Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Robusto

Overall Score

1 review for Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Robusto

  1. Joe K

    Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Robusto

    Don Pepin Garcia cigarsOrigin : United States
    Format : Robusto
    Size : 5 x 50
    Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo Oscuro
    Filler : Nicaragua
    Binder : Nicaragua
    Price : ~$6-7 each

    Today was yet another beautiful day in my tundra paradise. Not feeling like a particularly long smoke I reached for the Don Pepin Garcia JJ White Label that has been resting in my desktop for just over a month. I had been looking forward to this one for a while because I cannot seem to find enough smokes in the shorter vitolas.

    First inspection shows a wrapper that is a bit more vein laden than I would like. Some of them are quite pronounced begging to affect razor edged burns. Despite this, the seams are unpronounced and the cap is nice and secure. Moving to the foot I notice two fairly pronounced dents that can only be described as pencil eraser sized divots. This leads me to believe that this one is under filled. Pinching from the head to the foot reveals a solid cigar with slight give. Unfortunately, there are two very significant soft spots. One is 2 inches from the foot and the other is right about where the larger band is located.

    Moving onto the olfactory inspection reveals a fairly neutral smell at the foot. A slight note of grass or hay is present. Using my punch to pierce the cap produced two 1/16th inch cracks in the head. One on each side of the punch. Taking a prelgiht draw I find it to be quite loose. In fact there is no resistance at all on this one, almost like sucking through an empty straw. The neutral flavors from the front come across during the prelight draw as well. There is nothing very eventful. I notice a slight hint of cherrywood but other than that not much.

    Pulling out my single torch I toast the foot and get a few puffs in. A very light leather flavor comes across. I enjoy the density of the smoke that this stick is producing at this point. After several more puffs a tasteful white pepper flavor shows itself but only briefly. It is at this point that the burn decides to take off on a horrible sprint. It begins to become quite wavy and visibly skewed on one side. After much turning and angling I manage to help it correct itself some but it still maintains its jagged appearance. Shortly after I managed to get this under control a subtle sweet flavor shows up akin to brown sugar. This smoke is very dry and I find myself reaching for water more than usual. Grassy tones join the party just under an inch in.

    At the one inch mark I find myself puffing on a stick that had somehow managed to go out despite my having nothing else to distract me and giving it plenty of attention. Tapping off the ash I torch the foot again and begin anew. Despite relighting, the uneven burn remains quite prominent. Most flavors have subsided at this point except that of the cherry wood, which is still faint. At about 2 inches in, the smoke again went out; much to my frustration. We have all been guilty of leaving a smoke unattended or allowing it to go out because of distractions but this smoke does not fall into that category.

    Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Robusto

    Repeating the ritual, I get this one going again in the hopes that making it past the halfway mark will solve these problems and somehow redeem the stick. After half an inch more, I observe smoke coming from areas other than the head and foot. It turns out that the stick has developed three ¼ to ½ inch cracks in various places along the shaft, thus venting smoke out the sides. I wrestle with the burn and failing wrapper for a few more minutes and decide this one is no longer worth the effort. Disposing of it I reflect on what went wrong.

    Overall, the construction of this stick appears to be its downfall. The channels, soft spots, and loose draw are all evidence that this stick was under filled. The lack of flavor may be attributed to that as well but overall it was fairly uneventful and bland. I really wanted to like this stick, especially after enjoying its larger blue label brother, but found it extremely lacking. What surprises me the most about this is that although hand rolled cigars are prone to defects, this one seemed to have several blatantly and outwardly visible indications that this one should never have passed inspection…

    Appearance : [rating:3/5]
    Construction : [rating:1/5]
    Flavor : [rating:2/5]
    Value : [rating:1/5]
    Overall Rating : [rating:2/5]

    [sz]garcia jj[/sz]

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    • Day Smoke

      I had a totally different experience today (Nov 17) with a 2016 JJ. Looks like they improved a lot to since 2010. Mine had a perfect construction: nice appearance, invisible seams, perfectly easy draw, solid ash, raser sharp burn, no tunneling, no relighting needed. Very classy cuban tastes of leather and ceder wood combined with nicaraguan spicyness plus cinamon and ginger. Very enjoyable!

    • Richard C. Lyons

      I follow your reviews and have found them useful in making additions to my humidor tier. Tier 1 is for the sticks purchased as a result of a review. It could be considered the quarantine humidor. After a rest following purchase (usually on-line) it is smoked under as near optimal conditions as I can obtain. I have found, for example; windy conditions are self defeating when trying to enjoy a stick.

      If, the smoke warrants it graduates to my tier 2 humidor where it will join its brothers awaiting a fine truly enjoyable and subsequently memorable cigar experience.

      A number of that reviewed by Joe K have gone the tier 1/2 process. The majority of his highly rated sticks are now tier 2 and some are permanent residents of tier 1. A tier 1 cigar will always be a singleton. If found at an outstanding price one will be purchased and added. Never a box purchase for a tier 1 smoke!

      A very rare few have got me contemplating on establishing a third tier. That would be for those I would mortgage the house to obtain. One can dream….

    • JohnWah

      I would recommend buying another series JJ from a different store, letting it rest 2 more months under optimal storage (67% preferably) and smoke it again. I’ve never been disappointed with this stick, and def one of my favorites!

    • Cigmon

      Wow! Sorry you had such a bad JJ experience! I have 4-5 boxes of the white label robusto under my belt. I have had a few bad burners myself and I understand how important first impressions are but I think as a long time cigar smoker this stick is defiantly worth another try, it’s worth it!

    • Matt

      My Review of the DPG Series JJ Sublime (6 x 54)

      Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Sublime

      This beaut is made in Pepin’s factory in Miami. The same factory that brings us the Tatuajes I love so much.

      To be honest this is an average looking cigar with an nice ornate white band and a second ring proclaiming it as a Series JJ. That is where this cigar stops being average. It is a superb smoke. It starts off very strong. I hadn’t eaten much the day I smoke this cigar and the first inch and a half had me thinking that this cigar was going to kick my butt. It was very full flavored and powerful. Not long after that, it began to even out and mellow a bit. It still had tons of flavor, kind of straight forward flavors of coffee and and wood, not very complex but very enjoyable. The amount of smoke this cigar produced was amazing. It bordered on being too much smoke. Lots of thick creamy white smoke that had a nice traditional cigar aroma to it. It was a really good smoke. It should probably be a bit cheaper (find myself thinking this about a lot of cigars now-a-days), but it is certainly worth trying one if you have the chance. I picked up a handful to keep in my humidor.

    • dmikecherry

      good honest review thanks, i have smoked 6 of d p garcia cigars and his best was the miami made with padilla.padilla miami made by padilla now is my best cigar smoke.garcia is a expert blender but he has to many blends to watch. thanks mc texas smoking cigars 52 years

    • Joe K

      Hey DJ, take a look at the Tatuaje J21 review I did. That will give you an idea of what I am dealing with!

    • dj

      Tundra paradise? Need pics on that!

    • Joe K

      Although I am sorry to hear that you have all had issues as well, it does make me feel a little more justified in the review. I hate writing such a poor review on a stick based on having only tried the one.

    • Steve

      I bought three of these sticks from my local b&m. I have smoked two of them and had the same issues as you with both of them.although I love Pepin’s stuff I probably won’t buy any more of these.

    • Stephen

      I’ve read some other reviews of this stick that were not overly favorable as well so it must not be just you.

    • The Cigar Sage

      Sadly, I’ve found most of their products to be subpar in the flavor area. I really only like their Blue Label.

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Cigar Region United States
Filler Nicaragua
Wrapper Nicaragua Corojo Oscuro
Binder Nicaragua
Length 5
Ring Gauge 50
Vitola Robusto
Construction Hand Made