While not making it into Cigar Dojo’s top 10 list for 2018 (although the My Father La Gran Oferta was our No. 8), My Father La Opulencia—the company’s 2017 offering—did take home the silver from Cigar Aficionado, claiming the magazine’s No. 2 Cigar of the Year award. No stranger to accolades and awards, the García family (owners of the My Father Cigars brand) has been pumping out acclaimed cigars since they created their small factory/store-front (complete with only a handful of rollers) in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, circa 2003. In 2006, they began growing their own tobacco in Estelí, which would later go on to make its first appearance in the original My Father cigar in 2008. Now, with a seven-acre complex in Estelí and thousands of employees, My Father has another extension to their core line with La Opulencia.
From My Father Cigars:
Richness and Abundance, just as its name, this is what the new ‘My Father La Opulencia’ is all about. Criollo and Corojo Binders, Corojo, Criollo and Habano Filler all coming from selected farms such as finca El Pedrero, Las Lometas and La Bonita, all property of the Garcia family, finished with a beautiful Mexico Rosado Oscuro wrapper, creating this medium to 3/4 body cigar with the perfect combination of aroma, flavors and complexity. Offered in 6 box-pressed sizes, that are packaged in 20 count boxes, following the traditional My Father line but this time using an art created back in 1897, redesigned to resemble the name of the brand ‘La Opulencia’.
La Opulencia Robusto Breakdown
- Wrapper: Mexican Rosado Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaragua (Criollo | Corojo)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Corojo | Criollo | Habano)
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 5¼” × 52 (Robusto)
- Price: $10.10 (MSRP)
My Father La Opulencia debuted in 2017, marking the fifth official line under the My Father umbrella. As mentioned, the cigar differentiates itself primarily through the use of a Mexican-grown wrapper—a first for the My Father brand. This cover leaf is accompanied by a double binder (a signature feature for García-made cigars) and an all-Nicaraguan filler recipe. Aside from the wrapper, all tobaccos were harvested from the García family’s own farms, including El Pedrero, Las Lometas, and La Bonita.
In recent years, the company has introduced vintage artwork and revived cigar brands of old (as with My Father The Judge); this strategy has been incorporated for La Opulencia as well, recycling artwork that dates back to 1897.
As usual, there is plenty of bandage happening. Despite my not being a big fan of big cigar labels, I’ve always been somewhat fond of the MF stuff. Having worked with commercial printers before, I appreciate the quality that goes into the heavier paper, the die-cut and embossing, and the subtle color gradients—it’s all well-done. The main My Father band, followed by the secondary band with “La Opulencia” inscribed in a script font, followed by the foot ribbon (green, in this release), doesn’t leave a lot of cigar to look at; but what I can see, looks well-made.
The wrapper is an ever-so-slightly brick-red-tinged maduro that looks notably drier/dustier near the cap. There are no large veins or lumps, nothing poking through from the double binder; this is a very smooth cigar, despite the grit of the wrapper leaf. There is some considerable give to the cigar when squeezed. It’s a standard, box-pressed García presentation from the outset.
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Pre-light aroma from the foot is straight-up brownie batter, giving way to some cigarette tobacco aroma, followed by a leathery chemical smell. The cold draw offers sensations of sweetness, more of that brownie batter; not much else. As I toast the cigar, the girth, excessive labels, and box-press make it feel clunky and unwieldy—I almost drop it several times as I try to roll it over the soft flame.
Smoke output starts out pretty heavy, despite the draw being a touch (or two) looser than what I would like; akin to drinking root beer through a straw with a hole in it, rather than a drinking a milkshake. I used a v-cut, as larger ring gauges with box-press seem to smoke pretty well that way (guillotine-style cutters can occasionally damage pressed cigars, as the square shape of the cigar is met with the rounded blade). Initial flavors are of coffee, black pepper, heavy doses of cedar, and cinnamon bark (to be differentiated from the more pleasant, ground cinnamon flavor). Ten minutes or so in and the pepper has faded into the mix—pretty on-par for a MF release. I’m blasting through this cigar pretty quickly; the light draw starts to seem kind of airy, and after 21 minutes, I move into the second third. Body is not quite medium (I hope it makes it that far), with flavor and strength not far ahead, although they are at least asking to be let into the building where medium resides…
The second third brings a pretty enjoyable chocolate shortbread flavor, which is the first hint of the gooey, sweet flavors from the cold draw. Cinnamon has transitioned from the tannic, herbal, medicinal tree bark flavor of the first third into the more pleasant baking spice realm. The mild black pepper sits right on the back of the tongue. Some mild anise and licorice root join the fold (think those little candy-coated fennel seeds you get at Indian restaurants). I feel more like I’m picking flavors out of the ether, than deciphering a palate-full experience. I’m looking, reaching, waiting for the cigar to really present itself. The cigar’s airy draw is really holding it back, I think. Opulence (in reference to the cigar’s title) is typically used to describe extravagance, lavishness, richness; whereas the experience speaks more towards elegance, refinement, or restraint. It’s certainly tasteful, but I was expecting more of a big, chewy, full-bodied experience. The robusto does begin to gain traction, but still not even into medium territory, as the second third closes after a much-improved 35 minutes.
Into the final third, the cigar is not as light, both in terms of smoke production and flavor. The draw has firmed up a little, and the spiciness is coming back into the picture. This is more along the lines of what I had expected. There’s big coffee flavor, some creaminess, black tea with garden mint, even a little raspberry jam to kick in some sweetness. There is lots of cocoa going into the final inch, backed by nutty brown butter. Finishing with spice and anise, this cigar completes its nearly two-hour journey into finally reaching medium strength and body, with flavor nearing the medium-full line. The burn was dead straight throughout the experience, with nary a touchup required. Ash was firm and held over an inch throughout.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Yep. Some cigars you pick up and they hit you right away with a yes-or-no answer—this was a more contemplative experience. At first, I was a little underwhelmed, as the experience was not quite as opulent as billed, whether due to the airy draw or simply by design. While my initial impressions were of this cigar being a little on the light side, I was later impressed when some additional power made for a somewhat fuller-bodied experience of the otherwise lighter, elegant flavors. I’d say this isn’t so much a traditional Nicaraguan-style powerhouse kung-fu roundhouse to the face, as it is a study in controlled tai-chi focus.
- Flavor: Medium-Plus
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”
- Purchase Recommendation: Fiver
- Very flavorful
- A journey cigar
- Great construction
- Somewhat open draw
- Starts kind of slow
- Lack of "it factor"