In August of 2010 at the IPCPR show in Las Vegas, My Father Cigars showed off some very interesting cigars said to be rolled in part by José “Don Pepín” García himself. Most interesting was the My Father Baseball Bat, rolled to look like a baseball bat.
Here’s a picture of the Baseball Bats on display at IPCPR 2010:
It was by no means the first time the cigar shapes had been seen as Pepín, who is a legendary roller, has been rolling them for years at events, including the 2004 RTDA show, which is now known as IPCPR.
In late 2010, retailers started receiving very limited quantities of the Baseball Bat that were shown at IPCPR 2010 and a My Father Pipe. To my knowledge, this was the first time that they were offered for sale. At the time, very little was known about these cigars.
Last year while shooting Janny García’s portrait, we asked her about these cigars. She gave us a bit of info. First, there is no actual blend and it’s unknown what tobacco was used. This means that each Baseball Bat or Pipe could contain entirely different tobacco than every other one made. In addition, these are said to be rolled by one of two people: José “Pepín” García or Jaime García’s wife, Dany, who is also a highly skilled roller.
- Cigar Reviewed: My Father Baseball Bat
- Country of Origin: n/a
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Size: 7 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 58
- Vitola: Baseball Bat
- Est. Price: $40
- Release Date: December 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
The Baseball Bat is obviously interesting to look at. In fact, looking at it, I am not really sure which end to cut. It is shockingly light when held in the hand, almost to the point that I am wondering if these are not even supposed to be smoked, only looked at. The wrapper is a very light honey brown, and the designs are extremely well done, there is a baseball made of tobacco right below the band. Despite being packed in cellophane there is no smell at all coming from the cigar itself. The Baseball Bat is so spongy when squeezed, I am afraid I can almost pinch my fingers together. At the top of the bat, there is a traditional cap and at the bottom of the cigar is the butt of the bat made out of tobacco. After a bit of a debate with Charlie, I decide to smoke from the smallest end and cut the cap off to allow for a draw. After the cold draw, which tastes like literally nothing, I don’t really have high expectations.
The My Father Baseball Bat starts the first third extremely bitter and only gets worse. It is a pretty nasty taste, like what I imagine eating random droppings at a farm tastes like. I am barely able to continue smoking and contemplate getting drunk to help deal with the taste. The draw is too loose and about halfway through the first third, the wrapper starts to unravel in a pretty significant way, leading me to consider putting it out. However, I decide to soldier through for your enjoyment, and the pictures.
As the second third gets going, I continue to contemplate with throwing the cigar away. The wrapper continues to unravel, bad enough where I decide that tearing a piece of the wrapper off was the easiest remedy for fixing. Ultimately, wrapper surgery goes well and the cigar burns a lot better. Unfortunately, fixing the profile was not as easy: bitter, rancid and not much else.
Sadly, albeit predictably, the Bat continues on its trend of awfulness. The bitterness overwhelms any actual flavors there may be, to the point that I am almost starting to get physically ill. There is nothing else to taste and I have to slow down or risk losing my dinner, not because of nicotine, but because of how bad this tastes. The one bright spot is the burn, which really gets quite a bit better, burning perfectly as the RG thins down.
- In case you were wondering, yes, it is April Fools’ Day, and no, this review is NOT a joke, that’s actually what happened. Although we knew we were taking a chance smoking these, we also know that most people who pay as much as they cost think three things when looking at them:
- Wow, I wonder how they actually rolled those?
- I wonder if you could actually smoke it?
- I wonder what it tastes like?
- As far as I know, there were no actual reviews of these cigars on any of the blogs before ours and we think that someone needed to find out the answers to the above questions.
- At the bottom of Charlie’s review of the Pipe, there’s a mini-editorial on whether these should be scored given they by all accounts were not blended, meaning that it’s unlikely there’s similar tobacco in each cigar.
- Although these are not specifically blended, I don’t understand why they would roll these cigars so they could be smoked, i.e. they draw fine and burn okay sans the wrapper issue, but they do if they are not supposed to be smoked, i.e. they taste awful. I wish they would have just filled them so full of tobacco no one would even think of smoking one as that would have meant that I would not have done this review.
- When Charlie did his State of the Brand last year, he mentioned that John Gonzales of My Father Cigars Inc. indicated that these would be available year round, I’ve yet to see any reports of the My Father versions being sold outside of the original shipment in late 2010.
- This thread from an event in Dallas indicates that My Father bands were used on both the Baseball Bats and Pipes as early as 2008.
- Cigars like this actually show how talented people like Pepín are. If you ever thought that you could just take a bunch of tobacco and roll it up and get something that is at least mediocre, let alone average, let this be the example that you are wrong. Blending is an art, cigars like this prove that you need talent.
- If you asked, I would say these were rolled at My Father Cigars S.A. Like most things involving this cigar, little is known.
- There is still a bit of a debate as to which end you are supposed to smoke out of it. Both Charlie and I agree that given the direction of the band, it seems it was intended to be smoked out of the thinner end. Ironically, a year ago during the first halfwheel video review on April Fools Day, Charlie smoked a mystery cigar from the thicker end to the thinner end, it apparently didn’t work out well.
- Pepín is a noted baseball fan. According to this article, he used to play baseball against the legendary pitcher Luis Tiant, who Pepín claims couldn’t strike him out. Tiant is a noted cigar smoker and last year Pepín took over production of Tiant’s line, El Tiante, which was Tiant’s nickname.
- Interestingly, there are quite a few patents filed in regards to cigars that look like baseball bats, some of which date back to 1900. You can see them all here.
- This cigar review is one of the few times that I wished we took the actual overall look of the cigar into the equation when we come up with a final score.
- Pricing has ranged anywhere from around $30-$100 per cigar for both the Pipe and Bat. Interestingly, these used to be sold at the El Rey de los Habanos factory in Miami, Fl, however they were banded as the Don Pepin Garcia brand and priced around $20.
- Both the Baseball Bat and the Pipe have been rolled by a few companies over the years and even in Cuba. In fact, one of Fuente’s most interesting cigars that you could actually conceivably own was the OpusX Sammy Sosa Baseball Bat, which was rolled and auctioned off for charity to honor the baseball player Sammy Sosa. In fact, Cigars International also sold a version made by Pedro Martin at one point. There was also a Tabacalera Tropical version, which was likely rolled by Pepín, who once worked for the company and CAO made one as part of its limited edition humidor for The Sopranos.
- Conversation during the smoke:
- Charlie: “What the hell is that horrible smell?”
- Me: “My cigar”.
- Pepín has been rolling these at events for a few years, including prior to when they were released. You can see pictures of at least two different baseball bats from members at the BOTL.org forum here and here.
- Just to reiterate: although it is April Fools’ Day, this review was not a joke. This was an absolutely terrible smoking experience that begs the question how it could have been worse.
- I knew this would burn fast, it was obviously underfilled, but even I was shocked at the final smoking time of just under 45 minutes for a cigar that was seven and one half inches long.
- We don’t know of any retailers who are actually selling these any more (I bought mine over a year ago), but if anyone does know of any, please leave the info in the comments.
Both the Baseball Bat and the Pipe are extremely cool to look at and actually draw fairly well, and my hat goes off to the rollers. Each one is just an amazing work of art that obviously took quite a bit of time, talent and effort to complete. Having said that, the My Father Baseball Bat is obviously a cigar that was not intended to be smoked: there were no flavors, no notes, no profile, just a rancid bitter flavor that never goes away and in fact, only gets worse (and stronger) until the blessed end of the cigar. Slowing down puffing did not help, speeding up puffing did not help, the only thing that would stop the pain is to actually stop smoking and wash my mouth out. If you have one of these, please, for the love of all that is holy, do not smoke it. Just enjoy it for what it is, a piece of cool looking art that just happens to be made of tobacco. You have been warned.