Cigar Review: Don Pepin My Father
Size: 5.2×52, Robusto
Wrapper: Habano-Rosado, Ecuadorian
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan (Esteli)
Price: Box of 23, $207
Coming from the El Rey de los Habanos factory, founded in 2002 in Miami’s Little Havana, the My Father is limited to a production 50,000 sticks per year and is a joint effort between Don Pepin and his son Jaime. Together they have been releasing some excellent cigars, including the Cuban Classic, Serie JJ, Tatuaje, and 5 Vegas Miami.
Here is some information on the factory and Pepin from their website:
Pepín comes from a family of tobacco makers and entered the business in December 1961, when he was only 11 years of age, working at a cigar factory belonging to one of his uncles in the town of Báez, Province of Villa Clara, Cuba. In March 1963, having gained a certain amount of experience, he began working at the Félix Rodríguez export cigar factory, also in the town of Báez. He worked there continuously until he was finally able to get out of Cuba in 2001, bound for Nicaragua. During his long career in Cuba, he received countless distinctions and awards for his work, including the “Productivity Prize” for rolling 320 Julietas (7 x 48) in four hours. His dexterity and agility were also repeatedly compared by the Cuban press with those of a magician.
Today, he owns his factory in Miami’s Little Havana. It is considered by many in the cigar industry as one of the few factories that consistently produce the highest rated cigars. The team of cigar rollers is comprised primarily of persons who received formal training from Pepín in Cuba, and who have become cigar-making experts through training in the most modern and creative cigar manufacturing methods.
Don Pepin is one of my favorite blenders, so when I spotted this smoke in my local shop I had to pick it up. I earned this stick by helping my review partner, MM, move a basement full of furniture across the state—not sure this was enough…
Now, with all that behind us, let’s toast that foot…
The wrapper on this smoke is a departure from the typical Don Pepin smoke. It is very smooth and has a nice dark sheen to it with some oil on the surface. The triple cap is classic and well constructed, as is the rest of the smoke. It has a good weight to it with no soft spots to be found. The label is very artistic and seems to carry well with the name of this smoke, almost like a coat of arms. The aroma is that of clean tobacco with hints of spice and some fruit at the foot. The cold draw follows that pattern, but shows promise of the spice to come.
Toasted and burning, the cigar moves well with a nice draw and plenty of aromatic smoke. The ash is of good color and holds well past two inches before falling off into the blue ashtray. The stick had a little trough at the beginning of the last third and almost seemed to extinguish itself, but it corrected and made it to the nub.
The first draw did not produce as much spice as I anticipated, just a nice clean and creamy tobacco coating the palate. The first third continued this profile but the spice started to show up on the exhale. The second third seemed to be woodier in flavor and also contained notes of cocoa with the signature Don Pepin spice. The finish was longer and more pleasing in this part of the smoke. The final third was consistent with the second third, but the spice seemed to taper off a bit. All in all, the flavor profile was good—not excellent, but pleasing.
Don Pepin and Jaime are an excellent team for sure. I am not sure I would call this one of their best, but it is a good smoke. Factoring in the cost of a little over $10 a stick, the overall score is brought down a little. The complexity was not present like I was expecting, but it was a consistent and enjoyable smoke. If you get a chance to pick one up at a reasonable price go for it, but if you are looking for a classic Don Pepin blend, go with one of his other smokes—perhaps the Blue, reviewed here.