Don Pepin Garcia Original Cigar Review

When I first got into the cigar business in the early part of 2000, I was approached by a cigar rep who was pitching the greatest cigar to hit the market in years. It was here that Glenn Gutin showed me cigars made by a roller from Cuban who was now in the United States trying to make his way into the market after the cigar book. That person was Don Pepin Garcia, and the cigars were awesome. Our first shipment didn’t last more than a couple of days, and our second shipment came in, only to see every cigar unravel on the shelf in the matter of days.

Thankfully by the time Pepin launched My Father Cigars those early issues were no longer a part of the status quo. But I can honestly say I was one of the first people to smoke cigars from the man who would become a living legend; before anyone knew him. In fact I might be wrong, but I believe this blue label was part of his original repertoire however the cigar was once known by a name of one of the sizes from the current line.

Cigar Review: Don Pepin Original (Blue Label)
Size: 6 x 50 (Generosos / Toro)
Wrapper: Corojo Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium-Full

The Look: The Don Pepin Blue Label is oily and easily visible to the eye as well as the tooth of the cigar. There are a few thin and medium-sized veins present on the wrapper. A dual band adorns the cigar with Don Pepin Garcia in gold on a blue background with the Cuban and American flag toward the rear. A secondary band denotes original, and a blue ribbon covers the foot. In the hand the cigar is firm, the foot spongy and well packed.

The Notes: One the cigar is clipped, the new serves up a cold draw of prunes, and molasses and the aroma off the foot has a subtle spice, wood notes and a faint mocha. For those keeping score at home I have opted for a straight cut and will be lighting the cigar with a triple torch vertigo lighter.

With the cigar properly toasted the initial notes treat you to that signature Pepin spice especially on the retrohale. As the spice tones down a few notches some citrus appears especially on the finish. However, the dominant note is cedar with a subtle dark chocolate. This finish at this point is short and a little bit sweet.

In the second third of the cigar things begin to change-up at the halfway point as the cigar becomes a little bit sweeter moving the citrus notes to the background. The primary notes of chocolate and caramel mix together perfectly and the finish becomes a bit longer with some earth components.

The last third of the Don Pepin original sees the pepper notes through the nose ramp back up while the cigar becomes predominantly earthy with some cedar. The lengthy finish is leathery.

The Burn: The Don Pepin Blue Label burns slow with a perfect draw. The cigar features a thin combustion line and a razor-sharp burn. Despite some flake to the ash it held on strong for almost the first half then dropping two more times before we put the cigar down. The cigar was easy to light and it remained lit from first light to last puff.

The Finish: While some say we live in the golden age of cigars there are a lot of brands that seem to come and go over time. For a brand to be going for more than 11 years is a testament not only to the blend but the company behind it. The Don Pepin Garcia was original when it came out, and while many have tried to duplicate the profile none have been able to do it with the mastery of Don Pepin Garcia.

Score: 92
Price: $8.79 / $193.99


Cigar Notes

  • The rep if I recall was Glenn Gutin, but the name of the cigar escapes me.
  • In addition to the blue label, they was old a green label that if I recall had a floral design.
  • With crops and weather changing every year, it amazes me how consistent the Blue Label has remained over the years. The wrapper might not be as dark as some years, but the flavor profiles fluctuated.
  • I paid the cigar with water
  • Smoking time was approximately 2 hours.
Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label

Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label

Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label Foot

Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label Foot

Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label Burn

Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label Burn

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