In October of 2009, the rumor mill started putting out some details on a brand new, very limited Pepín cigar that was going to have quite a few firsts for the industry.
While unnamed at the time, it was eventually named the My Father Limited Edition 2010. At first, it was rumored, but never officially announced, that José “Pepin” García would be rolling each and every cigar that would be released, a claim that quite a few people, including me, were skeptical about, considering the amount of time it would take.
Eventually, it was announced, officially this time, that Jaime García, Pepín’s son, would do all the bunching, and Pepín himself would do the rolling. In fact, according to reports, Pepín set aside a personal rolling room that only he had access to in order to work on the project.
Reportedly, only Pepín has most of the information about the blend of this cigar and has kept most of the information about the creation a total secret, but there are some facts known. There are five different types of leaves, three of which are of Cuban origin, including two leaves of pelo de oro, a Spanish term meaning golden hair. All of the tobacco for the cigar is grown by Pepín, except for the wrapper, which is produced by the Oliva family.
An interesting note on the pelo de oro tobacco: apparently, the production of this specific type of tobacco leaf has been banned in Cuba, mostly due to its propensity to become infested with blue mold. Pepín has mentioned publicly that while he loves how it tastes, the My Father Limited Edition 2010 will be the last time he produces the leaf, as it is so difficult to grow. However, the My Father Limited is not the only cigar of Pepín’s that the Pelo de Oro is used in, as it is also being used the 2009 release of the Tatuaje La Vérité as well.
This is a fairly limited release, as the name suggests. There were only 24,000 cigars rolled, which took Jamie and José four months, for what it is worth, and they will be sold in boxes of 12 for $240, or $20 each. Each cigar is encased in its own coffin, with “My Father Limited Edition ~ Toro 6 1/2 x 52” inscribed in script on the top.
Here is what the coffins look like:
- Cigar Reviewed: My Father Limited Edition 2010
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Hybrid Ecuadorian Habano Rosado/Criollo
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $20.00 (Boxes of 12, $240.00)
- Release Date: September 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,000 Boxes of 12 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The first thing you notice when looking at this cigar for the first time is the extremely large interconnecting double bands. Honestly, they are almost overwhelming to look at, and take up a little more than a third of the cigar, two and half inches out of six and a half total inches.
Make no mistake, this is a very large cigar and it feels even larger than it actually is when you hold it in your hand. The wrapper is a fairly dark espresso brown and it smells like chocolate, pepper and coffee. The cigar has a wonderful triple cap, in fact, one of the best I have seen outside of Cuba and it is quite firm but somehow slightly spongy when squeezed.
The first third starts out with some pepper, earthy notes and a very strong cedar taste. There is some spice as well, along with just a touch of espresso and hay, but a fairly normal start to a cigar.
I am also quite impressed with the burn line and that fact that the ash just would not fall, even after about two and a half inches. Great construction is the only way this happens.
The second third starts out much the same, but the strength and pepper increased noticeably for the entire third. The flavors that I taste are pretty much the same: espresso, spicy earth and a strong woodsy note. The pepper is getting extremely strong by the end of the second third.
At this point in the cigar, I notice a fairly large stem was affecting the draw, albeit not by much, so I pulled it out. It turned out to be larger and longer than I expected. I was quite surprised to find this in this specific cigar.
After I pulled out the stem, the cigar falls apart, figuratively, not physically. While the flavors sadly stayed pretty much the same, earthy, woodsy and a touch of espresso, the pepper that was present ramped built up, to the point where it overwhelms anything else I was tasting and actually seemed to burn my tongue. This was very disconcerting, and it was almost too strong to continue. I was able to finish, barely, but I really wish I had not, as the cigar got so strong and had so much pepper that it literally ruined my palette for the rest of the night.
- As expected from a cigar produced and rolled solely by a master roller and his son, this cigar had impeccable construction. The draw was perfect even before I took out the stem and the burn was razor sharp for the entire smoke and the ash stayed on for almost half the cigar before falling for the first time.
- Interestingly, neither the draw nor the tasted seemed to be effected, positively or negatively, after I took out the stem.
- This cigar produced smoke like a chimney; it was a very spicy smoke.
- While I do think the pepper and strength were overwhelming at this point in the cigar’s life, I also believe that is a great indicator that this cigar could age very well. Perhaps in a few years down the road, everything will meld into a more complex smoke.
- I do think that there is more to this cigar than just the taste and strength, although that cannot be dismissed. I picked up five of these, so I that I could smoke a couple for the review, and keep a few to try at a later date. As has been said, some people want to pick some up not just to smoke, but because Pepín may never roll a production cigar again and I can certainly appreciate that.
- The final smoking time was exactly two hours.
I really, really wanted to like this stick. Hell, I wanted to love this stick. I wanted to reach a pure state of consciousness while smoking it, I wanted the angels to sing, I wanted to shout from the rooftops after I was done about how this cigar, so obviously meticulously produced, was one of the best of the year. That is not going to happen. Instead of nirvana, what I got was an overwhelmingly spicy, peppery and fairly one dimensional cigar that I would have hard time paying more than $8 for, never mind the $20+ these command. Now, that is not to say that it was a horrible cigar, or unsmokable, at least in the first two thirds, as nothing could be further from the truth. I smoked two of them just to make sure I did not get a dud. But after the hype this cigar has produced, I was expecting quite a bit more balance, quite a bit more complexity, and quite a bit less harshness. I think quite a few people are going to go away thinking they should have spent their money on something different after smoking this cigar, if only because of the hype surrounding the release.