Cigar Buying Guides

The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to My Father Cigars

Cigar Advisor’s Essential My Father Cigars Tasting & Buying Guide

Updated March 2023

First, a quick history of how My Father Cigars came to be synonymous with full Nicaraguan strength and flavor…

We start with José Pepin Garcia, aka, Don Pepin: born and raised in Cuba, his family has been in the tobacco trade for generations. Pepin is an award-winning master roller by Cuban cigar making standards, having been involved with the blending and rolling of Havana’s marquee names: Cohiba, Montecristo and Partagas. He left the island in 2001, settling in Little Havana, and opened the doors to his El Rey de los Habanos cigar factory with a dozen master rollers. It’s there that Garcia challenged himself to replicate the full-flavored Cuban profile he knew inside and out, but without using any Cuban leaf; Nicaragua would become his new source of choice…and that’s how “Pepin” became a synonym for vigorous, spicy blends made of the finest Nicaraguan tobaccos.

Having opened the My Father Cigars factory in Esteli in 2009, Jose – along with his son, Jaime, and daughter Janny – now oversee more than 300 torcedors who produce the My Father and Don Pepin brands you’ll read about here, along with cigars from Tatuaje, Crowned Heads and more.

The Advisors’ “Pepin At-A-Glance”

For this guide to My Father Cigars, we’ve picked one popular size to showcase each blend…smoked it, wrote up some review notes, and tried to pepper in an interesting fact or two about the brand, all to give you a general idea of what you might expect from that cigar – and to help you decide if it’s something that sounds like you’ll want to smoke. We’ll start off with some of My Father’s newer, more high-profile and most talked-about blends; then, work our way back to some of the original Don Pepin Garcias that put My Father Cigars on the map.

As with all of our tastings and reviews, the notes and experiences are our own; and since flavor is always so subjective, use our notes as a guide (as opposed to a rule) to finding and identifying flavors in these cigars when you smoke them for yourself. If you already have enjoyed one or more of the My Father cigars in our list, tell us about your own smoking experience(s) in a comment below.

Fonseca by My Father Cigar Review

Size: Robusto (5¼” x 52)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99 Rosado
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan

Construction and Overall Appearance: Excellent. Nice looking wrapper. Perfectly packed. Textbook triple seam cap. The band’s red & gold colors pop well against the wrapper, too.
Draw (airflow): Perfect.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): A hint of nuts and molasses.
Toasting & Light: Nutty and woody with a little smack of molasses and cocoa. The cigar lit well and provided a fair amount of peppery spice to start.
Base Flavors: Roasted nuts, cedar, mocha, molasses, nutmeg.
Retrohale: Peppery, but not too overbearing.
Aroma: Sweet and floral.
Burn / Ash Quality: Excellent burn from top to bottom. Ash is mostly grey with some black stippling and very firm.

Balance / Consistency: Excellent.

Several years ago, Fonseca, one of the most prominent premium cigar brands—both before and after Cuba—got a Nicaraguan twist. You can thank My Father Cigars for that. For this tasty transition, they went puro with a medium-bodied blend. The ruby-ish Rosado Corojo 99 wrappers are stunning, not to mention the Nicaraguan binder and fillers. Well-balanced with an earthy yet creamy melding of cedar, baking spices, cocoa, and molasses, that’s how you turn an iconic Cuban cigar into a legendary Nicaraguan. ~ Gary

Flor de Las Antillas Cigar Review

Size: Toro (6” x 52)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Filler: Nicaraguan x2
Binder: Nicaraguan

Construction and Overall Appearance: Very attractive wrapper with soft, rounded box-press. Color is even throughout. Nice aromas of barnyard and cocoa off the wrapper.
Draw (airflow): Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Woodsy.
Toasting & Light: No issues.
Base Flavors: Leather, espresso and generic wood. There is a small amount of black pepper and spice in the first few puffs, but they quickly recede to a distant background note.
Retrohale: On the retrohale, the pepper is barely noticeable.
Aroma: Rich.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn is a little off at times, but more even than not overall.

Balance / Consistency: No complaints.

Created by Don Pepin as a tribute to his native Cuba, Flor de Las Antillas is about as good as it gets. The Toro (shown here) having earned a Classic ‘96’ rating and #1 Cigar of the Year honors is just the beginning. Handcrafted and delicately box-pressed, the sun grown wrapper on this puro surrounds a Cuban-style double binder plus fillers from different Nicaraguan seed varieties. Beautifully nuanced, the flavors lead with nutmeg and pepper contrasted by notes of wood and caramel. Yes, dream cigars do come true. ~ Gary

El Centurion H-2K-CT Cigar Review

Size: Toro (6” x 52)
Strength: Medium – Full
Wrapper: Sun grown U.S. Connecticut (Havana 2000 seed Hybrid)
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan

Construction and Overall Appearance: Wrapper has an attractive dark caramel color with a velvety feel. A bit darker than your typical Connecticut. No soft spots along the cigar’s length and a sweet barnyard aroma.
Draw (airflow): Just right.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Cedar and dried fruit
Toasting & Light: No issues. Foot takes to flame evenly.
Base Flavors: Cedar, pepper, tangy citrus.
Retrohale: Spicy .
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn is 99% straight, revealing a firm ash.

Balance / Consistency: Perfection.

This is one of those cigars where your friend turns to you and says, “Have you ever smoked an El Centurion H-2K Connecticut?” You answer “No” and he goes on to make it sound amazing. In any event, it is one of those rare cigar beauties with a U.S. Connecticut wrapper unlike any other. Perfectly constructed, the inner sanctum includes Nicaraguan Criollo, Corojo, and Sancti Spiritus. Creamy smoke issues flavors of cedar, light pepper, and tangy citrus underscored by hints of dark roasted coffee. In a word: Amazing. ~ Gary

My Father La Gran Oferta Cigar Review

Size: Toro (6″ x 50)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Rosado
Filler & Binder: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Wrapper has an even milk chocolate color with a slight amount of toothiness. Cigar is well-packed and has a well-fashioned triple seam cap. Aromas off the wrapper were mostly earthy and woody.
Draw (airflow): Very good.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Oaky.
Toasting & Light: No issues .
Base Flavors: Earth, pepper, cedar, coffee, sweet tobacco.
Retrohale: Black pepper .
Aroma: Floral.
Burn / Ash Quality: Almost perfect burn line and solid ash.

Balance / Consistency: Very good.

The My Father La Gran Oferta (Spanish for “the Great Offer”), is a solidly built, flawlessly-rolled cigar that boasts an oily, brick-hued Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper fashioned with a triple seam cap and an all-Nicaraguan long-filler core.

The cold draw offers toasty-nutty flavors with a hint of sweetness. Upon lighting you’re hit by distinct notes of earth and pepper wrapped in cocoa. Joining the party are caramelized flavors of cedar and sweet tobacco. Meanwhile, earth and pepper simmer below resulting in a peppery finish that lingers on the palate. Suffice it to say, the La Gran Oferta Toro is a lush, well-balanced, full-bodied cigar that experienced cigar smokers love to embrace and return to often. ~ Gary

My Father The Judge Cigar Review

Size: Robusto (5” x 60)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua (Double)
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: A big, chunky square press. Nice fine tooth, an oily leathery appearance, a few streaks of black. A big, heavy cigar.
Draw: Smooth – nice and open.
Pre-light flavor: Earth, coffee and dry spice.
Toasting & Light: Cedar, pepper and earth.
Base flavors: Barnyard, leather, espresso, dry roasted nut.
Aroma: Strong – earthy, with sweet flowers.
Burn/Ash Quality: Tight white ash with a bit of flake. Decent burn, a little slanted.
Balance/Consistency: Super complex.

Inspired by a Garcia family friend who sits on the bench, and made with tobaccos grown on the Garcia farms. The one thing I noticed with The Judge right away – and as you’ll see, with all of the My Father cigars I smoked – the draw is impeccable.

A very dressed-up smoke with all the bands, My Father The Judge is a big ‘n chunky square press spark plug…dare I say, “husky.” It’s likely that you’ll need to use a big ring cutter on it; I just made it with a Xikar Xi. But even just nipping the cap is enough to get a great taste of the pre-light flavors. Once underway, there’s pepper up front that lingers through to the finish. Some exciting flavors come and go: wildflowers, coffee and cream, espresso, chocolate. Nice thick smoke output; it’s not loaded with spice, but the smoke has good body for sure.

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One of My Father’s more recent releases, The Judge is crafted in larger-than-usual sizes – and has been roundly praised as “a great stick well worth the price.” So complex and intense, I found it hard to disagree.

Later on, the floral vibe is back, along with dry earth, nuts and an aroma that has a whiff of crushed Smarties. Truth be told, I had a hard time nailing all these flavors down – The Judge is playing whack-a-mole on my taste buds. Hit the last third and The Judge sets it on cruise control for a big, meaty mouthful of flavor that demands you grab an adult beverage of significant proof.

Intensity ramps up very slowly…by the end, it’s another full-bodied bruiser from My Father Cigars – and easy to see why it’s so highly rated. Don’t miss this ride. ~ John

My Father La Promesa Cigar Review

Size: Petite (4½” x 50 Rothschild)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Rosado Oscuro
Binder & Filler: Garcia Estate farm-grown Nicaraguan

Adapted from #nowsmoking: My Father La Promesa

Construction and Overall Appearance: The Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper has an attractive color, more of which is revealed when the two long bands and the pink silk foot band are removed. The skin is thick, smooth and beams with a rich rosy hue.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor: Wheat, toast and leathery flavor.
Base flavors: Earth, leather, light pepper, cedar, sweet spices (nutmeg & cinnamon), sweet cream, bittersweet chocolate.
Retrohale: Offered a woody-spicy component.
Aroma: Toasty and mellow.
Balance of flavors: Well balanced but very complex, offering a number of sweet and tangy change-ups along the way.

Translated to “the promise,” the name for My Father La Promesa cigars comes from a promise Don José “Pepin” Garcia made to his family when he left Cuba alone in 2001: to honor his family and its tobacco heritage by being successful in the cigar industry outside of Cuba.

#nowsmoking My Father La Promesa cigar review cigar in ashtray
The La Promesa Petite is a Rothschild-size cigar offering a well-balanced, medium-full mix of earthy notes, sweet spice, and bittersweet chocolate on a slightly pepper finish.

LaPromesa’s highlight is the stunning Ecuador Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper. Most “Oscuros” tend to be very dark, almost black; this wrapper – bordering on maduro – boasts an attractive reddish patina. Made perfectly, the draw had just the right amount of pull, offering a

Once lit, the cigar offered plenty of dense, creamy smoke, and was impressively mellow in body and strength. A quick shot of pepper entered the mix, and almost as quickly rounded out to an earthier flavor with some leather, semi-sweetness, and a note of cedar. At the midsection, the cigar moved to a more medium-full strength, offered a high volume of dense smoke, and retained its earthy base note, while sweet spice entered the fray finishing with a slight hint of pepper on the palate. By the finale, the mix shook-out as earthy, leathery, cedary, and bittersweet on the order of dark chocolate made with a very high cacao content.

While far from overpowering in strength, the La Promesa’s deep, dark flavor and overall refinement are best suited to the taste buds of a more experienced cigar smoker. This is one of the better My Father cigars, best enjoyed in the evening after dinner and with a great Nicaraguan rum like Flor de Caña 12 year to match such a rich Nicaraguan character to it. ~ Gary

My Father La Opulencia Cigar Review

Size: Toro (6” x 54)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Solid construction, semi box-press. Wrapper is a deep espresso color with a large vein. Triple seam cap is perfect.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor: Foot has a distinct cedar, leather, aged oak, and peppery spice scent. Cold draw is dark – very earthy with chocolate, woods, hay, leather, and a very small dash of spice.
Toasting & Light: Darkly sweet up front with a dry cocoa aftertaste, as well as earth and wood. A slight tingle of pepper on the tongue.
Base flavors: Chocolate, oak, pepper, earth, and coffee.
Retrohale: first one has a peppery bite up front with a chocolatey sweetness followed by earth, coffee and oak; second time it’s very creamy with a slight pepper bite, plus nice wood and earth flavors.
Aroma: Toasted wood, sweet spices, and cedar.
Burn/Ash Quality: Ash is snow white and solid as a rock.
Balance of flavors: Very well balanced and smooth.

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That mug was full of coffee (cream, no sugar) as opposed to Sunday Morning Stout – that made an interesting match to La Opulencia’s citrus-and-pepper sensations.

I’ve been looking forward to the La Opulencia for a long time, namely due to the unique blend the Pepin family used. After a few puffs, a toasted bread flavor seemed to linger on the palate; the main note was a dark fruit sweetness followed by oak, earth, and leather. As I got deeper into it, the cigar proved very smooth and nicely balanced. At the end of the first third, the oak wood becomes prominent and the sweetness shifts toward a taste that’s more tart-like with a peppery follow up. Secondary notes of white pepper, earth, aged oak, coffee, and a slight zesty tang appear for some welcome complexity.

At the midsection the oak wood becomes more prominent as the sweetness briefly shifts to a sweet/tart combo before settling in on chocolate. By the end, there’s loads of nice, aged oak flavor with chocolate right behind, plus earth and coffee – the pepper is all but gone, a nice change of pace. My advice to you: take this cigar nice and slow to let the flavors develop on the palate. Pair this with a nice bourbon or single malt and you’ve got yourself a good time. ~ Fred

My Father Le Bijou 1922 Cigar Review

Size: Box Pressed Torpedo (6 1/8″ x 52)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro (Pelo de Oro)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Exquisite. If you want to know how to make a box-pressed Torpedo—not an easy task, even for a pro—this vitola is the quintessential model. The dark Pelo de Oro Oscuro wrapper is also outstanding in look and feel, while the cap is virtually flawless.
Draw (airflow): Perfect.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Light brown sugar and spice.
Toasting & Light: No issues.
Base Flavors: Woodsy, dark chocolate, sweet spices, coffee.
Retrohale: Spicy.
Aroma: Rich and spicy.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn is razor sharp, revealing long, firm, light grey ashes.

Balance / Consistency: Textbook.

This is the “97”-rated, box-pressed beauty that took the “#1 Cigar of the Year” crown in 2015 and remains one of the top full-bodied contenders in the stable of My Father Cigars. Its all-Nicaraguan core is concealed by an ebony-hued Oscuro wrapper.

my father cigars my father le bijou 1922 cigar review gk
The Le Bijou 1922 is an homage to Pepin’s father, born in 1922. It’s a true puro that offers chewy, creamy and complex smoke. Among the best of their best.

The narrow head effortlessly oozes rich, chewy smoke dominated mostly by a savory woodiness, along with notes of dark chocolate, sweet spices and coffee on an earthy finish. For cigar smokers seeking a fine masterpiece at a very approachable price, this is it. Want to learn a little more about it? Watch my quick video review. ~ Gary

Flor de Las Antillas Maduro by My Father Cigars Review

Size: Toro (6 ½” x 52)
Strength: Medium to Full
Wrapper: Sun Grown Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Dark with a reddish hue and neatly pressed veins.
Draw (airflow): Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Earthy.
Toasting & Light: Sweet and earthy.
Base Flavors: Earth, pepper, spice, sweet tobacco.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Charred wood.
Burn/Ash Quality: Solid, perfect, light gray.
Balance of Flavors: Very complex with excellent balance.

my father cigars flor de las antillas cigar review tz
A lot has already been written about the #1 Flor de Las Antillas – here now in this Maduro wrapper, the cigar is slightly sweet, the wood flavors are darker, and is more aromatic overall.

This darker, Maduro version is right up there in overall quality with it’s natural born brother. It’s a nicely box-pressed stick with a toothy sun grown Oscuro wrapper that has a great feel in your hand. There’s some decent complexity to this one that sports some real earthiness, a hint of pepper, spice, and a little bit of sweetness that comes from the wrapper. The one thing that stands out is the undeniably delicious aroma of charred oak. It tells you that you are indeed smoking a well-aged premium stick. For a really excellent Flor de Las Antillas experience, smoke it with a hearty helping of dark roast Colombian coffee. ~ Zman

My Father El Centurion Cigar Review

Size: Robusto (5¾” x 50)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo ’98
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo, Corojo Habano, Sancti Spiritus

Construction and Overall Appearance: Wrapper’s is slightly rustic in appearance with a rich chocolate color and oily sheen. There are some visible veins, but not an issue.
Draw (airflow): Outstanding.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Cocoa, leather, peppery spice.
Toasting & Light: Black pepper and leather.
Base Flavors: earth, cocoa and espresso, raisin, sweet spices.
Retrohale: N/A .
Aroma: Charred oak.
Burn / Ash Quality: Outstanding burn that required only minimal touch-ups. Ash is very light-grey, almost white in color.

Balance / Consistency: Spot on.

This work of art from Don Pepin and Jaime Garcia boasts a dark, elegant profile deftly rolled in a glistening Criollo ’98 wrapper. Medium to full in body, this puro enters with light pepper transitioning to base flavors of earth, cocoa and espresso. The text book burn reveals a firm white ash. Notes of rich spice, raisins and other delights work their way in along the journey. For an impressively complex “aficionado’s cigar,” El Centurion has also put out the welcome mat for novice smokers. ~ Gary

My Father Cigars el centurion cigar review gk
El Centurion became a regular in the lineup in 2013. What makes it special is the Sancti Spiritus tobaccos used in the filler – a rarity, and grown only by the Garcias.

La Antiguedad by My Father Cigars Review

Size: Toro (5 5/8” x 55)
Strength: Medium+
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Very solid, no soft spots and a semi-box press. The wrapper has a beautiful oily sheen and is semi-toothy.
Draw: slightly tight but overall manageable.
Pre-light flavor: Foot smells of leather, aged cedar, damp earth, aged tobacco. Cold draw is creamy with cashews, earth, cedar, leather, aged wood, and a slight peppery and chocolate finish.
Toasting & Light: Fairly mild start, flavors are toasty, nutty – notes of chocolate, cedar, oak, and a very slight pepper are present but not overwhelming.
Base flavors: Cedar, earth, white pepper, cocoa, chocolate, leather, and bourbon.
Retrohale: Hearty, meaty and complex. Later, it’s toasty, leathery and a little sweeter. Pepper abounds throughout.
Burn/Ash Quality: Very light white ash.
Balance of flavors: Very complex but well-rounded and smooth.

An old-school Cuban brand revived by My Father Cigars, La Antiguedad – “the antiquity” – features tobaccos that have undergone a lengthy curing process. Rich, complex, and bound to be one of Pepin’s all-time greats.Settle in for a long ride on this smoke. While this was a pretty standard Toro, La Antiguedad took me for a 2½ hour tour. Things started off mild. The draw was tight and the flavors seemed muted. I gave the cigar a small bite and blam! Suddenly, it opened up pouring creamy notes of chocolate, cashews, and aged wood. Rich and chewy, it was an obvious step up in intensity. Only one inch in and it was wide open: loads of sweet and savory flavors included more chocolate, a slight meatiness, aged cedar, earth, white pepper, and a bready mouth-feel.

my father cigars la antiguidad cigar review fl
Big flavor on line 2…La Antiguedad is a very slow burn, and full of nuances that you’d otherwise miss if you rushed through smoking it.

Gliding into the second third, La Antiguedad is extremely smooth and creamy with more chocolate, nuts, aged cedar, and earth. A subtle smokiness and pepper hang out in the background. After retrohaling, I found a very smooth n’ hearty meat-like quality in the profile with an underlying sweetness. This was contrasted by a smack of white pepper, enveloped by notes of cocoa, cedar, and damp earth. The retrohale opened my palate up to an enjoyable bourbon-like sweetness. Even at the end I found this cigar brimming with more dark and rich flavors than anticipated – sweet bourbon, cocoa, espresso, cedar, and a meaty/peppery finish. ~ Fred

My Father Cigar Review

Size: No. 1 (5¼” x 52/Robusto)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Rosado/Criollo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Stunning. Wrapper is caramel in color with a light oiliness. No soft spots. Cap looks like a two seamer and very well done.
Draw (airflow): Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Light spice.
Toasting & Light: Cinnamon, vanilla, cedar.
Base Flavors: Exotic spices, cedar, coffee.
Retrohale: Black pepper.
Aroma: Spicy.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn is even with a gravity-defying ash.

Balance / Consistency: Excellent.

This affordably-priced Robusto performs like a virtuoso on all counts. Perfectly constructed and draped in a flawless Ecuadorian hybrid wrapper, the My Father No.1 offers a solid feel in the hand, even burn, and a gravity-defying ash. The smoke is full-bodied and complex, issuing well-balanced flavors of exotic spices, cedar, coffee, and a note of brown sugar. Arguably the best choice for introducing yourself to this highly-rated selection. ~ Gary

My Father cigars cigar review gk
This was the My Father that got Jaime Garcia, Jose’s son, his start. Just like his old man taught him to blend: it’s peppery, spicy, woody and sweet, and just about the ideal My Father “starter cigar.”

My Father Connecticut Cigar Review

Size: Toro (6 ½ x 54)
Strength: Mild – Medium
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: 1999 Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano & Criollo

Construction and Overall Appearance: Beautifully even in color and oily in feel. Wrapper has a sweet hay flavor. Cap is well done.
Draw (airflow): Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Earth and molasses.
Toasting & Light: Earthy.
Base Flavors: Cedar, sweet tobacco, and earth with a peppery finish.
Retrohale: Nutty, woody, peppery.
Aroma: Spicy.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn line was mostly even revealing a mostly flaky ash.

Balance / Consistency: Very good.

The Pepin-made smokes that come out of the My Father Cigars factory are usually dark and rich with full-bodied flavors. However, the Connecticut is a break from the norm and a terrific cigar if you like ‘em mild to medium. It’s got a beautiful Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper leaf that gives it a wonderful cedary sweetness and some very flavorful Nicaraguan leaf inside. I wouldn’t say that it’s overly complex. It’s more straight-forward with a really nice creaminess that covers the palate. I’ve had this cigar with my morning coffee and I can’t think of a better breakfast – delicious and low carb, too . ~ Zman

Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Cigar Review

Size: Robusto (5 ¼” x 52)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Seamlessly rolled in a fairly veiny Broadleaf wrapper that’s dark and oily. Cigar has a solid feel in the hand. Cap is well done.
Draw (airflow): As good as it gets.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Sweet and earthy.
Toasting & Light: Peppery.
Base Flavors: Espresso, cocoa, cedar, peppery spice.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Toasted wood.
Burn / Ash Quality: Very solid.

Balance / Consistency: Very complex with wonderful balance.

my father cigars jaime garcia reserva especial cigar review tz
A smooth, spicy star in the My Father Cigars lineup that gets my vote, as well as an overall 95 customer rating.

Some time ago, Don Pepin’s son, Jaime, started making his own sticks at the My Father factory and he’s taken the cigar world by storm. More than a chip off the old block, Jaime’s a master, and this iconic blend proves it. If you love Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro, this cigar has the look of a dark and oily chocolate bar. While it’s very full, it’s not too strong and brims with notes of espresso, cocoa, wood, and a pleasant smack of spice. This is the quintessential after-dinner smoke. You may even want to pair it with the Balvenie Double Wood 12 year-old scotch and a few chunks of bitter-sweet dark chocolate. While the combination is amazing, the cigar is the real star for sure.
~ Zman

Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Cigar Review

Size: Toro (6” x 54)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Flawless construction, the wrapper is handsome and oily with very fine veins.
Draw: Perfect.
Pre-light flavor: Sweet hay, barn yard, earth, pepper, cedar.
Toasting & Light: Toasted, wood, slight sweetness, white pepper, lemon zest.
Base flavors: Toast, cocoa, cedar, earth, leather, dark coffee.
Retrohale: At the 2/3 mark: dark coffee, oak, leather, a sweet damp earthiness and cocoa. At the 3/3 mark: sweet leather and pepper with cedar, smoked wood, and earth.
Burn/Ash Quality: Light grey but solid.
Balance of flavors: Extremely well balanced and complex.

While many smokers both praise and lament the notorious Pepin pepper-bombs, in reality, this cigar was anything but. Full-bodied, smooth, and well balanced, things start off pleasantly with a cool, woody profile outlined by a subtle cocoa sweetness and a touch of pepper and buttered toast. As the smoke develops, notes of cedar, earth, and cocoa become prominent. On the first retrohale I experienced a boatload of dark coffee notes plus oak, leather, cocoa, and a sweet damp earthiness.

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I liked the Series JJ for its great balance of spice, sweetness and warm, woody flavors. A sure-fire pick to satisfy the full-bodied cigar smoker.

By the second third, the Series JJ graduated into a more complex, deeper, and more well-rounded smoke. Earth and rich chocolate dominate in tandem with a toasty/peppery undertone. The last third wraps things up with an uptick of pepper and a final, satisfying retrohale filled with sweet leather, pepper, smoked wood, and an earthy finish.

Overall, a nice balance of sweet to spice – the Series JJ is sure to please if you add it to your rotation. ~ Fred

Don Pepin Garcia Black/Cuban Classic Cigar Review

Size: 1979 (5” x 50/Robusto)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Solid. Habano wrapper leaf has significant tooth and subtle streaks of black. Well-made, with a perfect triple cap.
Draw: Somewhat airy, but very good given how well-packed this cigar is.
Pre-light flavor: Tangy, oily natural tobacco with slight essences of nuts and herbs.
Toasting & Light: Very dark earth and pepper flavors at the start.
Base flavors: Pepper for sure; dry oak or cedar, then develops serious earth, leather and coffee tones later on.
Aroma: Woody and herbal – bordering on a bit flowery.
Burn/Ash Quality: An almost-white/almost-perfect coin stack. Super-fine carbon line is a bit wavy the entire time.
Balance/Consistency: Nice movement between the flavors, and the headier ones sure do make themselves known.

my father cigars don pepin garcia cuban classic cigar review jp
The Pepin Black/Cuban Classic in action. Here we are with about an inch to go – and yes, I kept going. Too toasty-sweet to put down. The fingertips will heal.

Smoking the Cuban Classic – aka, the Pepin Black – is like a track meet…light it, and you’re off and running with a bitey, medium body smoke right out of the blocks. A surprisingly complex cigar, with a spice that gets the nose running. Add dry wood, plus heavy earth, leather and coffee tones. There’s a subtle sweet sensation that comes and goes, too – and each time it comes on, builds a little bigger.

That’s just the first half.

Spice falls back a bit at halfway, but the intensity is enough to leave a lump in your throat – that’s your taste buds getting triggered by the more savory, meaty notes that are left in its place. I’m pleasantly surprised by a sweetness that peeks its head out once in a great while. It finishes dark and strong, with a toasty, smoky quality that’s almost like toffee or caramelized sugar, on top of the big Nicaraguan flavor.

Do you know how the peatiness of a good Islay whisky comes at you like a brushback pitch? The characteristics of the Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Classic do the same. Not for knocking around – and the more I smoke it, the more I like it. ~ John

Don Pepin Garcia Blue “Original” Cigar Review

Size: Exquisitos (5 5/8” x 46)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Construction and Overall Appearance: Beautifully made. Rolling is seamless. Well packed, too, with an expertly applied triple cap.
Draw (airflow): Excellent
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Leathery and sweet
Toasting & Light: Peppery
Base Flavors: Leather, cedar, dark chocolate, espresso, peppery spice
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Woodsy.
Burn / Ash Quality: Perfect, light grey.

Balance / Consistency: Nice complexity with excellent balance.

my father cigars don pepin garcia original cigar review tz
Spicy, full-bodied Nicaraguan flavor abounds in the Don Pepin Blue. That and the thick, creamy smoke make for a rewarding cigar experience.

This one is the namesake of its creator, the incomparable Don Pepin, who has become an icon as a master blender in the world of premium hand rolled tobacco. The Don Pepin “Blue” has a real heartiness to it. Created with some kick-ass Corojo and Criollo filler leaf, and a dark and oily Nicaraguan Corojo outer layer, it’s actually a pretty spicy smoke but very smooth and creamy on the palate. I particularly love this smaller size. It’s just packed with full, rich flavor and it gets better as you keep on smoking. Try this Don Pepin cigar after dinner for dessert paired with a well-aged Tawny Port and see what a great cigar it truly is. ~ Zman

Vegas Cubanas by Don Pepin Cigar Review

Size: Delicias (7” x 50/Churchill)
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado Claro
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo

Construction and Overall Appearance: Wrapper is very handsome, fine veins. There are two irregular bumps along the side.
Draw: Perfect.
Pre-light flavor: Hay, barnyard, toast, and a slight hint of green pepper, slight herbal and floral note.
Toasting & Light: Very sweet, toasty and woody off the bat. Rich cream and white pepper tingle the tongue.
Base flavors: Dark cherries, vanilla, roasted nuts, cream, white pepper, cedar.
Retrohale: After a third, very creamy and nutty with cherry and vanilla sweetness, plus a slight pepper on the backend. Later it’s very strong, heavy on pepper, leather, and woods. Almost no sweetness, more of a smoky flavor.
Burn/Ash Quality: Light/grey ash, semi-flaky but holds well.
Balance of flavors: A pleasant smoke, though it favored the sweet side.

While this particular Vegas Cubanas missed on construction (it reminded me of a two-humped camel), the overall smoking experience from this cigar was astounding. The first puffs culminated into a rich smoke with creamy notes of toast, nuts, cedar, and white pepper; after a while, a roasted coffee flavor came into play. At one inch in, honey-like sweetness with a hint of dried fruit entered the mix.

my father cigars Vegas Cubanas cigar review fl
A throwback: My Father Cigars OG smoke, Vegas Cubanas – sweet and very approachable.

By the midection this cigar turned exotic with a meaty note enhanced by baking spices. The dried fruit melded into dark cherries while white pepper kicked up a notch. Next, notes of toast, nuts and coffee. Plus, a vanilla sweetness accompanied the cherries as the pepper shifted to the back of my throat. As this cigar closed I was left with a very sweet combination of cherries and cocoa dominating with cedar, roasted nuts, and leather in the background.

Very sweet, balanced, and flavorful. Vegas Cubanas was one of the very first My Father cigars made by Pepin in Little Havana, Miami – it’s good to see they’ve returned. ~ Fred

There’s lots to love about My Father cigars – if one of the blends we’ve described sounds like an enticing smoke, try it and let us know what you think. If you’ve already smoked some of these Pepin-made treats before, tell us about it in a comment below!