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In mid-March, Federal Cigar in New Hampshire announced a new addition to their growing portfolio of store exclusive cigars made by major manufacturers, the My Father Special F.

Little has been said about the cigar’s blend, other than that it is based on the S Special, a cigar generally reserved for events where members of the García family are in attendance. According to the press release, the request to keep blend notes about the Special F was made at the request of the García family, who has become known for being fairly secretive with their blend info. You can read as much into the term “based on” as you want, but we do know that the My Father S Special uses an Ecuadoran Habano Rosado wrapper over binder and filler from Nicaragua.

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The Federal Cigar My Father Special F made its debut at the store on March 16, with members of the García family in attendance to celebrate the cigar’s launch at the company’s annual March anniversary party. It is a singular release, with just 200 boxes of 15 produced, for a total run of 3,000 cigars.

Just this year, Federal Cigar has released four store exclusives, including the Tatuaje Exclusive Series Federal Cigar 90th Anniversary 109 Redux, the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Grand Corona and Federal Cigar 92nd Anniversary EPC Medalla D’ Oro.

Federal Cigar My Father Special F 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: My Father Special F
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragaua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: n/a
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: $9.00 (Boxes of 15, $134.99)
  • Date Released: March 16, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 15 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

The My Father Special F looks about as much like any other My Father cigar as you could get – which for me is a shame because I firmly believe that limited edition cigars deserve some sort of secondary mark indicating their nature. Without them, when you toss them in the humidor they end up looking like just another regular production stick unless you have a better memory than I do or you add your own secondary band. There is just a bit of give and the cigar looks as well-rolled as you would expect from My Father, with clean seam lines and a well-applied cap. The pre-light aroma leads with a note of citrus syrup, follows with a bit of pepper and has a near floral brightness. The cold draw doesn’t offer much resistance, showing a decent bit of pepper that sits in a base of earth but also has an apricot note that stands out.

The first third of the My Father Special F kicks off with the signature Pepín pepper blast, up front and going right after the front half of the tongue. It settles down about an inch in and picks up a more airy, almost fluffy smoke texture that has lighter notes of the earth and spice found earlier. The ash holds on for almost the entire length of the first third with the burn line staying clean and sharp. By the time the ash finally lets go, the pepper has mellowed substantially from where it was in the first puffs, with the underlying flavor starting to build up from a level that would be described as medium-minus.

Federal Cigar My Father Special F 2

The second third sees the smoke warm up just a bit, with the pepper leading the flavor, though it is not as all-out as it was at the beginning. There is a bit of dough and earth in the background, though the flavor is thin and drops off the palate fairly quickly, with a good bit of tingle from the pepper remaining in the nose. Throughout the second third, the flavor builds in depth and strength, adding a bit of burning wood towards the start of the final third, a note that when combined with the pepper, really lights up your sense of smell.

Federal Cigar My Father Special F 3

In the final third of the Federal Cigar My Father Special F, the draw seems to tighten up just a bit and the burn rate slows, while the flavor and aroma coming off the cigar become a bit more complex. There is still plenty of pepper in the equation, though it has shifted largely to the nose, while the tongue is coated with a complex flavor that has notes of earth, wood and dough. At times it is so well intertwined that it’s hard to pull out specific notes, almost creating a new individual flavor by way of the components it uses. There is also a very enjoyable aroma coming off the cigar when it is at rest – part bakery, part lumberyard, part tobacco barn. Again – complexity is the key word here. The Special F finishes clean all the way down to the fingertips, and as long as is it’s not puffed to quickly, doesn’t get too hot or bitter. A fantastic finish with a sharp burn line and solid flavors.

Federal Cigar My Father Special F 4
Final Notes:

  • I’ve harped on the issue of limited edition or limited release cigars not getting a distinctive band, most recently in the case of the La Flor Dominicana Texas Cigar Festival. In that case it got a unique box but no unique band, which as mentioned above, could lead to it getting lost in the shuffle.
  • The Federal Cigar My Father Special F keeps itself engaged with your taste buds throughout the entire smoke, yet it never overwhelms them, other than right at the start.
  • While the Garcías are fairly secretive with their blend notes, I wouldn’t put them in the same class as Viaje, who remains one of the least communicative companies in the cigar industry when it comes to talking about cigar specifics.
  • In some ways though, I can’t fault the Garcías for not wanting to release their blend info. In some ways, it’s like Coke giving away their formula, McDonald’s giving away the secret sauce or any other company giving away proprietary information about their core products.
  • If you’re not familiar with the My Father S Special, I would suggest reading Brooks’ review here. He talks about its history and its similarities to the cigar that really served as the Garcías coming out party, the El Centurion, which was recently re-released, albeit with a notably different flavor profile.
  • The cigar I smoked measured just a bit longer than the stated 5 1/2 inches; it was probably 5 5/8 or so.
  • Charlie reviewed an original release El Centurion Lancero here and reduxed one here.
  • I’d forgotten how many cigars have used the word special in their names: the Nestor Miranda Special Selection, the Oliva Special S Torpedo, the AVO Heritage Special Toro, the Casa Fuente Series 5 Special Selection, and numerous others.
  • The cigars are still available for purchase via Federal Cigar’s website.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time is about one hour and 30 minutes.
92 Overall Score

If you're a fan of My Father Cigars, the Federal Cigar My Father Special F packs a lot to like. The signature Pepín pepper blast at the start has almost become cliche, but it's there and enjoyable. What follows, particularly in the second half, is complexity, complexity and more complexity. Both the nose and the tongue get more than their fair share, and the end result is a cigar that will satisfy even the most demanding palates who prefer medium to full cigars with great construction and distinctive flavor profiles. The only thing that this cigar didn't do for me is sing; offering that truly special and unique flavor profile that carves out a place in your memory. However, it hit all the right notes for me, and as such is one that is easy to recommend.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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