Monday, December 23, 2013

Cigar Extra: Don Pepin Garcia 10th Anniversary

Toro, 6.5” x 52 ring gauge / approx. $22, Burns Tobacconist
As I was photographing the band on this cigar it struck me that I can remember a time when there was no Don Pepin Garcia in the cigar business. The reality is, when put up against a lot of my friends and acquaintances, I haven’t been smoking cigars all that long...about 12.5 years. So there were a couple years at the beginning when I smoked no cigars that were either blended by Don Pepin or issued forth from the My Father facilities. I’m not sure I can say a week goes by anymore without that happening these days. (It also struck me funny that some who think they know the most about cigars have never known an industry that didn’t include Pepin blends...yes, I’m saying that although I haven’t been smoking that long, they have been smoking a considerably less amount of time...for what it’s worth...probably nothing.) In 10 years, Pepin’s name has gone from “who’s that” to “hey, have you tried the latest from...” For 2013, this is “the latest”: an ornately banded cigar that ships in individual coffins inside a much larger box and costs more than any “Don Pepin Garcia” branded cigar before it (more than any “My Father” branded cigar, too, if I’m not mistaken). Since this is just a “short take” on the cigar and I’ve already gotten overly verbose in the first paragraph, I’ll just dive in from here on out...

In typical DPG/MF fashion, the filler and binder for this cigar are all Nicaraguan. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano...and quite a dark one, too. Almost a milk chocolate in color, the band was very oily to the touch and glistened in the light, while exuding a pungent earthiness, mixed with notes of cedar. Despite having a mostly-blue band, you shouldn’t mistake this for a DPG Blue Label (now called “Original”). While the Blue is full-bodied and spicy, this 10th Anniversary is more refined, medium-to-full in body, with some spice, but more cedar and earth on the palate at the outset and a nutty retrohale. I paired it with a red wine that Matt from Burns had told me about, Cline Vineyards’ Cashmere. The wine had notes of berries at the front, with just enough sweetness to provide a very smooth finish...probably the best finish I’ve had on a red wine, actually (bear in mind that I’m not a frequent wine drinker).

As I puffed into and through the second third, I picked up an increase in pepper spice and the wine melded wonderfully with the cigar, adding fruity notes to the mix. While I’ve heard some debate about whether or not this cigar is worth the price of admission, it definitely is a fantastic smoke and the wine is a great partner for it. The Don Pepin Garcia 10th Anniversary was a refined and flavorful representation of what 10 years in the business has done for the Garcia family.


  1. How can you not like a Pepin stick his name is all over the place there has got to be a stick out there for somebody... I hope to find one of these and try it.. Merry Christmas to the Tiki Bar gang.

  2. I like sitting outside and having a cigar while it rains.... I'm under an awning though, so I'm not directly in it. It's peaceful to me.
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