When it comes to crafting fine cigars, there are some masters in the industry that stand out, Ernesto Perez Carrillo is most certainly one of them. Way back in 2014, at the beginning of Stogie Press, I reviewed the E.P. Carrillo – La Historia, and though we did not add a numerical rating then, it was a great cigar which I have since purchased boxes of. I have been following the brand ever since.
According to the company:
“The Pledge is the third release in the Perez-Carrillo Series, following Encore (2018 #1 Cigar of the Year) and La Historia (2014 #2 Cigar of the Year).
La Historia pays homage to the family history in tobacco, especially the women in the family. The Encore was Ernesto’s song after a wonderful concert, and a tribute to his grandchildren.
The Pledge describes an evolution of his skills in blending throughout his life and how these skills translate to his promise to cigar lovers, reaching different milestones.“
After over six months testing blends, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo finally found the blend he was looking for:
- Wrapper – United States/Connecticut Habano
- Binder – Ecuador
- Filler – Nicaragua
The Perez Carrillo Pledge is currently expressed in 2 vitolas, each packaged in 10-count boxes. The company does plan to release more vitolas.
- Pledge Prequel (5 x 50) Box Pressed Robusto – MSRP $10.75
- Pledge Sojourn (6 x 52) Box Pressed Toro – MSRP $12.00
For this review, I sampled two Perez Carrillo Pledge Sojourns which I purchased from my local cigar shop – Executive Cigar Shop & Lounge in Melbourne, FL.
The Perez Carrillo Pledge Sojourn is an attractive dark, oily, and marbled cigar. It has a mild tooth (grit) to the wrapper and is crisply box pressed. A well applied cap finishes the presentation.
There are three bands that adorn the cigar. The primary is ornate using a deep blue and gold motif and declares it as the Perez Carrillo Pledge in the center. There is also images of a woman on both sides of the band that I would say takes you back to old Cuba. The secondary band is placed just below the primary and uses a similar motif with the name Perez Carrillo printed in white in the center. Finally, there is a golden footer band to complete the branding.
Running the cigar along the nose, I picked up a pre-light cocoa and sweetness along the barrel while the foot offered a musty barn yard note.
Once I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder, I proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that I found to be spot with restriction and offered a light pepper note that graced the palate along with a touch of citrus.
I used my double flame torch to warm the foot and drew in the first puffs of thick and chewy smoke that enticed the palate with cocoa and pepper notes. Follow along as burn the Perez Carrillo Pledge Sojourn to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Right off the first puff there is thick chewy smoke (smoke ring texture)
- Cocoa and pepper quickly entice the palate
- Pleasing sweet maple syrup aromatic aroma wafts off the foot
- White ash forms on top of a straight thick char line
- Oils are oozing above the burn line
- Muted cocoa notes continue with an added cream
- Ash fell in a decent chunk revealing a beautiful centered ash cone
- Caramel enters moving into the second third
- Cocoa morphs into dark chocolate midway
- Mild jag in the burn develops but never goes awry or requiring a touch up
- Cedar enters and lingers on the palate
- Aroma shifts to a toasted cracker
- Earthiness builds moving into the final with an added spice component
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
The Perez Carrillo Pledge Sojourn was a spectacular smoking experience with a complex and balanced array of flavors and aromas that kept the palate interested from foot to nub. I really liked how the aroma morphed through the journey. This is one, the most experienced palate would appreciate and I feel it is certainly box worthy and I rate this a 97.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Jag Midway
Bonus Points: (+1) Complex and Balanced; (+1) Consistent Across Multiple Samples; (+1) Excellent Oiling; (+1) Buy a Box