HBTC Review: E.P. Carrillo Pledge Sojourn

There’s no doubt that E.P. Carrillo has been on a fantastic run of success in the last few years. Only two short years after the Encore Majestic was awarded Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado, the Pledge Sojourn was given that same top spot in that illustrious list. The Sojourn not only took the top spot from the world’s biggest cigar publication, it also received high praise from many other cigar media organizations. With all of that activity surrounding this cigar, we decided to run in through our own evaluation process. Here is Matt’s review of the Pledge Sojourn.

The E.P. Carrillo Pledge is also available in a 5 x 50 size called The Prequel.

E.P.Carrillo Pledge Sojurn
MSRP: $12.00
Size: 6 x 52 (Box-Press)
Origin: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Connecticut Habano (USA)
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Nicaragua

Prologue
The Sojourn has an extremely dark wrapper, with a few areas of mottled coloration. There is an intense tooth and oil sheen on the wrapper surface. The seams are clean, but the cap is somewhat messy. This box pressed cigar has a bold aroma of bitter coffee and leather, while the foot has aromas of black pepper, molasses, and aged tobacco sweetness. The cold draw has more of that sweetness, along with the pepper and leather.

Act I
Flavors start out with an intense black pepper. That mellows rather quickly into a nice mix of very dark cocoa, toasted sourdough bread, and a very slight mineral finish. The flavors are intense but still smooth. This first section of the cigar has bold spice juxtaposed with smooth and creamy textures. The retrohale has plenty of pepper twang in the nostrils, but also a dark sweetness like espresso.

Act II
There is a leveling-out that happens in this middle section of the cigar. Although the overall intensity is still there, it is all contained in a richness of texture and aroma. Some toasted wood aromas join the sweetness in the profile, almost like a molasses cookie or salted caramel over chocolate cake. A few draws also give me notes of roasted nuts and dark honey. The retrohale continues with more spice and some gentle leather aromas.

Act III
The final section of the cigar ramps up a bit in strength and intensity. While the overall profile mostly remains intact, there are a few minor additions. Along with the molasses sweetness there is a hint of dark fruit sweetness, almost reminding me of dries cherries. The wood notes evolve a little bit into charred wood. It closes out with a few gentle floral notes and hints of vanilla bean. The final retrohale puffs are straight-up black pepper and charred wood with barely a whisper of sweetness.

Epilogue
When a cigar gets a lot of good press in a short period of time, you never really know until you try it yourself. Although the solid reviews from other media typically mean good things we all know that palates differ. That being said, the hype seems to be real on this one. It is a really intense and rich blend. It has some complexity and great burn performance. Although it’s not as strong as I was expecting, it does have enough power to bring out the flavors in the profile. I can definitely recommend this one without hesitation.

E.P. Carrillo Pledge Sojourn – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A Box?
Overall Score: 93
PAD: -3.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Black Pepper, Toasted Wood, Molasses, Roasted Nuts
Strength Assessment: Medium-Full
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC

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