One of the things that this site does a fair amount of is explaining the anniversaries and other events celebrated by certain cigars. Most of the time it is the anniversary of the company itself, but there are many more events that get celebrated with cigars, as is the case with this limited edition, the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años.

The line celebrates what would have been the 100th birthday of José García Alayón, the father of José “Pepín” García.

In developing the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años blend, the company started with the Le Bijou 1922 blend, which Pepín had originally created as a tribute to his father, and then modified it, though many of the specific tweaks haven’t been disclosed. The blend remains a Nicaraguan puro, highlighted by a wrapper leaf that the company refers to as Habano My Father, as well as an “oscuro oscuro” due to its dark brown color. All of the tobaccos for the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años comes from the company’s farms, specifically the San Rafael, Las Quebradas and San José farms.

Before being rolled, those tobaccos also go through what the company described as a special fermentation process that allows the leaves to release their aromas and flavors and deliver the profile that the company was looking for in this release.

The company released two sizes for the line, both of which have a pigtail cap and wear an orange foot ribbon with 100 Años printed on it to help differentiate this from the regular production sizes in the Le Bijou 1922 line.

Note: The following shows the various My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años Limited Edition 2022 releases over the years. Some of these cigars may have been released after this post was originally published. The list was last updated on Oct. 11, 2022.

92 Overall Score

Not every cigar released in celebration of a milestone anniversary, birthday or event lives up to the expectations, but the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años LE2022 Corona Especial does so and then some. It's an almost signature José “Pepín” García blend profile, in that it starts fast and strong, hitting the senses with tons of rich flavors and pepper, backs off for a bit, and then ramps things up again for a strong finish. It also does so with incredible construction and combustion, both of which are near flawless. As long as you and your palate like big flavors, this cigar is a no-brainer and one I expect to see do well on a number of cigar of the year lists.

As noted in the name, this is a limited edition release, with 1,922 boxes of both sizes produced by the company’s factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, a number that is another reference to José García Alayón.

  • Cigar Reviewed: My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años LE2022 Corona Especial
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano Oscuro)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 44
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • MSRP: $13 (Box of 22 Cigars, $286)
  • Release Date: August 2022
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,922 Boxes of 22 Cigars (42,284 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

While I had seen the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años LE2022 Corona Especial a number of times before getting to review it, I don’t think I appreciated the color of the wrapper, as it has a rich, earthy shade of brown to it. It isn’t the darkest wrapper I’ve ever seen, but it certainly merits at least one use of the word oscuro. There is a slightly oily feel at times, though I wouldn’t call the wrappers overly oily, either visually or from a tactile perspective. The wrappers have a decent number of veins, but all are small and unobtrusive. With the look of the veins and the evenness of the color, the seams disappear from sight unless looking putting forth a concerted effort to find them. One thing that surprises me a bit is that the cigars seem a bit less firm in density than I would have expected. I don’t think I have a notion as to how firmly My Father rolls its cigars on the whole, but this one seems to have a bit more give than what the industry average is at the moment. While I was expecting to find an earthy and pepper-forward aroma off the foot, I get quite the opposite. The first sniff reminds me of a Sprite with its bright, almost fizzy sensation in the nose. From there I get a bit of grape jelly, damp woods, a bit of pepper and occasional suggestions of some barnyard that all give the aroma depth and complexity. Air moves well on the cold draw, sometimes smoothly and sometimes with a bit of resistance, and offers a profile more in line with what I had been expecting. There is a cool coffee bean flavor that brings together some damp earth, dry wood, cola syrup, and a bit of black pepper. It’s not as thick of a flavor as the combination might suggest, but it is still enjoyable.

While the aroma off the foot was nothing like I expected and the cold draw was a bit more like I expected, the first puffs of the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años LE2022 Corona Especial are almost exactly what I expected. It opens up with a big, bright black pepper and rich earthiness, making an immediate impression on my taste buds. Retrohales are loaded with a lighter, more refined black pepper that is still capable of delivering a lot of tingle, occasionally taking on a bit of red chili pepper as well. There are also some fragrant accents at times in the aroma when the cigar is at rest, similar to the collective aroma of walking by the fragrance counter in a department store. This initial combination makes for some interesting moments where the cigar is at rest and the combined finish of the flavor and retrohale as well as the ambient smoke make for a fairly all-encompassing experience. By the time it seems appropriate to knock off the first clump of ash, I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty full sensory experience and one that has been consistently executed quite well. For all the stimulation that the cigar offers in the first third, there is also an impressive creaminess that gives each puff a remarkable smoothness that almost seems out of place given the pepper, but works incredibly well and broadens the range of sensations that the cigar offers. It becomes a bit more prominent as this section wraps up, mellowing pepper on the palate but leaving retrohales more-or-less untouched. Construction and combustion are both fantastic and problem-free thus far. Flavor is full, body is medium-full, and strength is medium-minus thus far, though I’m inclined to think that will change.

it’s not long after the time that the second third begins that I realize that the profile has mellowed after its fairly full start. Sometimes it’s a more gradual step-down, other times it happens fairly quickly, but the creaminess continues to soften the intensity of the flavor. It’s also a change that I am inclined to think will be more or less noticeable based on how many retrohales are being taken; in one cigar I don’t retrohale as much as the other two, and without the additional pepper that comes through the nose, it’s easier to see the changes, whereas a retrohale gives an “oh, there it is” kind of reaction to the pepper. By the midpoint, the flavor intensity of the cigar has mellowed quite a bit, now coating my tongue with creaminess and just traces of the dry wood and pepper, while earthiness has stepped out completely. Those changes begin to reverse towards the tail end of this section, as the blend seems to be ramping up for what could be an equally flavor-intense final third. Flavor is medium to medium-full, body is medium-plus, and strength is medium and creeping up towards medium-plus. Construction and combustion both remain fantastic, as each puff is smooth and easy, generating a good amount of smoke, while the burn line has remained sharp and even.

As expected, the wood returns to the profile, the pepper wakes back up and there’s a bit of red chili pepper jumping back into the profile for some heat. The creaminess is still hanging around, but as expected it becomes more of a background flavor that helps the smoke stay smooth rather than doing much driving of the overall profile. While I have had little to take issue with up to this point, there are some points in the final third where the flavor gets just a bit hot, both from the red chili pepper flavor as well as what seems to be some actual heat from the cigar. The latter is able to be controlled a bit better with slower puffs, but also easy to stumble into by wanting to take a full puff. The flavor intensity makes a surge in the final inches, as there’s now a bit of bright, crisp black pepper and burnt wood that sharpens up the profile quite a bit. It is also a change that gives the profile a much longer finish than it has had previously, tingling my taste buds with a red chili pepper sensation.

Final Notes

  • One of the three cigars was fairly tough to get out of its cellophane; I’m not sure exactly why, but I was close to the point of cutting the cellophane to make it easier to remove.
  • I have not yet smoked the Corona Extra vitola, but I would be intrigued to see if it might soften the flavor just a touch. I don’t think it’s needed, but I could see someone wanting a slightly less intense version of the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años blend and I wonder if that size would deliver it.
  • Given that they were mentioned in the announcement of the cigar, I was interested to see what kind of aromatics the cigar offered, as when I hear that term I often think of flavored or infused cigars that are known for their distinctive aromatics. In this case, it is much more subdued, and I think that smoking this in a cigar lounge would mean they get overshadowed. But in a space where it’s just the cigar, I picked up a bit of sweet cedar from the cigar while at rest, while the overall aroma itself is fairly clean on the whole.
  • If you have the opportunity to see My Father’s Nicaraguan factory and tobacco storage facilities, such as during a Puro Sabor tour, I would highly recommend it.
  • I covered My Father’s booth at the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show where this cigar was formally released.
  • I also had the pleasure of interviewing Jose Ortega, vp of sales for My Father Cigars, during one of our live shows. He talks about the company’s new releases, the increase in how much tobacco the company is growing and processing and a number of other topics.
  • There is a decent amount of nicotine strength in the final third of the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años LE2022 Corona Especial, enough that after the first cigar I checked to make sure I had some white sugar in the kitchen for the other two cigars. I ended not needing any, but I was glad I had some on hand.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 50 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Corona Cigar Co. carry the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años LE2022 Corona Especial.
92 Overall Score

Not every cigar released in celebration of a milestone anniversary, birthday or event lives up to the expectations, but the My Father Le Bijou 1922 100 Años LE2022 Corona Especial does so and then some. It's an almost signature José “Pepín” García blend profile, in that it starts fast and strong, hitting the senses with tons of rich flavors and pepper, backs off for a bit, and then ramps things up again for a strong finish. It also does so with incredible construction and combustion, both of which are near flawless. As long as you and your palate like big flavors, this cigar is a no-brainer and one I expect to see do well on a number of cigar of the year lists.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.