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Staff Reviews

Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Today I’m reviewing a much-anticipated cigar from the My Father factory, Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary, while we’ve got them in stock. Only 5,000 boxes of this classic 6.5-by-52 Toro were produced, of which only 3,900 are reserved for the U.S. Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary celebrates two decades of the Garcia family’s success in America, following their emigration from Cuba, and a love of tobacco that’s hard to measure.


The Garcias have released a handful of impressive, limited-edition anniversary cigars over the years within their renowned My Father Cigars portfolio. Before launching the My Father brand, though, the Don Pepin Garcia line, named for family patriarch José ‘Pepin’ Garcia, was among the first premium lines they created from a humble operation in Miami’s Little Havana district. And Don Pepin Garcia Original, also called the Blue Label, remains a cornerstone in the family’s collection of more than twenty premium blends.   

Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary is drawn from an exclusive blend of tobaccos and its rarity is reflected in the packaging, the flavor profile, and the price – $40 apiece. The cigars come in an opulent navy-blue box finished in a high-gloss lacquer with a thick cedar lining on the inside. The box sparkles with elaborate gold accents, including the logo on the top, corner covers, and a push-button lock for the lid. Inside, 20 gorgeous Toros are outfitted in ornate cigar bands with blue ribbons on the feet.

Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary cigars glisten with an oily, reddish-brown sheen thanks to the Cuban-seed Nicaraguan Oscuro wrapper leaf the Garcias chose for the blend. Underneath it, special reserves of premium Nicaraguan long-fillers, including the Garcias’ prized Pelo de Oro tobacco, complete the cigar. Pelo de Oro is a varietal once grown in Cuba that Pepin adored for years as a master cigar-maker on the island. The Cubans no longer plant it due to its propensity to develop mold, but the Garcias have mastered growing Pelo de Oro on isolated plots on their Nicaraguan estates, and they save it for their rarest cigars.

The 20th Anniversary Toro entices with its chewy and indulgent aroma the second I pull one from the box and slip the cellophane off. Notes of hickory and raisin stir the nostrils upon closer examination, and the cigar exhibits perfect density when I gently pinch it from head to foot. After clipping the cap and tasting the cold draw, rich and earthy flavor emerges with a touch of sweetness. 

Creamy and nutty tasting notes of cedar, hickory, and leather develop with hints of pepper as the foot of the cigar fully ignites. Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary brandishes abundant streams of smoke through a flawless draw. The nose is spicy initially, but the profile settles on the palate with an incredibly balanced, smooth texture.

Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary progresses with subtle hints of cocoa powder and coffee bean over the first thirty minutes, while the cigar’s peppery character softens a bit. Overall, bold and woody notes combine over a luscious foundation of fresh, mature tobacco. The Toro burns slow and deserves time in between each draw to fully appreciate its powerful taste. Notes of almond, chestnut, and leather impart complexity through the second half, and the cigar yields a perfectly firm ash at the foot.

The 20th Anniversary is a decadent, special occasion cigar you’ll want to smoke after dinner. It lasts over an hour, during which its polished profile culminates with graceful satisfaction. Smoke it patiently to digest its strength and pick up its many nuances, especially as you savor the nub. If you’re a fan of My Father cigars, treat yourself to Don Pepin Garcia 20th Anniversary while it’s available. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you need more convincing, check out our pairing with Johnny Walker Blue Label for a perfect Scotch to sip with this rare masterpiece from José ‘Pepin’ Garcia.


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