Origin : United States
Format : Lancero
Size : 7 1/2 x 38
Ring : 38
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo Oscuro
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $9 each
More info about purchasing Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label cigars...
Everybody knows Don Pepin Garcia. Everybody has smoked at least one cigar rolled by the man, be it a EO 601, a Tatuaje or a Cabaiguan. It's no surprise that he produces cigars under his own brand - Don Pepin Garcia Blue was introduced in 2005 and had its band redesigned since then. This lancero is a Nicaraguan puro produced in the El Rey de los Habanos factory in Miami. It retails for approximately $9 per piece.
The cigar is very Cubanesque in appearance and, unbanded, could probably be mistaken for a Trinidad Fundadores because of similar dimensions and of the pigtail. The blue band immediately tells us who we are dealing with and also indicates the background of the blender with Cuban and American flags. Of course, it sports an accurate triple cap.
A cigar signed Don Pepin Garcia must deliver an impeccable construction. Whereas the construction on these cigars is never bad, I must say that it's not 100% perfect. The issues mostly affect the burn which might require a few corrections. The draw is usually quite loose and the ash holds firm.
It is described as a full-bodied, powerful cigar and it lives up to the description. Unlit, it exhales a strong flavor of black pepper. As soon as you light the Fundadores, you are greeted by a mighty spice kick. Fortunately, the cannonade does not last long and other flavors make their appearance - the ones I detected were coffee and oak. The bouquet is full-bodied with a note of creaminess. As I progress in the smoke, the power remains very present and the flavors, quite complex, do not really change. Only as I approach the middle notes of toasted bread and almonds appear. In the last third, the woody flavor becomes dominant and overshadows peppery notes.
At $9 / stick, I find it a nice value for this vitola. At least 100 minutes of pleasant smoking experience are worth the price tag.
Overall Rating :
DPG Blue Fundadores is a good smoke, but I was expecting something even better - especially in the construction department. On the other hand, the issues are minor and (it seems like) not very frequent, so I can fully recommend this cigar as an after-heavy-dinner smoke. If you like full-bodied cigars, you won't be disappointed.
Photo credit: Richard Cordero