On May 31 W. Curtis Draper released its first anniversary cigar commemorating its 126th year in business at duel events held at their Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Md. stores. Made by My Father Cigars S.A., the 6 x 52 Toro is limited to just 400 boxes of 10 cigars with an MSRP of $11.50 per cigar. It uses the binder and filler from the My Father blend, but replaces the normal Ecuadorian Habano wrapper on that cigar with the Connecticut Broadleaf from the Jamie Garcia line.
John Anderson of W. Curtis Draper had this to say about the blend of the My Father Cigars W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversary:
(It) is the My Father blend, however, we used the Jamie Garcia wrapper as I love the sweetness from the Connecticut Broadleaf. The first thing I noticed pre-light was the spice on my lips and an earthiness to the pre-light draw. The draw is easy and the cigar produces volumes of smoke. The cigar has lots of spice, primarily white pepper, on the front end and has a smooth finish of sweet cocoa and spice. I think the cigar smokes incredibly well now but will only get better if you have the patience to age them.
There have been two different 126th Anniversary releases for W. Curtis Draper this year so far. They are:
- My Father Cigars W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversary (6 x 52) — May 31, 2013 — 400 Boxes of 10 Cigars (4,000 Total Cigars)
- Guillermo León by La Aurora W. Curtis Draper 126th Aniversario Lancero (7 x 40) — September 6, 2013 — 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: My Father Cigars W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversary
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father S.A.
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $11.50 (Boxes of 10, $100.00)
- Date Released: May 31, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 400 Boxes of 10 Cigars (4,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
Covered in a extremely dark brown coffee bean-colored wrapper, the My Father Cigars W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversary is quite rough to the touch, but does have a minute amount of oil present. It is quite spongy when squeezed, but not so bad as to think it is underfilled, and there are no veins visible at all down the length of the cigar. The aroma coming from the wrapper is a combination of dark cocoa powder, rich earth, hay and barnyard.
The first thing I notice when I light up the WCD 126 is a blast of black pepper on the retrohale that almost makes my eyes water. The flavors make themselves known after that — bitter espresso, dark chocolate, earth and leader. There is a really nice black licorice sweetness that I can taste in the background and the note seems to be getting stronger as the first third winds down. Smoke production is well above average and the overall strength starts out and ends out just below the medium mark. Construction-wise, the burn is excellent, and the draw has the ideal resistance.
There is more of an espresso flavor dominant in the second third, along with flavors of cedar, leather, earth and even a tiny amount of a hay note that comes and goes. The licorice sweetness from the first third is strongest at abut the halfway point, then starts to die down significantly. I also am noticing less black pepper on the retrohale, although there is still easily enough to affect the profile. Both the burn and draw remain wonderful, as does the smoke production, and the strength ends the second third well into the medium mark.
The final third of the My Father cigar features even less sweetness than the second third, to the point that the note has almost disappeared entirely by the end of the cigar. A powdery bitter cocoa has replaced espresso as the dominant flavor, but the other notes of earth, leather, wood and hay are noticeable in varying amounts as well. Interestingly, there is actually more black pepper in the final third than in the second, and the strength has increased as well, ending just over the medium mark by the time I put the cigar down. The construction continues to impress, never getting warm at the end.
- In 2011, W. Curtis Draper featured a release with a similar concept, the La Aurora Limited Edition Sumo Short Robusto. It took the wrapper from the Guillermo León by La Aurora blend and put it over the binder and filler from the La Aurora 107 line, the result was awful.
- There is no secondary band or any indication looking at this cigar that it is a special release at all. The boxes that the My Father Cigars W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversary do have a name on them, but other than that, they seem to be the normal My Father boxes as well.
- There is not a vitola that shares the same size and ring gauge in the regular My Father line, although the No. 3 comes closest at 6 x 49, while the Jaime Garcia Toro is closest in that line at 6 x 54.
- That being said, the 6 x 52 is largely the trademark size of My Father Cigars. The My Father Limited Editions, Jaime Garcia Limited Editions and Don Pepin Garcia 10th Anniversary were all in the 6 x 52 size.
- Of course, not having a secondary or special band is not usual for the W. Curtis Draper Anniversary cigars. In fact, of the last seven releases in the series comprising both 2012 and 2013, only two cigars—the La Aurora 100 Años W. Curtis Draper 125th Robusto and the Guillermo León by La Aurora W. Curtis Draper 126th Aniversario Lancero have special bands, which incidentally are both rolled at the same factory in the Dominican Republic, E. León Jimenes Tabacalera.
- Over the years, there have been some almost legendary cigars that have been made for W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversaries, including the Cabaiguan WCD 120 REDUX, Arturo Fuente W. Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary and the original Cabaiquan WCD 120 released back in 2007.
- Interestingly, while there were a total of five different cigars released for W. Curtis Draper’s 125th Anniversary in 2012, there have only been two released for their 126th so far, with no more blends announced at this time.
- In my opinion, the My Father Cigars W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversary is slightly better than the other 126th release so far, the Guillermo León by La Aurora W. Curtis Draper 126th Aniversario Lancero.
- The construction was wonderful on all four samples that I smoked, and never gave me an issue with either the draw or the burn.
- W. Curtis Draper is not the only store that has celebrated anniversaries with multiple cigar blends made by different manufactures. Old Virginia Tobacco Co. did it for its 35th anniversary in 2006, Atlantic Cigar Co. released four different cigars for its fifteenth anniversary in 2011, and Smoke Inn did the same to celebrate its fifteenth year in business in 2010.
- The final smoking time for all four samples averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
- The only place you can purchase the My Father Cigars W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversary is at W. Curtis Draper. Both the Washington D.C. and Bethesda, Md. locations have them in stock at the moment, and they do ship.
When I first heard about the My Father Cigars W. Curtis Draper 126th Anniversary I was excited, as I hoped it would take the best of both the My Father line and the Jamie Garcia line and combine them into one awesome cigar. Unfortunately, the final product is just not as balanced as I expected, and in the middle of the pack in terms of past WCD releases. While it had excellent construction, is a good size and had a decent profile, in the end it is just another My Father cigar in a sea of My Father releases this year. If you like the typical My Father profile and would like to add a bit of sweetness, this will be right down your alley, but don't exact any major complexity to really set it apart.