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Best of the Best 2013: Cigars: Inch by E.P. Carrillo

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

Demand for plumped-up cigars is spreading almost as quickly as the cigars themselves. Diameters—which are measured in rings, each ring equaling 1/64 of an inch—have become routinely larger than the 54-ring size most cutters can handle; indeed, 58- and 60-ring stogies now turn up with astonishing frequency. But Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, who gave us 60-ring smokes with his Core Golosos and the New Wave Connecticut El Decano, has created one of the fattest cigars in the land: The Inch by E.P. Carrillo (www.epcarrillo.com, $7.75 to $10). With a band reproduced from a 1950s ruler, this behemoth smoke has a ring gauge that measures 64/64 in diameter—exactly 1 inch. While 60- and 62-ring gauges are also available in this series, the Inch is by far the most noteworthy. All four of the Nicaraguan and Dominican leaves used in this cigar’s filler must be perfectly bunched along the entire 6⅛ inches of its length and expertly held in place with a firm Nicaraguan binder. Wrapped in a choice of Ecuadoran Sumatra or Connecticut broadleaf, the Inch, though spicy, is not overpowering. This is a full-flavored smoke worthy of our accolades—and a cask-strength single-malt whisky.