INCH by E.P. Carrillo 6×64 Review
I’m sure you can tell, but I am not a huge fan of the large ring gauges coming out these days. However, much like my beer tasting/reviewing, I often like to challenge myself by sampling products that I don’t typically prefer. This leads to a more thorough and honest review. In this case, I was sent a 6×64 INCH, by E.P. Carrillo. This sucker makes last weeks 60 gauge look like a a small fry.
E.P. Carrillo, like many major manufacturers, was feeling the pressure from it’s fans to create a larger line (ring-wise) of premium cigars. Instead of simply releasing one big daddy, EPC upped the ante and released a new line called “INCH”, made up of three premium sticks, each over 60 gauge (“No. 64” 6×64, “No. 60” 5 7/8×60, & “No. 62” 5×62). They are also available in both Maduro wrapper from Connecticut and Natural wrappers from Equador, for this review, I smoked a Maduro.
The first thing I noticed about this stick when I removed it from my humidor was the beautiful, rich aroma. I smelled sweet leather, mild-medium pepper, raisin and a hint of vanilla. All of the smells built a rich, thick nose profile.
The appearance was pretty nice, but not as nice as some of the other big sticks in my lot. The foot was tearing a little, and I distinctly remember it being intact when I put it in the humi. Otherwise it had a nice, fairly dense pack with nice construction. Some veins were palpable and moderately visible. But this sucker cut like a dream, and was pulling very smooth and easy on a few cold draws.
As stated before, my initial impression had me a little scared, mostly due to the size. I was worried that I would be focused so much on taming the cigar (in my ashtray, in my mouth, in my hand), that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it…we’ll see if I’m right!
The light was very easy and even. Immediately I was greeted with a medium-full pepper taste/sensation, one that tingled my mouth. I noticed an abundance of flavor right out of the gate, with mounds of thick, creamy smoke. I was very surprised at the ease of the draw, especially with the massive size (this is, for the record, the largest cigar I have ever smoked). In addition to the pepper notes, I got earth, cedar and leather. Overall, the profile is very subtle, and brown (I often described flavor profiles in colors, it makes sense to me). The first inch is very enjoyable. After a little while, the pepper fades a bit and leaves a very pleasurable, relaxing smoke. I’m pleasantly surprised…
By the second third, the pepper is all but gone. The smoke is still full and milky, and it’s very pleasant. This has turned into a wonderful cigar to enjoy without having to think about it, completely opposite of my concerns at the beginning. Contrary to my fears, it is a very easy smoke. Much more earth, woods, leather notes begin to emerge (now that the pepper is gone). The body turned from a medium-full to a solid medium. I did have a small wrapper malfunction about halfway through, but a quick light to the wrapper fixed everything.
Toward the end of the smoke, the flavors begin to pick up that familiar spice and pepper flavoring. I taste what I can only relate to popcorn. Around the last 2″ I begin to feel the effects of inches worth of medium-full bodied nicotine. I can almost not handle the surge of mind-numbing power. It has again morphed into a full bodied pepper bazooka.
My final impressions are very positive. I really enjoyed this smoke. I enjoyed the simplicity of the flavor profile, but still the complexity of some of the minor notes. I enjoyed the hassle-free smoke, and the pleasurable experience all-around. However, I do think this guy was a little too big. Not in the gauge category, but more the length. I think a 5″ stick would have been better and would not have left me feeling lightheaded. Overall, with around a $10 pricetag, I was very happy with this smoke. Color me converted on the idea of the big boys.