Archive for the ‘pepin’ Category

Tatuaje Monster Series-Wolfman

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Another Tatuaje review? Yes… I know I’m a little late on reviewing this annual Halloween series, but Ed got a late shipment. The only other Halloween series cigar I’ve had is last years “The Face.” I remember it being a very good cigar, so I jumped at the chance of trying the 2011 release called the Wolfman. This is a very limited cigar that fan boy’s seek and some obsess over. Personally, I think it’s about the cigar, not the hype. So let’s see how the Tatuaje Wolfman went. 


Wrapper: Sumatra

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: 7.5 x 52

Price: $13.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper was blotchy looking and had a shiny yet rough look to it. The wrapper had a cedary sweet smell. The foot smelled similar but had a little spice that made the nose tingle. The cigar was pretty evenly packed, and had a little give when squeezed. The pre-light draw had a little resistance, and had a dark bitter flavor (not the bad kind).

The burn required a couple minor touch up’s, and the ash held for around an inch.

1 Tatuaje_Wolfman cigars


The first bit of the cigar has no wrapper. The initial first draws had a simple peppery spice with woody notes. Once I got to the wrapper, the pepper mellowed out a bit. The flavor felt smoother, with a dominant cedary flavor. Up next was a bitter sweetness that boarded on being dark chocolate.

2 Tatuaje_Wolfman cigars

The second third definitely had a sweet dark chocolaty core. The peppery spice was almost gone, and turned into a smooth sweetness that boarded on creaminess. A bitter sweet aftertaste clung to the inside of the mouth for quite a while. As this third came to an end, coffee notes were noticed.

3 Tatuaje_Wolfman cigars

The last third didn’t change too much in terms of flavor. Black coffee increased a bit, but the flavors I mentioned before remained. They all increased in body and strength. Speaking of strength, at this point I had a pretty good nicotine buzz.

4 Tatuaje_Wolfman cigars


This was a very good full bodied cigar. It definitely isn’t for the mild smoker. I enjoy a good full strength cigar, but I don’t like when flavors suffer as a result. The Wolfman delivers in all areas – strength and flavor. This proves yet again that you don’t have to sacrifice one to have the other. If you run across this limited release, it is worth picking a few up.

Tom’s Favorites of 2010

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

It’s that time of the year again. Every cigar blog out there has their top 10, and I am not above making my own list.

My top cigars for 2010 list is a little different. My criteria is simple. I picked out some cigars that stood out throughout the year. The list isn’t limited to release date, popularity, or even the best tasting. Simply put… Any cigar that really stood out in my mind made this list.

Some of my choices may have some of you scratching your head. I bring to you my most memorable cigars of 2010:

T Logo 2

5 – Tabacos Baez Serie SF – Before you say “What?!” Let me say, this doesn’t have a complex flavor profile. It isn’t the prettiest or best cigar out there. I even called it “One dimensional” in my review. But for the price point, I found myself reaching for these when I wanted a decent, CHEAP cigar.


4 – La Gloria Cubana Artesanoa De Tabaqueros – This cigar takes you on a journey by offering you two different wrappers on one cigar. From almost mild to full, along with nice flavors. Smoking this is a lesson on just how much the wrapper plays in the over all flavor profile.


3 – Cubao Maduro – What can I say… I loved the original Cubao. The maduro version was great as well. I went through a couple of boxes in 2010.


2 – Don Pepin Garcia My Father Le Bijou 1922 – Being a Don Pepin fan, I had high expectations, and they were met. This is just full bodied goodness.


And my number one pick is…


1 – Quesada Tributo – I probably smoked more of these then any other cigar this year. It took me a little while to warm up to them. But once I did, I couldn’t get enough. I still have a few of these a week.


And there you have it, my most memorable cigars of 2010.

Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial

Monday, September 27th, 2010

The cigar I am reviewing today was blended by Jaime Garcia, the son of Don Pepin Garcia. Jaime blended the My Father cigar in tribute to Don. I really enjoy that cigar, so when I ran across this one, I had to pick up a few sticks to review. I am an admitted Pepin whore, so with a glass of water I reviewed the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial.


Wrapper: Connecticut broadleaf


Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Toro 6 x 54

Price: Around $7.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had minimal flaws, and the medium to large veins gave it a rugged look. It had a light earthy, hayish odor, while the foot had a mild sweet natural tobacco smell. There were a few soft and hard spots when squeezing the cigar, but nothing of concern. The pre-light draw was free, and had an earthy and woody taste.


The burn required a few minor corrections, and the ash held firm for an inch. At about the half way point, the cigar swelled, causing the wrapper to separate at the seam. I burned though it without issue.




The first third began with a smooth earthy flavor. When passing smoke through the nose, there was that familiar blast of pepper. Although strong, it wasn’t over the top. Up next was black coffee and a dark sweetness. The smoke volume was thick yet crisp. As this third came to an end, I started to pick up slight woody notes.


The second third: Way in the background I could detect slight fruity notes. Like before, the coffee was present and had that common coffee bitterness (not the bad kind). The spicy pepper smoothed out a bit, but kept it’s bite. The sweetness became similar to chocolate. Notes of earth would come and go. Some draws had it, some didn’t. Like the first third, there was a woody aftertaste. The smoke feel was still crisp but somehow took on a slight creamy feel at the same time. When taking a draw, billows of cloudy smoke filled the room.


The last third: There wasn’t any major change. The pepper did not go anywhere, but it did smooth out and become a little more tame. Other then that, there was coffee, earthy notes, chocolaty notes, woody aftertaste. It was all there and blended nicely.



This was a good medium to full bodied cigar. It wasn’t a wow cigar, but delivered a relaxing smoking experience. The flavor profile was complex enough to keep things interesting. Taking the price into consideration, I think it is easily worth it. I’d smoke more of these, but I won’t go out of my way to fine them. I say give the Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial a try.

Smoke a JJ for JJ

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I usually try to keep this site focused on cigars and minimize personal subject matter. There are always exceptions, and this is one of them.

1SeriesJJToday, July 22nd, is the 3rd annual “Smoke a JJ for JJ day.” Jerry from The Stogie Review would appreciate if you would take a moment and smoke a Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ in remembrance of his son. JJ was born on this day three years ago, and died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) only 3.5 months into his life.

My pal Barry at is also holding a fundraiser. Barry runs a great cigar review site and is going above and beyond. Go HERE to find out more.

It is that simple. Just sit back, relax, enjoy life and enjoy the smoke.

Tatuaje Black Tubo (First Impression)

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

As the title says, this is a first impression review. I bought the last tubo that Ed had in stock. He strongly suggested I try it, so I did. The only thing I know about this cigar is that Don Pepin Garcia blended it, and that there will be no more tubo’s for Tatuaje. You may want to pick a few up before it is too late! As usual, I paired this cigar with water.


Wrapper: Nicaragua Sun Grown Criollo Esteli

Binder/Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Torpedo 6 1/8 x 52

Price: $15.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper had a few good sized veins along with a rugged look (this isn’t a bad thing). Considering the tubo is cedar lined, it made sense that the wrapper and foot had that same smell. When I squeezed the cigar’s length, I found a few tight and soft spots, but nothing that concerned me. The pre-light draw had a little resistance, and had a dark sweet taste that I can’t describe.

I did several burn corrections, and the ash held for around one inch.



The first third opened up with an “In your face” pepper. But something was a little different then what I would except from a Don Pepin Garcia blend. This wasn’t the normal pepper I’m used to. It had a nice zing but had a unique flavor that I can’t describe. It didn’t take long for the pepper to calm and nice woody flavors to kick in.


The second third was very mellow with dominant woody and spicy flavors. The smoke feel became very smooth with a touch of creaminess. I detected wisps of earthiness from time to time. A coco-ish sweetness wrapped itself around the entire flavor profile, if that makes sense. Everything just leveled out and became well balanced.


The peppery spice, while very smooth and sweet, kicked up a notch in terms of strength in the last third. Sweet cocoa flavors melded perfectly with cedar and hints of coffee for a perfect mixture. Like before, the smoke feel was smooth and almost creamy. The flavors were common but had exceptionally balanced.



Wow Ed was right, this was a great cigar. It started as medium, but crept in to the full bodied range. The more I smoked it the better it got. If I were to complain, it would be about the price and several touch-up’s I had to do to the burn. I would keep a couple of these around for a special occasion if I could find them. You’ve got to try this cigar!

Don Pepin Garcia My Father Le Bijou 1922

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

I didn’t have a lot of info on this cigar, until my pal Barry wrote about it. Le Bijou is French for “The jewel” and 1922 refers to the year Jose “Don Pepin Garcia’s” father was born. The original My Father cigar was a tribute to Don Pepin Garcia from his son Jaime. The Le Bijou is Don Pepin’s own tribute to his father. When Pepin comes out with a cigar, I tend to keep it on my radar. I generally like his blends. I paired with a glass of water, and sat down to review this Pepin creation.


Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro

Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan

Size: Churchill 7 x 50

Price: Around $11.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

Giving the cigar a once over, it looked great. The dark wrapper had minimal veins or defects. I found the cigar to be evenly packed with tobacco, and ever so slightly spongy when squeezed. The wrapper had a sweet earthy odor. The foot had the same smell with the addition of slight spice. The pre-light draw was good, and had a sweet, simple earthy taste.



The first third had a nice intro of pepper and spice with a tinge of sweetness. Very slight earthy notes lingered behind the full flavored spices. The sweetness developed into a nice mocha flavor. The aftertaste left a slight bitterness on the lips. It was a sweet bitterness, not a bad thing.


The pepper mellowed out a little in the second third. It took on a smooth feel and became sweeter. The mocha turned up a notch or two in strength, and became a little dry. The bitterness went away and was replaced with a slight tingle on the lips.


The last third took a turn for the mellow side, while keeping your attention with a nice punch. The pepper, while keeping it’s bite, became very smooth and even more sweet. Speaking of sweet, mocha was the main flavor. With that, the aftertaste had a slight tinge of cinnamon that tingled on the lips. The smoke became thick and coated the inside of the mouth.



I really enjoyed this full bodied cigar. Don, if your reading this, you’ve done it again. The flavor profile was refined and very enjoyable. If I were to complain, it would be the $11.00 price tag. At the end of the day, I think you get your monies worth though. Thumbs up.

Tabacos Baez Serie SF

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

This cigar is from Don Pepin Garcia. What turned me on to this smoke was the price, the blender (Pepin), as well as the good reviews by Jerry and Chris. A friend of mine Matt pointed me to a decent deal, so I took a chance and picked up a box from a site supporter, Bonita Smoke Shop. I’m always searching for a good economical daily cigar. Let’s see how the Tabacos Baez Serie SF rates.


Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan (70% long filler, 30% short filler)

Size: Toro 6 x 50

Price: $41.90 for a box of 20 or around $3.00 for a single.



Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper was a little rough looking and bumpy, but had no major flaws. It had a basic earthy sweet smell. The foot had a similar smell with a slight spice. When I squeezed the cigar, it was a little spongy with a couple soft spots. The pre-light draw was free, and the flavor reminded me of hay.

The burn required no corrections, and the ash held for a little under one inch.



The first third started with a smooth pepper. After a few puffs a slight sweetness joined in, with a mild earthy undertone that was hard to detect at times. The smoke volume was nice, with fairly large white cloud plumes.


The second third didn’t see any major changes. The flavors essentially stayed the same. The spicy pepper had a slight increase in strength and bite, but kept it’s smoothness. The sweet flavors remained, but I couldn’t pin down an exactly what the sweetness tasted like. And like before, very slight earthy notes lingered in the background from time to time.


Like before, there wasn’t anything major to mention, but I’ll mention it anyway. The sweetness developed into a dry cocoa type of flavor. The spicy pepper was nice, and didn’t change at all. The earthy notes almost went away, but I noticed them from time to time.



This is a good medium bodied smoke. Although one dimensional, I enjoyed this cigar. It is easily worth the price, and lately I find myself reaching for one of these when I just want a simple relaxing smoke. If you are looking for a good budget cigar, this one is worth trying.

Don Pepin Garcia – My Father

Friday, January 1st, 2010

I’ve been wanting to try this cigar for awhile. If you don’t already know… I consider myself a big fan of most Pepin blends. When I ran across the My Father line at The Tampa Humidor, I had to grab some for review. The quick story is Jose “Don Pepin” Garcia and his son Jaime created this blend. This father/son duo are machines, pumping out many blends like the Cuban Classic, Series JJ, and many more. As always, I paired this cigar with water and jotted down my thoughts…


Wrapper: Ecuador

Binder & Filler: Nicaragua

Size: 5.2 X 52

Price: Around $10.00


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper looked great, with virtually no flaws whatsoever. Sniffing the wrapper and foot reminded my of an earthy, slightly spicy odor. The pre-light draw was good, and had a sweet earthy taste. The cigar was evenly packed with tobacco, not too soft or too hard. To sum it up, this smoke looked great.

The burn required no corrections, and the ash held firm for about an inch.



The first few puffs were what I’ve come to expect from a Pepin cigar. Pepper. Good, smooth, has a bite kind of pepper. It didn’t take long for this cigar to hit it’s stride. Although the spicy pepper didn’t go away, it did mellow out and allow other flavors to come though. For instance… At times a nice chocolate/mocha would shine though. At other times a crisp toasty type of nuttiness would appear. There were woody undertones at times too.


The second third kept that nice smooth peppery spice. Sweet mocha notes stood in the forefront of the flavor profile. Like the first third, the smoke was crisp with nuttiness and an addition of occasional coffee. A lot of draws had strong woody flavors, and others did not. Towards the end of the second third,  the different flavors took turns at dominating the flavor profile.


The pepper really mellowed out in the last third. It was just smooth and sweeter, with a familiar zing you often get from Nicaraguan tobacco. Woody flavors often took the lead. At other times, nutty coffee-ish notes dominated. A slight sweet tingle was felt on the tongue and lips.



This was a damn good full bodied cigar. I liked the way the flavor profile quickly built up to a complex, full bodied experience. My only complaint is the price of $10.00 for a Robusto size. Price aside, I have to say WOW what a great cigar.

Benchmade by Ashton

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Once again, I found myself checking out another cheap cigar while browsing a local shop. The Benchmade is a brand of Ashton, and is blended by Jose Pepin Garcia. What drew me to it was the price, and the fact that it is a Nicaraguan puro from Ashton. I figured for two bucks, grabbing a couple to review couldn’t hurt. I filled up my glass of water and bring you my thoughts…


Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder & Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Robusto 5 x 50

Price: Around $2.50


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

Giving the cigar the old once over, I found it to be visually appealing. The dark brown wrapper had some small veins, but otherwise no mentionable flaws. Pinching the cigar revealed a soft spot or two, but nothing of concern. The wrapper had an earthy. grassy odor. The foot almost had no smell at all, other then a very slight pepper. The pre-light draw was free, and had a sweet natural tobacco taste.

The burn required no corrections, and the flakey ash held for about a half of an inch.



Peppery spice greeted me in the first third. Beneath the spice were woody and earthy notes. I couldn’t pull any other flavors at this point.


The second third increased in strength slightly. The woody flavors took on a sweet tinge, while the earthy flavors fell further into the background. That peppery zing remained.


The smoke feel in the last third became thick and a little creamy. When passing through the nose, the pepper was still present. If anything, the pepper was the dominant flavor. It mingled with the woody flavor for an overall enjoyable smoke.



The Benchmade is a decent medium bodied cigar. As I often say about bundle or value cigars, a cheaper price often means a less complex flavor profile. This is the case with the Benchmade. It wasn’t bad by any means. You easily get what you pay for. I say give it a try, and see if it is for you.

601 Serie black

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Those of you who follow this site probably read my reviews of other 601 cigars. So far I’ve enjoyed them. They are blended by Don Pepin Garcia for United Tobacco. For me, a typical Pepin blend punches you in the face to start, and then calms to what the cigar will become. As always, I smoked a couple of these with water and wrote my thoughts on the 601 black label.


Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Robusto 5 x 50

Price: Around $6.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

The wrapper didn’t quite look like a typical Connecticut, and had a strange hue to the color. It was a little bumpy with medium veins. I picked up woody, earthy, and spicy notes when sniffing the wrapper. The cigar was consistently packed, and a little on the soft side. The draw was perfect, and had an interesting taste of spice, wood, and possibly leather or earth. It was a dark and dense flavor if that makes sense.

I didn’t do any burn corrections, and the ash held on for just over an inch.



The first third… Just as I suspected, I was greeted with a nice blast of pepper. It wasn’t a harsh or intense pepper, just a smooth and somewhat strong. Enough to grab your attention. Next in line was a woody flavor that was undeniable.


As I got into the second third, that full peppery sensation turned into more of a sweet spice. The smoke feel became thick and creamy. This led to a slight earthy and cedary aftertaste. The combination of these basic flavors were somehow unique and interesting.


The last third didn’t offer too much change. Most notably was an interesting earthy flavor that bordered on leather. The sweet spice remained along with the thick, creamy smoke feel. The woody component remained as well. Like I said, not a lot of change, but still enjoyable.



This was a good medium to full bodied cigar. I could see some people being turned off if they were expecting a mild cigar which is common to most Connecticut wrapped cigars. For me that wasn’t the case, and I really enjoyed the experience. Pick some up!

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