This Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label is one of the most complex cigars that I've ever smoked. I picked out tons of flavors from this stick. The amount of smoke this thing gives off is incredible and the draw is flawless. Hands down a 10/10 cigar. I don't know if I can say enough good things about this cigar!
There are certain stories floating around there about the different families and the traditions in the cigar industry. I’ve constantly heard stories about the Garcia family. They make so many great cigars for other people and their own brand, but I had never one a cigar with the man’s name on it. I’ve always wanted to have a cigar with Don Pepin Garcia on the label. I’ve had a stick with his son Jaime’s name on it, I’ve had ones that his daughter helped blend, hell I’ve even had Cigar Aficionado’s top cigar of 2012 which they blended. But not one stick ever had the man’s name on it, until now! The Don Pepin Garcia Blue is a legendary cigar. I’ve seen this stick around forever in my local shops. I’ve seen some old reviews of this cigar that have the original band on it! So needless to say I’m late to the game, but here I’m ready to bat!
This cigar is a nicely constructed toro. 6″ x 50 its a great size. Anything bigger than that and I’m not a fan. The wrapper on this Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label is absolutely flawless. It’s a nice chocolate milk colored brown. Not that Hershey’s syrup chocolate milk, no I’m talking about the Nesquik powder chocolate mix. The real good stuff! There is one rather large vein that runs the length of the wrapper. What’s interesting about this cigar is now the band and packaging is different from what other reviews have posted. Initially this led me to believe I didn’t have the “Blue” label, but instead had something else. However after looking at the manufacturer’s website I realized I had the right now, the packaging has just been updated. In fact the packaging needed an update it was looking a little antiquated.
The new packaging on this Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label is a nice metallic shiny blue. The band catches rays of light and bounces right back at you. Around the foot there is a nice silk like band that is also in the metallic blue. I would say this is definitely an upgrade in packaging and I’m a big fan of it. If you know me, you know I love flashy packaging!
So I bought this Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label at a “new” B&M in Nashville. Now when I say “new” just understand that it’s not really new it just has new owners and a new name. Unfortunately, this was the only store in town that carries the Liga Privada line and since they changed ownership they lost the rights to carry that line. This “new” shop is now called Franklin Cigar and the store manager is an awesome guy so I’ll definitely be going back!
So when I was at the “new” store they had these Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label displayed fairly prominently and I was looking for something I had not tried and I thought, you know what “it’s a Pepin day!” I actually said that out loud to the new store manager as we were talking in the humidor. When I picked up these sticks I made sure to feel around for any soft spots or imperfections in the wrapper. I didn’t notice anything on the spot so I was happy to go ahead and purchase them. I still like to inspect the cigars before I review them to make sure my humidor at home isn’t messing anything up. I figure if they’re good going in, then they should be the same coming out right?
When looking at the cap on this stick I couldn’t tell if it had a single or a triple cap. I would assume a triple cap since that seems right up Pepin’s alley, but at this point it would be pure speculation. Even in the photo I can’t tell which it is. Either way it’s about to be chopped right off so I can test the cold draw on this puppy!
Nice and easy cold draw on this cigar. Just where I like it. It looks to me like the entubado bunching technique which is the traditional Cuban way and typically allows for a better draw on the cigar. Judging by the initial draw on this thing it’s going to great once I get it lit!
I used the ole soft flame torch lighter to get this Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label burning. As soon as I started toasting the foot smoke began pouring out of this cigar. It’s a beautiful thick and creamy white smoke. Once I had a nice cherry going from the toasting I began puffing and even more smoke came pouring out. It actually began to fill my garage. If someone had been looking on they might thought the garage was on fire!
The first third of this cigar was off to a great start it burned fairly straight, not laser like but hey close enough for me. I’m still amazed by the amount of smoke that it poured out. It was very reminiscent of the Undercrown in how much smoke it put off. The second third was more of the same. Not a single draw issue or burn trouble. It was just smoking away. In fact even when it was just sitting the ash tray there was a nice even line of smoke coming out of the stick that filled the room. I love it when it does that, especially under the light it just looks very distinguished and sexy!
The final third of this Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label finished just like it started burning even and pouring out smoke. Really couldn’t ask for more from this stick. It was perfectly constructed and burned exactly how the cigar should!
On the pre-light draw I wasn’t able to pick up a ton of flavor. I might have been too impressed with the draw to really pay attention to the flavors. I pick up a little spice, but not too much other than that right away. Boy once this Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label got lit and burning the flavors started rolling in. During the first third I picked up some nice doses of black pepper and a very dark earthiness flavor. The retrohale brought out a ton of vegetal and floral notes that reminded me a lot of the Draig K. The notes weren’t as strong and pronounced as the Draig K, but definitely in the same vein!
The second third brought out even more flavors on this Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label. I really started picking up on this savory meaty note that I didn’t notice in the first third. I was even picking out some nutty notes as well as overall charred flavor. Reminded me of the charcoal flavors that you get in Tennessee whiskey.
The final third brought even more flavors out I was picking up notes that reminded me of popcorn and peanut butter. So to say the least, I definitely picked out some nutty flavors! The retrohale on this final third was intense, all sorts of woody notes came out of the woodwork (see what I did there! talking ’bout wood). It’s crazy how the retrohale when from a very strong floral notes into more woody notes in this section of the cigar.
All in all this is a very full flavored and complex cigar. In fact I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a cigar that changed up this much! The strength of body of this was medium-full as well. It didn’t hit me as hard as I expected but I still definitely had a nice nicotine buzz going on with it. I’m a big fan of this cigar it offered so much that I was expecting that it made me an even bigger fan of the Garcia family and their rich tradition and history with the cigar industry.
Without a doubt!
In the right size it certainly could be!
It’s definitely box worthy! I would love to see how these sticks age and what other complexities they bring out!
Just a fantastic cigar! Full of complexity and flavor. The shifts in flavors keep you on your toes and guessing as to what’s coming next. I love how delicately they are all blended together and work so well without overtaking each other. It’s a very harmonious blend that is incredibly enjoyable. The strength of flavor is so full and deep. The strength of the body is fantastic and still enjoyable. I’m a big fan of this cigar if you can’t tell already!
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