Cigar Buying Guides

2018 CA Report: The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to My Father Cigars

Reading Time: 19 minutes

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

By the Cigar Advisor Editors

Updated May 2020

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.

my father cigars guide mf cigar reviews Famous Instagram

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.

My Father La Gran Oferta Cigar Review

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

my father cigars guide mf la gran oferta cigar review at Famous Smoke Shop

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.

my father cigars mf la gran oferta cigar review by Gary KOrb

The cold draw offers warm, toasty-nutty flavors with a hint of sweetness. Upon lighting you’re hit by a distinct note of earth and pepper wrapped with a bow of cocoa. Joining the party are caramelized flavors of cedar and sweet tobacco, while 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 the experienced cigar smoker will 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)

my father cigars the judge cigars review

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.

my father cigars mf the judge cigar review jp
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 3rd and The Judge sets the 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

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

#nowsmoking My Father La Promesa cigar review at Famous Smoke Shop

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.

my father cigars guide mf la promesa cigar review famous instagram

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

my father cigars la opulencia cigars review

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.

my father cigars la opulencia cigar review fl
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.

By the 2/3 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

my father cigars my father le bijou 1922 cigars review

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 by My Father Cigars Review

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

flor de las antillas by my father cigars maduro cigar review

Draw: Excellent
Pre-Light: Earthy
First Few Puffs: Sweet & Earth
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. 

The natural of this line was Cigar of the Year a few years back, and I would say that this darker-wrapped version is right up there in overall quality. 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 that lets you know you are indeed smoking a well-aged premium stick. This was terrific with a couple of mugs of dark roast Colombian coffee. ~ Tommy 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

el centurion by my father cigars review

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, while revealing a firm white ash. Notes of rich spice, raisins and other delights also work their way in along the journey for an impressively complex “aficionado’s cigar” that puts out the welcome mat for novice smokers, too. ~ 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

la antiguidad my father cigars review

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.

Settle in for a long ride on this smoke. While this was a pretty standard Toro, La Antiguedad took me for a 2.5 hour tour. Things started off mild, the draw was tight and the flavors seemed muted. I gave the cigar a small bite, and blam! Opened right up and poured on creamy notes of chocolate, cashews, and aged woods through a chewy smoke – and with a noticeable step up in intensity. One inch in and it’s wide open: loads of sweet and savory flavors including 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 are hanging out in the background. After a retrohale I found a very smooth n’ hearty meat-like quality in the profile with an underlying sweetness contrasted by a slice of white pepper, all surrounded by notes of cocoa, cedar, and damp earth. The retrohale opened my palate up to a bourbon-like sweetness that was very enjoyable. By 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.

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. ~ Fred


My Father Cigar Review

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

my father cigars review

This affordably-priced Robusto performs like a virtuoso on all counts. Perfectly constructed and draped in a flawless Ecuadorian hybrid wrapper that nearly begs you to reach for it, the My Father No.1 offers a solid feel in the hand, an 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

my father cigars my father connecticut cigar review

Draw: Perfect.
Pre-Light: Slight sweetness.
First Few Puffs: Woody.
Aroma: Toasty.
Burn/Ash Quality: Solid, light gray.
Balance of Flavors: Nice straightforward flavors.

The Pepin-made smokes that come out of the My Father Cigars factory are usually dark and rich with full-bodied flavors, but the Connecticut is a break from the norm and just 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, but more straight-forward with a really nice creaminess that covers the palate. I had this with morning coffee and I can’t think of a better breakfast – low carb and oh-so good. ~ Tommy Zman


La Dueña Cigar Review

Size: Robusto No. 5 (5” x 50)
Strength:  Medium (listed Full)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua/CT Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua/CT Broadleaf

my father cigars la duena cigars review

Construction and Overall Appearance: Broadleaf shows veins and very slight tooth with a bit of sheen; firmly packed, perfectly applied cap to the walnut-hued Maduro wrapper.
Draw: Spot-on draw with minimal resistance – just how I like it.
Pre-light flavor: Mint, aged wood, earth and a dusty sweetness.
Toasting & Light: Smoky, a little sour.
Base flavors: Charred wood, earth, dark coffee, cinnamon.
Aroma: Woody, plus a hint of baking spices.
Burn/Ash Quality: Char line, for the most part, stays nice and thin; a straight burn line throughout. Nearly white ash.
Balance/Consistency: Hangs on just a couple of core flavors, with one or 2 noticeable shifts.

Word has it that La Dueña is Janny Garcia’s personal blend, made for her by her brother Jaime and Tatuaje’s Pete Johnson; she likes ‘em a little on the hearty side, if that story is to be believed.

La Dueña starts tough: some might call it pepper, others will call it harshness. Whatever the case, it’s gone by the half inch mark. Nice thick smoke production here – it’s not overly creamy, but still voluminous; even while resting in the ashtray it’s chugging away like the Little Engine That Could. Taste is actually a little tangy.

Halfway through, I have yet to find any more of the traditional bite of spice or pepper inherent in Pepin’s Nicaraguan tobaccos…instead, this one takes a turn for the sweet: a cocoa-ish sensation that lasts until there’s about 2” left, and then the party is pretty much over.

My Father Cigars la duena cigar review jp
At just one inch in, the natural sweetness of Connecticut Broadleaf is already on display.

Not the spiciest Nicaraguan in the My Father Cigars catalog; but it’s interesting that Connecticut Broadleaf is used throughout the smoke – wrapper, binder AND filler. Which means if you like Broadleaf, La Dueña will be right up your alley. ~ John


Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Cigar Review

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

my father cigars jaime garcia reserva especial cigars review

Draw: As good as it gets.
Pre-Light: Sweet and earthy.
First Few Puffs: Peppery.
Aroma: Toasted wood.
Burn/Ash Quality: Very Solid.
Balance of Flavors: 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.

A few years back, the great Don Pepin’s son, Jaime started making his own sticks at the My Father factory and the guy has taken the cigar world by storm. His kid is more than a chip off the old block, he’s already a master, and this iconic smoke proves it. Everybody knows I love Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapped cigars and this one has the look of a dark and oily chocolate bar. While it’s very full, it’s not too strong, just brimming with notes of espresso, cocoa, wood and an incredibly pleasant smack of spice. This is the quintessential after-dinner smoke, as I paired it with a belt (or three) of Balvenie Double Wood 12 year-old scotch along with a few chunks of bitter-sweet dark chocolate. While the combination was amazing, the cigar is the real star for sure. ~ Tommy Zman


Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Cigar Review

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

my father cigars don pepin garcia series jj cigars review

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 I’d heard many smokers both praising and lamenting the notorious Pepin pepper-bombs, I admit I preemptively psyched myself out. In reality, this smoke was anything but: full-bodied, smooth, and well balanced. Things started off pleasantly with a cool, woody profile outlined by a subtle cocoa sweetness and a touch of pepper and buttered toast. As the smoke developed, notes of cedar, earth, and cocoa became prominent. On the first retrohale I pulled a boatload of dark coffee notes with oak, leather, cocoa, and a sweet damp earthiness.

my father cigars don pepin garcia Series JJ cigar review fl
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 graduates into a more complex, deeper and more well-rounded smoke. Earth and rich chocolate dominate as a semi-sweet duo with a toasty/peppery undertone. The last third finished wrapping things up with an uptick of peppery tang and a final satisfying retrohale filled with sweet leather, pepper, smoked wood, on top of 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

my father cigars don pepin garcia cuban classic pepin black cigars

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. Finishes dark and strong, with a toasty, smoky quality that’s almost like toffee or caramelized sugar, on top of the big Nicaraguan flavor.

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

my father cigars guide don pepin garcia original pepin blue cigars

Draw: Excellent construction.
Pre-Light: Sweet.
First Few Puffs: Peppery.
Aroma: Woody.
Burn/Ash Quality: Perfect, light gray.
Balance of Flavors: 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 as it is just packed with full, rich flavor and it just gets better as you keep on smoking. Had this Don Pepin cigar for my after dinner dessert paired with a 30-year-old tawny port (yeah, ain’t I the fancy one). But seriously, such a damned good smoke. ~ Tommy 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

my father cigars vegas cubanas by don pepin garcia cigars review

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-flakey 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 peaked in to say hello.

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

By the 2/3 mark this cigar turned exotic with a meaty note enhanced by a baking spice sensation. The dried fruit turned into dark cherries while white pepper kicked up a notch followed by notes of toast, nuts and coffee. About midway through a vanilla sweetness accompanied the cherries while the pepper shifted to the back of the throat. As this cigar closes I’m 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 – it’s good to see they have returned.


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!

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Keith Brown
1 year ago

I don’t think there’s a cigar that the Garcia family makes that I don’t at least like, and most of them, I love, love, love. I’ll never forget the first one I smoked, almost 2 decades ago probably, a My Father No. 3. My whole world changed. I’ve had most of the cigars in this article and there’s not a disappointment in the bunch. All I can say is keep up the good work Don Pepín, Jaime and Janny. You are legends and deserve to be so.

Cigar Advisor Staff

Cigar Advisor Staff


The Cigar Advisor Staff is comprised of three good-humored, yet dangerously unpredictable writers who share over 60 years of premium cigar smoking experience. Traversing the tobacco landscape like smoke-shrouded Avengers, they wander (mostly because the fat one ate the map) in search of new leaf adventures armed with nothing but torch lighters and runcible spoons as their weapons. Each is equally knowledgeable on the matters and pursuits of the cigar lifestyle, with his own unique and capricious insights on various luxury, sports, automobiles and entertainment affairs - all served with good counsel for your reading pleasure.

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