Cigar Makers

Who is Don Pepin?

The man, the legend, the cigar maker, the cigar. Don’t be confused, as Pepin is no relation to the Garcia y Vega brand (Garcia is a popular cigar name); Don Pepin is a brand name of quality premium sticks, and he is the front man for the company El Rey de los Habanos, Inc. Like most cigar makers in the industry, he was born into a family business of cigar rollers and tobacco growers. He was born in Cuba which is a thriving nation and culture that produces the finest tobacco for smoking. He relocated to Miami which is another hub for rolling and producing some of the most well known cigars in the business.

Don Jose “Pepin” Garcia has been involved with the smoking culture and brotherhood for more than forty years. His knowledge and involvement made him more than qualified for the position of CEO of El Rey de los Habanos, Inc. He is not only a legend and considered one of the best cigar artists in Cuba, but he has also received the same notoriety in Miami. He runs a family business, and just as he learned of the culture from his father he also passes on the knowledge to his own son and daughter.

Don Pepin started making and rolling sticks when he was eleven years old and worked in a cigar factory in Cuba. After he perfected the art of cigar rolling, he moved to Nicaragua – then made his way to Miami in an area called Little Havana, where he now owns a factory. The company was established a year after he left Cuba.

His cigars range from medium to full bodied. There are currently five cigar brands that have the Pepin name which are: Vegas Cubanas, Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label, El Rey de los Habanos, and the Don Pepin Serie JJ. His son played an active part in creating the blend for some of these high demand cigars. His creativity for blending the perfect smoke and his knowledge and skill of rolling is in such high demand that he makes sticks for other clients and sells them in his store.

He had to open another factory in Nicaragua to handle the demand. The factory in Nicaragua is called Tabacalera Cubana. There are also five brands with the Pepin name. The Pepin Garcia brands that are produced in Nicaragua are called: El Centurion, Don Pepin Garcia Black Edition, Don Pepin Garcia Serie JJ Maduro, and the Don Pepin Garcia Black Edition Maduro.

He tries to make cigars like most makers do in Cuba. He found a blend of Nicaraguan tobacco that tastes just as good as the coveted Cuban tobacco. He also finishes each stick with a triple cap which is a common practice for Cuban makers. He is true to his Cuban background and brought the culture and knowledge with him to Miami.

John Pullo

John Pullo

Editor in Chief

This is not his picture, nor does he even have a beard. A solid 'B' student and occasional low-fi musician, John is a medley of cynicism and sarcasm crammed into a wrinkled Oxford shirt who makes it nearly intolerable to watch reality television with him in the same room. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones.

Show all John Pullo's Articles
5 Cigars that Made My Career: Alan Ruben of Alec Bradley Cigars - Cigar Advisor Cover

5 Cigars That Made My Career: Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley Cigars

Watch now and learn as AB founder Alan Rubin reveals the “wow” moments that shaped Alec Bradley cigar success, from his first smoke to finding out his cigar was chosen #1. Plus: Alan’s little-known blending tricks, and great “hard work” stories about your favorite Alec Bradley cigars…

Read More
Master Blenders Benji Menendez CACover

Master Blenders: Benji Menendez, Former SVP of Premium Cigars – General Cigar

In 2006, we got the rare opportunity to interview one of the most esteemed personalities in the cigar business: Benji Menendez. The audio was never published, as the tapes were believed lost - until now! Hear Benji's remarkable story from his life in Cuba to his success with General Cigar - listen now!
Read More

Boxes Full of Blues: The Best Cigar Boxes to Make Cigar Box Guitars

We Advisors love our cigars, and our Blues. Watch and listen as we sit with Shane Speal, King of the Cigar Box Guitar: he shows us his picks for the best cigar boxes to make cigar box guitars, and we tell him interesting facts about the cigars that came in those boxes before they started making that sweet, sweet music.
Read More
CA Cover La Aurora Escogidos Maduro cigar Review

Cigar Advisor Panel: La Aurora Escogidos Maduro Cigar Review – Video

La Aurora Escogidos cigars are one of the most classic blends in the Dominican stable; watch our review video for this very special, limited-edition smoke.
Read More