Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: High Medium to Full
Price: Around $6.00 a pop
Behind The Stick:
If you have not heard of this stick, please at least let me know that you have heard about the master himself, Don Pepin Garcia. If not, here is a quick history lesson behind a man we all call and regard as ‘master’. He was born in Cuba and like most Cubans was integrated into their amazing tobacco lifestyle which lead to him working at an uncles factory as a torcedero or cigar roller. He has held so many positions throughout his life but a few of the more notable would be his assistance in blending with the Cuban brands Cohiba, Partagas and Montecristo. He has been able to read a Class 8 – Master – and even won a Productivity Prize for rolling 320 Julietas (7×48 vitola) in four hours! That is rolling 1.3 cigars – Per minute. . .
Aside from that, he was approached by Pete Johnson from Tatuaje cigars to blend him a few different types and once Cigar Aficionado gave it high marks, the Don Pepin name became worth its weight in gold. If you look a little deeper, you’ll notice Don Pepin Garcia also produces cigars for other companies, to name a few Padilla and 5 Vegas (some blends of each). Their factory in Miami, Florida which employs only 12 cigar rollers (all class 8 masters) can produce around 800,000 cigars a year – although with this large number they realized they simply can not meet the demand and created another factory in Estil, Nicaragua so they can produce another 3 to 4 million, yes million, cigars a year.
With the name of the master himself pressed across the black band, I knew I was in for a treat. Without a question the construction on every single one of these sticks was flawless. Perfectly packed from head to foot, no blemishes or discoloration of the wrapper. Triple cap was perfectly placed on each (one did lose a single cap, but perhaps from me cutting too deep) and I only had a minor burn issue on one that was corrected on its own. Also – this is a dual band so I was worried there may be more of a chance for the band to stick to the wrapper – nope! Both bands came off perfectly.
Spice! Oh wow does this one produce some spice although its just enough to be borderline ‘too much’ but fell within the tolerable range. I am not a huge fan of the spice or the burn in a retrohale although the other flavors kept me entertained. The smoke seemed to coat my mouth and definitely dried it out after only a few puffs although with that ‘coating’ the finish increased with each puff as well and left a nice aftertaste once I was at about the half way point. My one bitch on this stick was that towards the end of each one the flavor profile seemed to drop off and turned a bit bitter.
If you are a fan of a more spicy smoke or perhaps seeking out something a little out of your comfort zone I highly suggest giving this one a shot. The price is not daunting and the profile itself is not a bad one, although when I repeat ‘spicy cigar’ do not think this is an editorial mistake but rather emphasis about this fact. The construction was flawless, the draw near perfect on each one, no major burn issues with any so all in all I have to say this is a great smoke and I suggest, if nothing else, give it a shot on a single.
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory