Today is the second review of our Monday morning tradition at halfwheel, redux reviews. For more info about redux reviews and all of other review types, click here.

Today’s redux review is of a cigar I reviewed back when was still relatively new, the Don Pepin Garcia Firecracker. I wrote this back in September of 2009:

In my quest to try every cigar that Pepín García makes, I ran across the Don Pepin Garcia Firecracker, which is a cigar that is make exclusively for Two Guys Smoke Shop in New Hampshire. It looked interesting shape wise, so I ordered a few to try out.
The stick itself is a 3 x 50 cigar with what looks like, appropriately enough, given the name, a fuse on top and a shaggy foot. It is a very cool look, but a three-inch stick sounds longer than it really is. This thing is tiny, meaning you will not mistake it for a gran corona anytime soon. Like the other cigars in the Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label line, the name is “Don Pepin Garcia” and features a blue band, all of the tobacco used is from Nicaragua.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Don Pepin Garcia Firecracker
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Cubanas S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 3 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Firecracker
  • MSRP: $4.99 (Boxes of 50, $157.50)
  • Date Released: June 2007

The Firecracker is quite small and still lights up easily, although the draw is quite loose on this sample The first few puffs bring some nice spice and black pepper, along with a strong leather note and some fleeting earthiness and dark coffee. It seems like the pepper is not as strong as I remember it in the sample for the first review, which makes sense, seeing as this is now over two-years-old, but is still a major part of the profile. Don Pepin Garcia Firecracker.jpg The draw tightens up about halfway through, and the flavors and profile don’t change much, but the burn is fine, and it seems to get a bit stronger as it gets to the nub. The Final Smoking Time of the DPG Firecracker is just over 40 minutes, which makes it an almost perfect size for a quick winter smoke or walking the dog.

85 Overall Score

Still not the most complex of cigars, but with a little age the Firecracker mellows out nicely. Fortunately it is not too mellow as there is still quite a bit of noticeable black pepper, especially on the retrohale. Honestly, I think I liked the DPG Firecrackers fresher, as the strong black pepper I remember really makes you think Firecracker, whereas with an aged one, it is more of a (obviously aged) version. All of that said, they are still about $2 too expensive for the size in my opinion. A good smoke that seems to age fairly well, although it does not seem to get much more complex with age, but I still like quite a few cigars close to the same size more, especially for the price. If you'd like to buy some, Two Guys Smoke Shop still has some for sale.

Original Score (September 2009)
Redux Score (January 2012)
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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.