While I don't see myself returning to the E.P. Carrillo Elencos Elites often, I could see returning to it on occasion as I think this would work well in the evening after a hearty meal and paired with a brown spirit.
The E.P. Carrillo La Historia Doña Elena started nicely with a good combination of flavors and transitioned nicely going into the second third. The enjoyment level dropped a bit in the final third as some char joined in. This is a cigar I would easily come back to and is a bright spot in the brands portfolio. I also think the price point fits the enjoyment level nicely.
The E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel was an overall pleasant experience, with some of the best flavor combinations delivering in the second third. The presentation was fantastic, as was the construction. Overall, the profile failed to grab my attention and hold it, although I would be willing to try it in the Sojourn size to see how the blend compared.
The E.P. Carrillo INCH Natural No. 60 had a flavor profile that was pretty linear with just a few changes. It was definitely a heavy oak and earth influence. I'd prefer a bit more to the flavor profile, but for those that are fans of the flavors I've described, you'll get a full dose of them here and find something you enjoy. The cigar is a very slow smoker, so there is some value there.
The Villiger TAA Exclusive 2020 had some promising flavors in the first third, but ultimately did not provide the level of complexity and nuance that we've had from past Villiger releases. Great construction with a resistant draw, I was left with an overall average experience.
From what I recall, this E.P. Carrillo New Wave Connecticut Divinos is one of the early Connecticut shades that was supposed to change how they were perceived. This is a good look back as the more recent Connecticuts are a drastic change from what this cigar provides. If you like traditional Connecticut shades but like a little more pepper, this is one to try if you haven't. The price point is also quite attractive.
Upon initial draw of the Alec and Bradley Gatekeeper Robusto, you know what you're in for. It's a bold and hefty delivery of flavors centered around red pepper spice, meatiness, cedar and sharp minerals with a medium plus strength to match. All in all, solid sophomore release by Alec and Bradley.
Overall, the profile of the Shore Thing Exclusive by Crowned Heads was average, even with its uniqueness. The price point is quite high, but for a store exclusive, I can understand some reasoning to it, I just don't feel the experience earns it. If you're a Crowned Heads fan and have a chance to grab one, you should go for it, but it won't drive me to seek more out.
Details for the Crowned Heads 2019 TAA release have emerged. The line called The Angel's Anvil reprises it's role for this year and Crowned Heads once again teams up with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo to produce the cigar out of his Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic.