Review: My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Maduro
Like last year’s Tatuaje 109, Rick Gadway had two cigars made for Federal Cigar’s 91st anniversary, one in Ecuadorian Connecticut and one in a Connecticut Broadleaf. The former, like the Tatuaje 109 Reserva, was only offered to local customers; the latter, like the 109 Rosado, is being sold to the general public.
We broke the news on the special Cervantes release from My Father Cigars S.A. a few weeks ago. The details went like this.
Rick Gadway’s Federal Cigar is celebrating its 91st anniversary, and like last year’s 90th anniversary, there are some cigars being made solely to commemorate the occasion. Following last year’s release of the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 109, Arturo Fuente Federal Queen B and E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4 comes the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes.
The release best mimics last year’s release of the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 109, which debuted at roughly the same time. Gadway, who is known to be a huge fan of the Cuban tradition, asked Jaime García’s My Father Cigars to create a Lonsdale version of the My Father Le Bijou 1922 bend with a special wrapper. The end result produced two-hundred boxes of classic Cervantes-sized cigars wrapper in a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and fifty in the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper that was featured on the special version of the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Limited Edition 2011. In Le Bijou fashion, both are packaged 23 to a box, although all feature cedar sleeves.
Both versions of the cigar will sell for $8 a single ($184.00 per box), but the Connecticut shade version will only be available for purchase in-store, much like the Tatuaje Federal Cigar 109 Reserva. Gadway did this with the E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2010 No.4 Cabinets as well as a reward to his local B&M customers.
This marks the first time that either the My Father of My Father Le Bijou 1922 have been offered in a Connecticut Shade or Connecticut Broadleaf. This is also the thinnest Le Bijou being offered to date, edging out the limited edition My Father Le Bijou 1922 Corona Gorda of which Federal Cigar still has a limited number of boxes available.
And here’s what the two releases look like, Ecuadorian Connecticut on top and Maduro on bottom:
And the particulars.
- Cigar Reviewed: My Father Le Bijou 1922 Federal Cigar 91st Cervantes Maduro
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 42
- Vitola: Lonsdale
- MSRP: $8.00 (Boxes of 23, $184.00)
- Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 23 Cigars (1,150 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
- Date Released: February 1, 2012
With the flood of Broadleaf wrappers coming out of Jaime García’s factory, sometimes you forget how stunning they can really be. This is a great example of how luscious Broadleaf can be. It’s toothy, dark, oily and just plain good. The cigar photographed has a noticeable patching job, nothing concerning, although a bit out of the ordinary for My Father Cigars S.A., and a bit obvious. Aroma-wise, the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Cervantes has a great sweet leather, muted cocoa, bit of earth and some cedar. The foot is much like the Ecuadorian Connecticut rendition: cherries, leather, sweet brownie and earth. Oddly, the cold draw of the Cervantes is rather reminiscent of the foot: the brownie cocoa is up front, little bit of pepper, cherry and earth. It tastes like some of the older Pepín classics that came from Tabacalera Cubana S.A. The major changes from the foot draw are a bit of red wine and a touch of sour. Lighting takes a bit, but eventually the dark aroma fills the air.
The first third of the Le Bijou 1922 Cervantes starts with a profound cocoa note that is quickly taken over by an earthy Broadleaf flavor. Deep nuts bitter through the finish with an added chewiness and a rising black pepper that starts at the middle of the tongue and earth. It settles to be very chewy Maduro profile with earth, aged tobacco, cedar and a dominant black pepper on the tongue and throat. Unlike the Connecticut version, the Maduro version really starts from the beginning, as opposed to taking a few minutes to get going flavor, strength and smoke production wise.
For the second third, the Le Bijou 1922 Cervantes gets much earthier. The pepper is still in the back, but the flavor profile itself becomes much smoother and molds together. On the finish, the Maduro version of the Federal 91st adds nuts and floral notes with a bit of dark cocoa coming to the retrohale. Strength is still full, which isn’t much different from the first third.
The final third of the Federal 91st features dark cocoa, a Maduro sweetness and earth. As for the black pepper, it’s relatively gone. Strength of the Cervantes is still full. With and an inch and a half left, the cigar begins to show its youth and the flavor profile begins its collapse. It never gets harsh or uniquely young, but the whirlwind of flavors is definitely not a signature feature of the first five inches.
- As a Lancero smoker, this is an absolute great size. It feels awesome in your hand, bit more thickness, bit shorter.
- The cedar sleeves are a bit interesting. They are a tad looser than most, which is actually great because there’s no way to damage the wrapper when taking them off. More interesting, the actual band on the cigar, the My Father Cigars stamp and the foot band don’t really line up.
- To my knowledge, this is the first Maduro to be featured with the My Father band.
- This version of the Cervantes smokes more like a Churchill than a Lancero.
- I love the foot band on the cedar. It looks great and it avoids damaging the cigar.
- Unlike the Connecticut, the cedar seems to have already taken a bit of effect.
- Strength is full until the very end, but even then, you are going to get an ample supply of nicotine.
- Federal Cigar will hold their annual anniversary dinner on March 16, 2012. The dinner is being held at Orchard Street Chop Shop and the party at the Plaistow store on the 17th. Cost is $155, which includes dinner and 15 premium cigars. Guests include: José “Don Pepín” García, Jaime García and Janny García of My Father Cigars S.A., Pete Johnson of Tatuaje/Havana Cellars, and site sponsors Jonathan Drew, Marvin Samel and Steve Saka of Drew Estate and Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. & Ernesto Perez-Carrillo III of E.P. Carrillo. There’s a chance one of the halfwheel authors might be there as well. You can call Federal Cigar to reserve your tickets at 1.877.424.4270.
- If you would like to purchase a box, you can do so here or by calling Federal Cigar (1.877.424.4270) and tell them we sent you. Word out of New Hampshire that after one day, 50 boxes were already accounted for.
- Final Smoking Time was 1 Hour 40 minutes for both cigars.
The Bottom Line: At this point, I like the Connecticut version better, but only slightly. The Federal 91st Maduro is a good cigar, but it needs time. I think a month will help to get more of the flavor out, as right now after about two inches it seems the flavor really begins to morph together. If your complaint has been that with limited exception (Tatuaje T110, Viaje Zombie, etc.) single store releases haven’t been strong enough, go ahead and pick up a box. In addition to the Maduro flavors, this is easily the strongest My Father banded cigar I’ve smoked and I’d make the case that this is stronger than the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial. The Federal 91st Cervantes really does remind me of an amped up version of some of the older Pepín blends, the major difference being the complexity is really restrained right now, while the strength is multiple times higher. The real bottom line is I bought a box.
Final Score: 87