As part of its 20th anniversary celebration, Anthony’s Cigar Emporium in Phoenix and Tucson received a pair of exclusive cigars last month. One of those cigars came from La Flor Dominicana and the other was from My Father.
Spec-wise, the My Father is a 4 1/2 x 50 box-pressed version of the Le Bijou 1922 line, priced at $8.75 per cigar and packaged in 15-count boxes. Production is being limited to 500 boxes, Janny García of My Father at the store to celebrate the launch on Nov. 14.
(Photos courtesy of Anthony’s Cigar Emporium)
The cigar’s name is the My Father Le Bijou 1922 The Martino. Mike Teufel, who bought the store in 1999, thought that it would be appropriate to honor Anthony Martino, the original owner. This extended to all forms of packaging including a foot band and an insert in the box.
- Cigar Reviewed: My Father Le Bijou 1922 The Martino
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro (Pelo de Oro)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 4 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Petit Robusto
- MSRP: $8.75 (Boxes of 15, $131.25)
- Date Released: Nov. 14, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 15 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
It’s a relatively small cigar to begin with and trying to place three bands, including the sizable main ring, is probably just too much as there’s very little of the cigar actually showing. While I normally avoid taking off bands until it’s necessary, I actually remove all three bands before smoking with the exception of the one sample I photographed. Once that process is complete I pick up sweet raspberry, mushroom and leather from the wrapper. From the foot, there’s burnt coffee over raspberry, leather and grassiness. While I couldn’t pick up any pepper with my nose, there’s some chili on my lips from the cold draw. It’s joined by acidic leather, a touch of mushrooms and floral flavors.
None of the sweetness I find on various parts of the pre-light ritual is present once the Le Bijou is lit; instead it’s meaty flavors and dry earth all over the palate. Each of the three samples require some initial corrections with the lighter, which was a bit odd, but eventually the slow-burning Le Bijou provides a core profile of semisweet earth and some red peppers. It’s one of the most elementary flavor combinations I’ve had in a while, varying layers of earth and a touch of pepper. Strength is medium-full, which provides at least some excitement.
The My Father Le Bijou 1922 The Martino doesn’t show a dramatic change in the second third. While there are new flavors—woodsiness that morphs into a more detailed cedar—the earthiness remains the dominant flavor along with a pepper note that is now more black pepper than red. Honestly, if I wasn’t taking notes, it’s unlikely I would have remembered the profile changed. It’s no more exciting than the first third and continues to burn at a very slow pace. Construction is fine throughout all three samples and the strength hasn’t budged, still at medium-full.
Somewhat surprisingly, there was a bit of life in the final third flavor-wise. The Martino is still very earthy, but the black pepper increases and is now joined by a generic leather and a touch of lemon through the nose. It’s not much, but it’s dramatically more than what I found in the first three inches. While the strength increases to full, it’s not enough to keep me excited enough to burn the short Le Bijou to my fingers.
- Some might look at the flavor descriptions and say that cigars are not meant to be exciting, something I won’t disagree with. There are plenty of great cigars that have very little change from start to finish, but those cigars start with a great profile. This is not one of those cigars, this is a profile that needed to change after the first inch, after the second inch, after the third inch—about when it finally showed a different side of itself. Too little, too late.
- After last year’s onslaught of limited edition Flor de las Antillas, it’s been somewhat quiet from My Father on the store exclusive front in 2014.
- I lit up three cigars, I only finished two. The second sample I smoked had a draw that was wide open. After two inches of taking three to four puffs per minute just to keep the cigar lit, I cut my losses and threw it out. With the exception of touch-ups in the first half inch, the other two samples were fine construction-wise.
- Strength is medium-full.
- The Le Bijou is traditionally a round cigar and there is a 4 1/2 x 50 round Petite Robusto offered as part of the regular profile. I find the round version dramatically better.
- This is not the first time My Father has made a Le Bijou as a store exclusive. Puff N’ Stuff received the blend in a Corona Gorda, the Cigar Republic got a Robusto and Federal Cigar received a variety of versions, including a pair of lonsdales.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes.
- Anthony’s Cigar Emporium lists The Martino as in stock on its website. You can also call 1-844-4-CIGARS (844-424-4277) to order it. The store will be receiving several shipments of the cigar, so if you see it out of stock, there’s a good chance more are on the way. Be sure to tell them you heard about it on halfwheel.
At halfwheel, we like to think that smoking three cigars should provide a decent grasp of a cigar. It’s not perfect and there’s a chance that I ended up with the only three bad cigars of the 7,500 that were rolled. Honestly, that’s what I hoped happened. Even if you discard the sample with the awful draw, the other two cigars were barely mediocre. As a brand and factory, My Father has produced some very good cigars—this is just not one of them.