Review: My Father El Picador
For those of you that don’t know.
About two weeks ago, I heard through various sources that a new Don “Pepín” Garcia cigar had been released at Empire Cigars in Raleigh, NC (one of the best shops in the country, as far as I am concerned, and one that I buy from quite a bit). It seems that the owner of the store, Hal Rubin, had asked Pepin to roll him a limited number of cigars in the Cheroot vitola for his store alone, and Don “Pepín” Garcia agreed.
Now, as you may or may not know, Empire Cigars is also the home of the La Flor Dominicana “Icepick”, another store exclusive in (roughly) the same vitola. Here is a side by side photo of the “El Picador” on the left, and the LFD “Icepick” on the right. (I also find it interesting how different the wrappers are on each of them, the La Flor Dominicana looks like a very rustic wrapper compared to the DPG).
There were only 250 boxes of the “El Picador” rolled, and the only place you can find them is at Empire Cigars. Once they are gone, they are gone. While very little is known about the makeup of the cigar, I have confirmed that it is a new, never before used blend. The cigars come unbanded in cello and in boxes of 20, and here is what they look like.
But, enough about that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: My Father El Picador
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Cheroot
- Est. Price (MSRP): $5.15
- Release Date: June 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 20 Cigars (5,000 total cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The cigar itself is a perfectly rolled specimen, with a fairly rough to the touch medium brown wrapper that just a bit of oil present, and smells strongly of cinnamon, cedar, chocolate and pepper. There is a slight box press to the cigar.
The First Third had quite a bit of spice right off the bat, in fact, the spice was almost overwhelming any other flavors, at least for the first 15 puffs or so. However, after that, the spice died down quickly (but was still present) and I started tasting a great leathery wood flavor.
The Second Third had a very sudden shift in flavors, the spice died way down (to almost nothing), and quite a bit of creaminess started creeping in, creamy and sweet, with nuts and vanilla notes that really took me by surprise.
Also, at this point, I really need to mention the burn line for this cigar, amazing does not begin to describe it, and I took a photo to show what I was talking about. The line never wavered, not once during the whole smoke.
The Last Third shifted flavors again, with more spice coming to the forefront, and less sweet notes, more like the first third, but with the creaminess from the second third combined into a wonderful ending. It did get hot at the end, but that is most likely because I was trying to smoke it past when I should have stopped.
- The Burn and the Draw were absolute perfection for the entire cigar, which is to be expected from a DPG smoke.
- Interestingly, while the “El Picador” name of the cigar is close to the term “Picadura” (which is a Spanish term meaning “short filler“, or scraps of tobacco) this cigar is NOT a short filler cigar, but is made with long leaf.
- A “Picador” is actually one of the pair of horsemen in a Spanish bullfight that jab the bull with a lance. They perform in the tercio de varas which is the first of the three stages in a Spanish bullfight. And looking at the shape, the vitola does bear a small resemblance to a lance.
- The Cigar did get very hot at the end, but in it’s defense, I was smoking it down way close to the nub, trying to get as much out of it as I could.
- The Final Smoking Time was 1 Hour and 5 Minutes.
The Bottom Line: As faithful readers of this site are aware, I am a huge fan of both smaller RG cigars and Pepin’s blends, and this stick does not disappoint on either. To say I was impressed with this cigar is an understatement. The flavors changed constantly, and the construction, burn and draw were all top notch. I bought a box sight unseen (and untasted), and it is nice to know my faith is well founded. It seems that Pepin took the best of both of his main blends, the spiciness and woodiness of the DPG line and the creamy sweetness of the My Father line and combined and condensed them into this one cigar. I was amazed at the flavor that was present, especially for such a small stick (and for the small price). I still like the Tatuaje Petit Cazadore Reserva better, but I am very glad I have a box of these to age for a while.
Final Score: 90