Don Pepin Garcia 10th Anniversary Limited Edition 2013 was a special project made to commemorate the success of the Garcia family. The cigar was released in 2013, celebrating the tenth anniversary since Don José “Pepin” Garcia first opened the El Rey de los Habanos factory back in 2002. The factory’s heritage is a big deal to both the Garcia family and My Father Cigars, as the first release of the Don Pepin Garcia Original (otherwise known as the “Blue Label”) was born from this factory.
The Don Pepin Original has seen changes over the years (that godawful band…), but the blend remains a highly acclaimed smoke among enthusiasts. Therefore, it was no surprise when My Father Cigars re-envisioned this classic blend—upgrading the tobaccos to offer an ultra-premium experience that held true to their roots.
Don Pepin Garcia 10th Anniversary Limited Edition 2013 Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano Seed 2009
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Limited Edition (2,500 Boxes of 14 cigars)
- Vitola: 6½″ × 52 toro
- Price: $22.00
As far as packaging goes, it is clear My Father has spared no expense. The boxes come lavishly packaged with detailed gold and blue engravings on the cedar box, with individual cedar coffins for each cigar. Inside, the box reveals gold plated hinges and a gorgeous back panel of gold, embroidered, blue felt. The individual coffins also look great, but of course this is mostly for looks and extra protection.
The cigar itself, on the other hand, isn’t very attractive (in my humble opinion). To start, the band—albeit very detailed and ornate—looks a bit ‘fake’. It’s hard to put into words, but the overall impression feels like a cheap piece of plastic. The band obviously takes much inspiration from the Don Pepin Original, with a blue and gold mixture of color, although adding a golden, red crown at the top and some fancy, gold plating with the words “LIMITED EDITION” inscribed. I also can’t help but wonder why the anniversary of such a prestigious cigar has only one band, when the original has two, along with a foot ribbon.
The actual tobacco, on the other hand, is very gorgeous. A fine, golden brown wrapper, beautifully rolled, with tight seams and small veins throughout is topped with a very well-done triple cap. Obviously, this is mere appearances, and has virtually no bearing on the quality of smoke; however, I always enjoy a good looking cigar.
I must admit, my expectations going into this review were a bit muffled. As to the original Blue Label, I personally wasn’t the biggest fan. Yes, it was a good cigar and I know it is dearly beloved by fans, but it never really blew me away by any stretch of the imagination. A nice pepper bomb, decent construction, and a lot of hype. So what was I expecting out of the 10th anniversary? Honestly I can’t say… but I can say this, none of my expectations were met – good or bad.
The expertly crafted triple cap took a straight cut very nicely, revealing a musty cold draw of earth, citrus, and burnt coffee grounds. With an initial burst of flame began my first of many surprises with this cigar. Firstly, there was no pepper blast. Honestly, there was hardly any pepper to detect at all—strange coming from Don Pepin, who has become known for this trait in his cigars. The cigar, however, let off notes of smooth tobacco, a sweet oak, a little bit of spices and nuts, and a dry earthiness on the finish that lasts well into the next draw.
The draw is excellent, letting off a pleasant amount of smoke as well. The smoke is thick and dry, leaving my mouth a bit parched between draws. The ash holds on well, without surprise, only falling when I decide to give a gentle nudge. Throughout the first third, a combination of coffee, cocoa, nuts, and a deep earth make up the palate, leaving me wanting a little bit more in the flavor department.
Around the halfway point, the earthiness still dominates the palate, coming to an almost grass-like flavor. Subsequently, the small amount of pepper that was detectable from the beginning is surely gone now, replaced with a citrus-like coffee bean and some floral notes on the retro-hale. At this point, the flavors don’t seem to mesh very well together, and my enjoyment level begins to slowly drop the more I smoke.
Finishing off, the Don Pepin 10th Anniversary didn’t go through a lot of changes. I can’t really say the flavor was bad, just not a particularly good mix for my palate. I would have preferred a nice pepper bomb here and there to make things more interesting, and it would have helped take the bitter edge off of the majority of earth and floral-like notes that are so prevalent in this cigar.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Most likely not. For one, the flavor profile is simply not right for me. Being someone who enjoys a mixture of sweet, spicy, and creamy flavors—the Don Pepin 10th has none of that. Its floral essences and earth-like coffee isn’t bad, just not for me. Secondly, I would be hard-pressed to spend $22.00 on any cigar, let alone one I didn’t enjoy. I’d recommend giving this one a single-purchase try (if you can find one) after reading several reviews to see if it might be something you would enjoy.
- Great burn
- Spectacular draw
- Top-notch construction
- 1st third is a bit weak
- Flavors often don't "mesh"