A bit late, but it’s still July 22nd. Earlier this afternoon in between two post-IPCPR phone calls, I sat down with a Don Pepín García Series JJ Maduro Lancero, my part in the July 22nd tribute to Jerry Cruz’s late son, Jeremiah Cruz Junior.

I wrote this earlier in the year and I’ve yet to figure out how to put it better:

Freud famously said, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” That’s just not true with the Series JJ. I’m privileged each time I smoke one of the white-banded Pepín creations to have the opportunity to reflect on the preciousness of life and the many blessings I am given. Each time is a few moments to honor the life of someone I never knew, Jeremiah Cruz Jr. Many of you know Jerry Cruz, the fun and loving character at Stogie Review, and many of you know the story of JJ, his Little Robusto. Jeremiah Cruz Jr. was born on July 22, 2007, and three months later he tragically passed away of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, commonly known as SIDS. You can read Jerry’s post from when his son was born, and about how he smoked his first Series JJ. Then you can read about how fragile life can be in Jerry’s “Final Goodbye” — and then you should take some time before you keep reading this review.

After reflection, you can learn about the immense good in the cigar community. Every year on July 22nd, the cigar smoking community gathers in support of Jerry and his family by smoking a Serie JJ with him. The most recent year raised close to two thousand dollars for SIDS, and you can donate to the American SIDS Institute here. I was privileged to partake last year, and I look forward to honoring Jerry’s Little Robusto again this year. #jj4jj

Earlier today, at around midnight, Jerry lit up his first(?) Don Pepín García Series JJ Lancero, which I reviewed here, and the review of the Maduro rendition I smoked a few hours ago can be found here. For those that aren’t a fan of the JJ’s flavor profile, Jerry said it best, “it’s killer bro…not like any other JJ I’ve had and I’ve had a lot of ’em.”

If you don’t have a Series JJ: light something up and remember, sometimes a cigar is more than just a cigar. — el niño diablo.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.