Since 2010, when My Father Cigars first unveiled the company’s Limited Edition series, a new LE cigar has been introduced in every year following, with the exception of 2014. With each release, the Garcías focus on one of their existing brands, upgrading/tweaking the tobaccos used in an attempt to offer an ultra-premium version of cigars that consumers are already familiar with.
Of these releases, the 2013 edition—Don Pepín García 10th Anniversary Limited Edition 2013—was perhaps the most highly regarded among enthusiasts. This blend was introduced at IPCPR 2013, made to honor the 10th anniversary since José “Pepín” García opened his El Rey de los Habanos factory in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood (technically opening in 2002). One of the first cigars to come out of the factory was the Don Pepin Garcia Original (aka “Blue Label”), which served as the inspiration for the now-beloved Don Pepín García 10th Anniversary cigar.
For the 15th anniversary, the Garcías didn’t overthink the release schedule, maintaining a predictable format with the release of Don Pepín García 15th Anniversary Limited Edition 2018. Like the 2013 cigars, the 15th Anniversary blend uses primarily Nicaraguan tobaccos and includes Pelo d’Oro in the filler. Where the blends noticeably differ is the wrapper, with the 15th showcasing a Nicaraguan Habano leaf (rosado oscuro shade), as opposed to the Ecuadorian Habano leaf on the 10th Anniversary cigar.
Don Pepín García 15th Anniversary LE Robusto Breakdown
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Limited Edition (2,000 boxes of 14 cigars per size)
- Vitola: 5¾″ × 50 Robusto
- Price: $20.00 (MSRP)
The entire presentation is very similar to 2013’s release. The cigars arrive in burly, display-worthy boxes, embellished with large hinges to accommodate the weighty lid. The finish is simply a varnished, natural wood, housing 14 coffins of a similar appearance. The bands are similar as well, with subtle tweaks to color (the background is now closer to purple) and texture—most noticeably removing the cross-hatched background pattern from 2013’s cigar (which gave the impression of a royal Chesterfield pattern). The 2018 cigars have been given a new foot band, adorned with the “DPG” crest and the cigar’s 2018 release year.
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The rosado oscuro wrapper is darker than the 10th anniversary cigar, being almost maduro in shade and having red undertones. There are light veins and well-placed seams, but the cigar’s oversized band and foot ribbon make it a bit difficult to observe the complete construction. The cigar is lightly oily between the fingers, even though there is little oil to be seen when held to direct sunlight. As expected, there are no soft spots, a dense bunch, and an overall solid feel from head to foot.
On the nose, I found notes of cedar, terrarium, and an overall tanginess. The foot shows additional notes of barnyard, chocolate, and light pine. The pre-light draw confirms the dense bunch, offering a tight draw and flavors of brownies, light cabinet spices, and Andes Crème de Menthe candies (the chocolate mints you’ll often find at restaurants).
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DPG 15th starts calm and very balanced, with light citrus notes and loads of tang. Moving into the half-inch mark, there is white pepper (on the palate, not in the retrohale), mild coffee, and generic peppercorn and hardwoods. The flavors are medium-bodied and hit primarily on the mid-palate, indicative of bitter sensations.
Still in the first inch (three-quarters inches), more robust spices (primarily black pepper) begin kicking in, qualities one would expect from the Garcías from the get-go. This leads to the first signs of complexity around the one-inch mark—loads of chocolate and cedar, with anise providing a nice complimentary note in the retrohale. With this, flavors begin to creep onto the sides of the tongue (salty), but are still on the mid-palate as well.
The profile progresses from medium strength and body and medium-minus in flavor, moving up slightly and pausing at medium strength and flavor, with a medium-plus body taking the lead. Unfortunately, the draw doesn’t loosen when lit, being fairly firm at around 8/10 (10 being the most firm draw). This is tied to a light smoke output and two to three touchups/relights throughout. That being said, the construction is decent in that the burn line is straight and the ash builds in solid chunks of two inches.
The aforementioned flavors make up the majority of the smoking experience, with the addition of caramel in the final portion. The cigar becomes hot fairly easily in this section, adding unwanted harshness leading up to the cigar’s nub.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I really can’t find any reason to do so. I remember thinking the DPG 10th Anniversary was only so-so (especially for the price), which was met with a fair bit of criticism. Perhaps my palate isn’t on par with this particular series, but to my surprise, I was less interested in this, the Don Pepín García 15th Anniversary. Even if the cigar was mesmerizing, I’m sure I’d only smoke up to a handful more (due to scarcity and price), but with its monotonous profile, the choice not to return is an open-and-shut case, in my opinion.
- Don Pepín García 15th Anniversary Limited Edition was made in two sizes (5¾″ × 50 Robusto and 6½” x 52 Toro), differing from the usual release of only a single size in the Limited Edition series.
- 56,000 cigars were rolled, up from the 28,000 cigars released for the 10th anniversary and 48,000 cigars from 2017’s Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial release.
- Pelo d’Oro is a signature tobacco for the García’s Limited Edition series. This is a unique varietal that is known for intense strength and sweetness, but is notoriously difficult to grow (due to disease), making for small crop yields.
- The original My Father Limited Edition 2010 cigar was rolled entirely by Don Pepín García and his son Jaime. This is (at least not advertised) no longer the case.
- The crown-themed band is surprisingly similar to J.C. Newman’s Diamond Crown cigars (especially the Maximus and Black Diamond), having me wondering if the design received approval from the company. Of course, there are a myriad of crown-themed cigar bands on the market (Undercrown, Sobremesa, Long Live the King, La Imperiosa, and nearly all Ashton cigars, to name a few), but none are as similar in overall layout and color scheme, in my opinion.
- Flavor: Medium-Minus
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Topo Chico mineral water, Flor de Caña 18 Year rum, Vieux Carré coktail
- Purchase Recommendation: Not recommended
- Superb balance
- Long smoke time
- Firm draw
- Low smoke output
- Monotonous profile