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Staff Reviews

My Father #1 Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I’m smoking the original My Father cigar in a 5.25 by 52 Toro called the No. 1. The first cigars to wear a My Father band debuted in 2008, but the brand’s patriarch, Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia – Pepin for short – had been making cigars for decades, mostly in Cuba, by that time. He left Cuba to join his family in the States in the early 2000s and caught the wind in his sails blending the small-batch Tatuajue brand for Pete Johnson before landing a monster contract producing San Cristobal and La Aroma de Cuba cigars for the owners of Ashton. Today, Pepin’s considered a legend as big as any cigar-maker in the business.

My Father Cigars, like so many of today’s premium companies, is a family operation. Pepin’s son, Jaime, and his daughter, Janny, were instrumental in establishing the My Father brand, and both play a major role in running the operation. The company’s modern cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, is where several critically acclaimed cigars are produced, including the 96-rated Flor de las Antillas and the 97-rated My Father Le Bijou. Both have scored Cigar Aficionado’s coveted ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ honors. Because the Garcias have created dozens of popular, top-rated Nicaraguan cigars, it’s easy to overlook the original My Father blend – a bedrock in the family’s portfolio.

The Garcias grow premium tobacco on multiple Nicaraguan estates in Estelí, Condega, Jalapa, and Namanji. They age their tobaccos extensively before assembling the cigars we love. The original My Father blend is a drawn from a leathery and creamy blend of premium Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos beneath an oily, reddish-brown Cuban-seed wrapper leaf harvested in Ecuador. My Father cigars are packaged in dark, shimmering boxes that display the brand’s ornate logo with a commanding crispness. The soft pink, green, and gold details are carried around the bands on My Father cigars.

For today’s review, I’m sipping a neat glass of Eagle Rare with my cigar. Because I’ve smoked this blend several times, I’m confident I can convey its natural flavor in the context of a high-quality bourbon. When the cellophane is slid off, My Father No. 1 gushes with cold aromas of fresh coffee, leather, nutmeg, and cedar. Not to be missed, of course, is the blend’s unmistakable spiciness – a tangy and woody exchange that kicks in after the cigar is cut and taking a spin between my lips.

My Father is substantial in terms of its density and taste. The wrapper is seamless, and, for cigars that cost around $9 to $12 apiece, you can tell you’re getting a good deal before the first puff. Lush notes of smoked nuts and baking spices sustain the palate in a sequence of easy draws that linger just long enough. Soft notes of honey and toffee settle in nicely from a sip of Eagle Rare.

My Father is a naturally smoky blend, and the bourbon introduces a complementary sweetness that soothes and enriches the cigar’s robust character. The No. 1 burns with a firm ash that doesn’t shake off gingerly. Because Pepin and Jaime train and oversee the rollers in their rolling gallery, My Father cigars are handcrafted to an impeccable standard. Old-world nuances of Cuban cigar-making emerge in nearly every cigar that leaves their factory. 

As My Father unfolds, a flavorful procession of nutmeg, cedar, and chestnuts achieves a chewy dimension as the spices intensify in the second half. Notes of candied almonds and cocoa come out in the bourbon for a perfect juxtaposition with cigar’s pronounced zest. Both are so savory; rushing through them would be a sin. Toss a log in the fireplace, and share this pair with a pal when you’ve got time to unwind.

As My Father slowly blazes past the place band occupied before I peel it off, hints of cinnamon and wafer cookies hang in the balance as a quick crescendo of signature Nicaraguan spices arrives. You can sense Pepin’s command as a blender, particularly with Cuban-seed tobaccos. He’s got a natural gift for making cigars that are both powerful and refined. The original My Father is a solid place to appraise his talents. For a full evaluation of the blend, smoke a vertical tasting in the My Father Sampler. Five unique sizes display variation in intensity and burn time. Consider indulging in other hearty blends from Pepin with a My Father Fresh Pack.

While the Garcias have made many memorable cigars over the past twenty years, the original My Father blend stands the test of time in the pantheon of today’s premiums. Its salted-caramel finish resonates pleasurably while I absorb the last drops of bourbon in my tumbler. Luckily, I poured a double.  

94rated

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