Growing a world-class cigar brand even once is a near impossible goal. Only a few companies that work at it will ever pull it off, and even then it may take a few generations to get there.
Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has done it twice.
Some people are simply amazing, aren’t they?
E.P. got his start working at his father's small Miami cigar factory, rolling budget smokes for local businesses. Like so many cigar makers, his family had left Cuba in the late 1950's due to Castro’s revolution. Ernesto was only six when he saw warplanes flying overhead.
Things were different in Miami, of course, but business wasn’t always great. At one point, his father even wanted to sell, but Ernesto convinced him to hold out and started taking a more active role in guiding the business. After his father died, he took over full control of the company and launched the La Gloria Cubana brand. La Gloria quickly became a sensation, wowing smokers and critics alike. It was one of the most successful brands of the cigar boom of the '90s and Ernesto sold it to General Cigar in 1999.
After guiding La Gloria for another decade past the sale, Carrillo decided to leave his position at the General Cigar Co. and start another brand with his children. This time, he stamped his name on the brand, calling it the EPC Cigar Co. and labeling his cigars “E.P. Carrillo”. Slowly but surely, Ernesto built up the reputation of his new E.P. Carrillo line. With each new blend, he worked his way up the Cigar Aficionado Top-25 list and with the E.P. Carrillo Encore Majestic, he found himself once again on the top of the cigar world, this time with a Cigar of the Year title.
The blends are among the best in the world, and Mr. Carrillo has proven his skill and expertise time and time again. In a sense, it started with a Cuban Davidoff, which Mr. Carrillo recalls was a rich experience for all his senses, not just those around his palate, but his “whole body.” The desire to create “a total sensuous smoke” is something that inspires him to this day. If you’re merely smoking a cigar, you’re only scratching the surface, apparently! Perhaps we can’t all enjoy cigars at his level, but we can take his finest work and give it a shot.
Whether you’re experiencing total ecstasy or just firing up a stogie, you could hardly choose a better one than these. We eagerly anticipate Ernesto’s next move, and highly recommend picking up a few of his cigars to join the best sticks in your humidor while you wait with us. After all, world-class smokes don’t simply fall into your lap every day (unless you work at Cigars Direct, of course).
Please browse our selection of E.P. Carrillo cigars at your leisure.
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