The hype –“These are full-bodied cigars and are not recommended for a beginning smoker. The wrapper is an oily Nicaraguan Corojo leaf, described as cinnamon in color. The cigars come packed 25 to a cedar box, uncelloed. The band is blue with gold lettering. The center has “Don Pepin Garcia” in gold on a blue field inside a round red and gold border, with Don Pepín’s signature (reduced) below the name. Each wing has the U. S. and Cuban flags within roundels, overlapping.”
The review – This is a well-constructed robusto cigar. The wrapper is velvety smooth and has a very appealing sheen to it. The prelight aroma was earthy and nutty with hints of alfalfa. This cigar lit very easily and burned uniformly. The frist puff was sweet and aromatic and white smoke emanated in billowing clouds. After the first few puffs, the flavor became more complex, with spice, leather and a hint of pepper. About half way through this one, an espresso aftertaste began to permeate which was a little strong for me, but I soldiered on. The smoke has a strong but pleasant aroma, but it definitely smells like an “old-school” cigar and will fail the spousal acceptance factor. I began to sip Sprite on ice while smoking this one, which helped soften the full impact of the espresso. Approaching the 2-finger point, the flavor became overpoweringly bitter and I called it a day. This certainly is a stronger cigar than what I usually smoke, but reports of it “knocking you on your ass” are exaggerated. I now own a box of these, but this isn’t one I’d consider an everyday smoke or to give to beginners. This is a cigar for the adventurous, and those who enjoy a full-bodied smoke.