggested retail price to the lineup of the E.P. Carrillo "core" line. The cigars come in No. 4 (5 1/2 by 42, $5.25); Encantos (4 7/8 by 50, $6.45); Regalias Real (5 5/8 by 46); Club 52 (5 7/8 by 52); Churchill Especial (7 1/8 by 49); Predilectos (a torpedo measuring 6 1/8 by 52); Golosos (6 1/4 by 60) and Monumentos (7 3/8 by 56). They retail for $5.25 to $9.30 per cigar and are made at Perez-Carrillo's factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

The E.P. Carrillo natural line is made with an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper and a Nicaraguan binder; the maduro has Connecticut broadleaf wrapper and Ecuador Sumatra binder. While the two share the same filler blend on paper, a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan, Perez-Carrillo had to make an adjustment when his workers rolled the maduro.

"On the core, we put a leaf of seco" in the filler blend, he said. "When we tried that with the maduro, it got a little bland. So we substituted a leaf, or in some cases half a leaf, of viso, and that completely changed the blend. Half a leaf can make such a big difference."

The cigars are going to ship beginning next week. Look for more information on cigars from E.P. Carrillo Cigar Co. in Tuesday's Cigar Insider.