E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker - Blind Cigar Review

E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker – Blind Cigar Review

Cigar Info

In June of last year, United Cigars announced a noteworthy addition to their annual Independence Day celebration, the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker. Since 2010, United Cigars has engaged in yearly collaborations with various cigar manufacturers to craft a limited edition Firecracker cigar. Characterized by its robust profile, this series is renowned for its short, stout, and potent offerings.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.

The latest iteration, crafted at E.P. Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. in the Dominican Republic, showcases a blend that promises to deliver a memorable smoking experience. Utilizing a U.S.A. Connecticut Habano wrapper paired with an Ecuadorian binder and filled with Nicaraguan tobacco, the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker measures 3 ½ x 50 and will be available in boxes of 20, priced at $7.00 per cigar.

This blend, limited to a production of 20,000 cigars, marks a significant partnership between United Cigars and the revered Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, aiming to add a unique entry into the Firecracker series. With exclusive distribution to United Firecracker retailers, this offering is a testament to the continued evolution and appreciation of the Firecracker concept in the cigar marketplace.

Vital Stats:

Vitola: Rothschild
Length: 3 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: USA Connecticut Habano
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
Blender: E.P. Carrillo
Number of reviewers: 4 Angel M. (Angel) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Noah S. (Noah) Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Price: $7.00
Age: 7 Months
Release Date: June 2023
Contributed by: United Cigar

Initial Impressions – E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker

Appearance: 96

“Short, dark, and handsome best describes this little firecracker (not sure if that’s the proper name for this vitola, but I know a lot of big brands that market these as such so that’s what we’re gonna go with). Its oscuro wrapper is thick and hearty with an ultra-fine tooth, noticeable oil sheen, and thin yet defined veins.” –Noah S. (Noah)

Aroma: 94

“As far as aroma, the smells are very muted, and not very pronounced. I do pick up a faint smell of sweet tobacco and cedar on the wrapper. As for the foot, it is a majority of sweet tobacco and vanilla which I smell.” –Angel M. (Angel)

First Third
E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker – Blind Cigar Review

First Third

Flavor: 97
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“With a cigar this short it’s rather difficult to break it down into distinct thirds especially when they don’t typically feature a ton of transitions. It turns out that it is well below freezing today and far from pleasant to be outside so the size of this smoke couldn’t possibly be more welcomed. Out of the gate, the smoke is just a tad bit harsh but the flavors are immensely rich, robust, and enjoyable. Cedar is certainly present, as are leather and molasses. The retro is simply incredible as it introduces a ton of spice via notes of black pepper and cayenne pepper as well as just a touch of sweetness by way of some dark chocolate flavors. I’m finding that the spice really lingers on the finish leaving my tongue and palate a little tingly between each puff. All in all, this smoke is perfectly balanced and I’m really digging it!” –Noah S. (Noah)

“The first thing I pick up is cocoa powder and graham crackers. The flavor profile shifts quickly to the fresh roasted coffee beans. The retrohale is fiery with shape pepper notes that linger. The palate and retro work well together. The mouthfeel is gritty and covers the whole palate. The finish is on the longer side.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

Second Third
E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker – Blind Cigar Review

Second Third

Flavor: 97
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“In the second third, all the flavors remain fairly the same with dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and sweet tobacco. The texture of the smoke still remains very enjoyable. Once again, this cigar is very delicious so far.” –Angel M. (Angel)

“The second third started off much like the first, with lots of earthy notes, black coffee, spice, and leather. The ash held on for over an inch before falling off. The flavors are really popping in this smaller vitola. Loving this cigar.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)

Final Third
E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker – Blind Cigar Review

Final Third

Flavor: 96
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“In the final third, once again, all the flavors remain fairly the same with dark chocolate, roasted nut and sweet tobacco. The smoke did heat up a little bit at the end of the final third, however, I only had a nub left so the heat is to be expected.” –Angel M. (Angel)

“Nothing new to report upon entering the final leg of this smoke which isn’t the slightest bit surprising. In my experience cigars this short typically don’t feature a ton of transitions. If they did, it would be a lot to keep up with across a short period of time and for me that would take away from the overall smoking experience. Luckily for me, the flavors are finishing right where they began, well balanced and unequivocally delicious!” –Noah S. (Noah)

Overall Impressions – E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker

Draw: 98

“This cigar drew like a dream. Free and easy from start to finish. One of the best I have had in a while.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

Burn: 97

“Very good burn not razor sharp but all waivers corrected themselves. This cigar also had a decent amount of smoke output, which carried the flavors through perfectly.” –Angel M. (Angel)

Construction: 96

“This cigar appears to be constructed very well. Its seams are tight, flat, and hardly noticeable while the bunching is consistently firm from top to bottom. A long single cap flows into a lengthy fuse-like pigtail cap that extends well past the midpoint of the body which is always an eye-catching feature. Furthermore, there isn’t a blemish in sight!” –Noah S. (Noah)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 96

“Overall, this cigar was extraordinary. I’m always looking for a shorter cigar for those shorter time periods. The flavors on the cigar with the dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and sweet tobacco were excellent, and in perfect combination. The flavors were fairly one-dimensional and didn’t change much throughout the whole cigar, considering those are all the flavors I enjoy, this cigar was just up my alley. I’m very excited to find out what this cigar is and look forward to adding it to my rotation.” –Angel M. (Angel)

“This made the perfect hour smoke. The flavors worked very well. The gritty mouthfeel added some texture. It give it a depth that is only found in larger format cigars. I can’t wait to find out what it is so I can find some to add to my humidor.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

“For being such a small package, this cigar had a lot to offer. With the exception of just a little bit of harshness right out of the gate which luckily didn’t stick around for long, I can’t say a single bad thing about this stick. From the first puff to the very last I was greeted with a decadent mix of flavors that were perfectly balanced and plenty complex. In addition, the smoke had so much body that I could almost chew on it! One thing it did lack was strength but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I don’t always need to walk away with a nicotine buzz. It’s lack of strength also makes it an appropriate smoke for just about any time of day. I could see this stick pairing well with a rich dark roast coffee first thing in the morning or a good peaty scotch after a big steak dinner. 10 out of 10 would recommend all day everyday and I’ll certainly be seeking this one out once it is revealed.” –Noah S. (Noah)

“I love this vitola and how they are a perfect winter cigar. There weren’t really any big flavor transitions but the flavors hit my palate in the sweet spot. Loved the black coffee, leather, earth, and spice this cigar presented me. I would definitely recommend this to full-bodied smokers who only have 30 to 45 minutes to enjoy a cigar. Very well done!!” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 47

ReviewerAppear.Aroma1/32/33/3DrawBurnConstr.Overall
Experience
Angel M.9790979797100959597
Estevan Z.959393939595939595
Noah S.9595959595951009795
Kevin J.979797979710010010097

To view the complete scores and notes, click here

E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker – Blind Cigar Review

E.P. Carrillo Pledge Firecracker
Summary
"I love this vitola and how they are a perfect winter cigar. There weren't really any big flavor transitions but the flavors hit my palate in the sweet spot. Loved the black coffee, leather, earth and spice this cigar presented me. I would definitely recommend this to full bodied smokers who only have 30 to 45 minutes to enjoy a cigar. Very well done!!" -Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Appearance
96
Aroma
94
First Third
97
Second Third
97
Final Third
96
Draw
98
Burn
97
Construction
96
Overall Experience
96
96
Extraordinary