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Reviews by Steve R
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CI Legends Pepin Garcia

Steve R

Yes, it’s true. Another fantastic blend has been added to the illustrious Legends Series. After tasting hundreds of samples from various top manufacturers over the past 6 months, one blend proved worthy of joining the ranks.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely say it again…this is going to be a favorable review. We invest a lot of time, effort and money in the Legends Series. Far too much blood, sweat and tears to add an inferior cigar. You want and expect the best of the best and that’s exactly what we demand out of each potential cigar submitted. That said, let’s get on with the review.

Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia (otherwise known as Don Pepin) began rolling cigars in Cuba at the age of 11 and quickly worked his way up to maestro-level, the most experienced of Cuban torcedores. In 2002, Pepin opened a tiny Miami-based factory called El Rey de Los Habanos, where he employs a Cuban-trained team of 8 rollers. Here, some of the industry’s most exciting and highly-rated cigars are made, including Tatuaje and Padilla Miami 8&11. In 2006, Pepin established a second factory in Nicaragua. That’s where we step in…

We’re big fans of Pepin’s cigars - especially after receiving the Padilla Achilles, his second joint venture with Ernesto Padilla. Over the course of 2006 we received a nice supply of concept blends from Pepin’s Nicaraguan factory, using the same tobaccos that made his prior releases so damn popular and, in turn, nearly impossible to find. One sample in particular blew all of us away. Now known as the Legends Pepin Garcia, this is the cigar I am currently enjoying.

Pepin’s entry sports a handsome Corojo wrapper. Small white veins run throughout this smooth leaf, which is capped three times in true Cuban fashion. The foot gives off a peppery aroma highlighted by heavy doses of spice on the pre-light flavor. Upon lighting, bursts of dry pepper consume my palate and work their way through the nose. To say this cigar is zesty would be an understatement. If you’re having trouble getting up in the AM, the first inch alone will jump start your senses faster than a quintuple-shot of espresso injected directly into your bloodstream. After burning beyond the 1” mark, strong notes of oak and earth begin to dominate, pushing the dry pepper to the back of the palate on the aftertaste. An aftertaste that hangs around for about a minute. The cigar is somewhat creamy throughout, a characteristic I’ve yet to experience with any Pepin’s blends. The end was rich and satisfying, leaving me relaxed, mellow and wanting another. Construction-wise, Pepin's Legends drew perfectly with a slow, deliberate burn and a barrel that remained solid to the nub.

Overall, this is a fantastic cigar offering that fantastic Pepin Garcia ‘twang’ without the heavy price tag. Loaded with character, the medium to full-bodied Legends Pepin Garcia are as satisfying as they come.