I was wondering if you have revisited this cigar since 2011 and, more to the point for me, if you have smoke any of the other sizes. Aloha.
Review: My Father Le Bijou 1922 Corona Gorda
For those of you that don’t know…
In 2007, Al, owner of Puff ‘N’ Stuff in Decatur, GA commissioned the García Family to produce a limited number (100 boxes) of a specific cigar (in this case, a 7 x 42 Lancero) for his store. The 100 boxes of 20 cigars each were hand numbered and, much like the WCD 120, these were such a limited release and sold out so quickly when they WERE released, very few people even know they exist. The Lanceros were released again in 2008, this time with 150 boxes sold, but about 50 boxes from that release were sent back to Pepín García and replaced, after he decided he was not happy with the draw coming from them. At the end of April of 2011, Al announced that he had been in talks with Jamie to produce another special edition, this time in the Le Bijou line. Al decided that he wanted the vitola to be a classically sized Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46), which also just happened to not exist in the Le Bijou lineup. Al worked very closely with Jaime and the García family (quite a bit more closely then with the Lancero), tweaking the blend several times until he was perfectly happy with the result. Says Al:
“I wanted to add everything that I felt was left out of Their Company 2010 Special Edition. More body and less expensive…The cigar is brilliant…we toned it down a bit (from early samples)…it was a bit too full. So we added a hair more spice and a bit less tar. The final blend is one of the best cigars I’ve ever had. The blend is very similar to the original Tatuaje Brown in strength now. This cigar came about from literally hundreds of conversations with serious cigar smokers. The feedback I kept getting was fuller with more spice. So Jamie and I got together and first we tried a JG in Corona and the blend just wasn’t what I felt you guys were asking for. So we went through a couple of different tweeks on the original MFLB until we found a perfect mix of more intense flavors.”
There were only 300 boxes of 23 cigars (6,900 total cigars) produced (50 more boxes than the former Puff ‘N’ Stuff release, which only had 250 boxes, albeit over two years) and each is individually numbered and signed by Jamie García. The price of the cigars are $8.26 each, with a box of 23 costing $190. Here is what the boxes look like:
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: My Father Le Bijou 1922 Corona Gorda
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Habano Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 5/8 inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Corona Gorda
- Est. Price: $8.26
- Release Date: May 2011
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 23 Cigars (6,900 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The cigar is a wonderful vitola and looks perfectly constructed with a very dark espresso brown wrapper that has a bit of oil, and smells strongly of dark chocolate, espresso, leather and pepper. It is rock hard when squeezed, with almost no give at all. The cigar is small enough that the two bands take up about 1/3rd of the total length. The predraw notes include a strong fruity flavor (berry), along with cedar and pepper…
The First Third fairly BLASTS you with a strong black pepper, to the point that it really makes you stand up and take notice. For the first 25 puffs or so, the pepper obliterates any other flavor with it’s strength, however, after those 25 puffs, the pepper starts to recede enough to taste other flavors, like wood, slightly biter espresso, and leather. The pepper continues to weaken as the cigar is smoked, albeit slowly…
The Second Third has the black pepper still in the profile, but nowhere near as strong and it continues to fade. Flavors switch to more creamy coffee while retaining the leather and wood from the first third. There is also a hint of sweetness that I could not identify that creeps in and out . By the end of the second third, the pepper is relegated to a background note. At the very end of the third, the strength picks up quite a bit as well, although at this point, it is still firmly in the medium range.
The Final Third switches profiles again, with a strong, distinct fruitish flavor (I wrote down cherry, but it could have been raspberry as well, whatever it was, it was sweet) Still creamy as well, however, the strength of the cigar increased towards the end of the cigar in a major way, until it is firmly in the “full +” category. Be warned, this cigar packs quite a punch at the end of the smoke.
- Al has told me that he is going to keep some boxes for himself and his store (he regrets not keeping more of the Lanceros, which I understand), so there are less than the 300 boxes available for purchase.
- The Burn on all samples was ok (each had to be touched up a few times, but nothing too bad), but the Draw on all samples was perfect…
- Despite the STRONG black pepper that was in the profile, there was actually very little spice present for most of the cigar , although more was noticeable in the retrohale.
- The strength of the cigar increases dramatically in the final third. The first two thirds never get above medium, but the last third bumps it way up, easily into a “full +” category.
- Other than the fact that it is signed and numbered and the fact that it says, “Corona Gorda” on the box, a size that is not a normal production vitola, there is no other indication on the box or cigar that it is a Limited Edition.
- I absolutely LOVED the combination of the sweetness and strength in the final third, and can’t wait to see how the cigars age.
- If you want to buy any of these cigars (they are selling 5 packs as well as boxes), the ONLY place you can get them is Puff ‘N’ Stuff in Decatur, GA. Just call 770-908-9388 and ask for Al or go to puffnstuffcigars.com (and tell them we sent you.
- The Final Smoking Time ranged from 1 Hour and 15 Minutes to 1 Hour and 30 Minutes.
The Bottom Line: I have made no secret of the fact that I loved the first Puff ‘N’ Stuff release, not only because it is a great cigar, but because it was such a departure from the normal profile of the line, in that case, the Don Pepin Garcia Blue line. Well, I am happy to report that Al (and the Garcías, of course) have done it again with the Puff ‘N’ Stuff Le Bijou Corona Gorda. They have taken pretty much every negative I had with the Le Bijou line (boring, boring and more boring) and made a hell of a cigar out of it. This cigar is strong, consistently complex and the perfect vitola, for me at least, since I love CGs. Throw in the fact that it should age VERY well (that strong black pepper note will calm down over time, and blend with the other flavors) I have a feeling people will be kicking themselves for missing this release after a few years.
Final Score: 92