For the past six years, My Father Cigars has emerged as a staple in the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA)’s Exclusive Series. For its 2019 TAA Exclusive Series installment, the company provided a cigar off the brand that started it all for company founder Don Pepin Garcia, the eponymous Don Pepin Garcia Original (a.k.a. Don Pepin Garcia Blue line). In this case it’s a 6 x 54 line extension of the Don Pepin Garcia Original line. Today, we take a closer look at this cigar as a part of our series of cigar assessment of the 2019 TAA Exclusive Series.
The TAA Exclusive Series consists of cigars made by leading manufacturers that are exclusively sold at TAA member retailers. The TAA is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers is approximately 80. The TAA has defined itself as:
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.
There are 14 cigars released for 2019 as a part of the TAA Exclusive Series:
- AJ Fernandez New World Redondo
- Brick House Ciento Por Ciento TAA Exclusive by J.C. Newman Cigar Company
- CAO Brazilia Select
- Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2019
- Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 by My Father Cigars
- E.P. Carrillo La Historia 656
- Eiroa Jamastran 11/18
- Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserva Presidente
- Joya de Nicaragua Selección de Torcedor
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 50th Segunda Edición Natural
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 50th Segunda Edición Maduro
- La Palina Silver Label Toro
- Timeless 2019 Limited Edition for Nat Sherman
- Tatuaje TAA 51st
There are seven installments by My Father Cigars as TAA Exclusives.
- 2011: Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial TAA Edition
- 2014: My Father TAA Exclusive 2014
- 2015: La Antiguedad TAA Exclusive 2015 by My Father Cigars
- 2016: El Centurion H.2K.CT Box Pressed Torpedo (TAA Exclusive) by My Father Cigars
- 2017: Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial TAA 2017
- 2018: Flor de las Antillas Lancero
- 2019: Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019
Without further ado, let’s break down the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 is a Nicaraguan puro. Whether this cigar is the same blend as the core Don Pepin Garcia Original line is a bit of an unknown. While the core Don Pepin Garcia Original is produced in Little Havana at the El Rey de Los Habanos factor, this particular line extension was produced at the company’s main factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Oscuro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
The TAA Exclusive LE 2019 is presented in 25-count boxes.. Over the years, there have been a large number of vitolas and front marks introduced into the Don Pepin Garcia Original line. The following are some of the more common ones.
TAA Exclusive LE 2019: 6 x 54
Exclusivo: 9 1/4 x 48
Magnate: 7 5/8 x 49
Delicas: 7 x 50
Imperiales: 6 1/8 x 52
Generoso: 6 x 50
Exquisitos 5 5/8 x 46
Preferidos: 5 1/8 x 42
Invictos: 5 x 50
Demi Tasse 4 1/2 x 32
Fundadores: 7 1/2 x 38
Lancero: 6 7/8 x 42 (Puff n Stuff Retail Exclusive)
Firecracker: 3 x 50 (Two Guys Retail Exclusive)
The Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 had a coffee-colored oscuro wrapper. While I remember some of the other Don Pepin Garcia Originals having an oily wrapper, it was not the case with the TAA Exclusive. There were also some visible wrapper seams and visible veins.
There are two bands to the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive 2019. The primary band is similar to what is seen across the Don Pepin Garcia Original line. Given that this is the “Blue Label”, the band is primarily blue in its background color. The text “Don Pepin Garcia” is in gold cursive font on a blue background field. The band has additional gold and red coloring on it. Flanking the left side of the band are images of the U.S. flag and Statue of Liberty while flanking the right side is the Cuban flag and coat of arms. Each side of the band has a shield with the initials DPG in gold font on it.
The secondary band to the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive 2019 is unique to the TAA release. It has a mostly blue, red, and gold color scheme. The upper portion of the band says “ORIGINAL” in gold font on a blue background while the lower portion has the text “TAA EXCLUSIVE 2019” in gold font on a red background.
The footer of the cigar has a blue ribbon with the text “TAA” on it.
After using a straight cut to remove the cap of the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw delivered notes of natural tobacco, cocoa, and classic wood. I found this to be a flavorful pre-light draw that was satisfying. At this point, it was time to remove the footer ribbon of the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive and move on to the smoking phase.
The Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 commenced with a mix of chocolate, natural tobacco, cedar, and mixed pepper notes. During the early phases the chocolate and natural tobacco notes moved to the forefront. The chocolate notes imparted a nice amount of sweetness while the natural tobacco imparted a slight amount of bitterness. The cedar and mixed pepper settled in the background. There was also an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
By the end of the first third of the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive, the natural tobacco notes took over as the sole primary note. During the second third, there was an increase in the intensity of both the cedar and black pepper notes. The cedar notes spiked and would join the natural tobacco in the forefront. During the second third, there were times the bitterness of the natural tobacco was more prominent. Meanwhile, the black pepper notes increased at a gradual rate. Concurrently the chocolate notes diminished.
At the start of the last third, the pepper notes joined the cedar in the forefront. The natural tobacco notes were now secondary and the chocolate notes dissipated. This is the way the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
For the most part, the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 maintained a straight burn path and straight burn line. There were some touch-ups needed along the way, but overall the amount of touch-ups needed did not prove to be excessive. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, but it wasn’t loose nor flaky either. This was an ash that had a salt and pepper color complexion skewed toward the darker side. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 maintained a nice balance of openness and resistance. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 started out medium. Both attributes slowly increased in intensity. By the midway point, the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive was in medium to full strength, medium to full-bodied territory. The increase in intensity leveled off in the last third where both attributes were still in the medium to full range.
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overpowering the other.
When it comes to line extensions released as TAA Cigars, I have the same conclusion for the Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 as I did with another 2019 TAA line extension, the AJ Fernandez New World Redondo. The TAA Exclusive Series is supposed to be the best cigars by the best manufacturers for the best retailers. The Don Pepin Garcia TAA exclusive is a nice cigar but I don’t think it is a better cigar than some of the other core offerings in this line. Still, I do see the 54 ring gauge as a popular option for cigar enthusiasts – but don’t expect anything revolutionary from this size. The Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive is a cigar I’d steer to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast, but wouldn’t discourage a novice from going to a medium-plus cigar to try. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again – and it’s worthy of purchasing one.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Chocolate, Pepper, Cedar
Draw: Very Good
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: My Father Cigars to Release Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019
Brand Reference: My Father
TAA Exclusive Series 2019 Reference: 2019 TAA Exclusive Series
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop