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Staff Reviews

My Father La Promesa Toro Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

As the master cigar-maker behind the My Father brand and several other acclaimed Nicaraguan labels, Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia has achieved much over the last two decades. Known to most simply as “Pepin,” he emigrated from Cuba to the states with his family in the early 2000s. In Cuba, Pepin blended many prominent brands and trained hundreds of cigar-rollers over the course of decades. Upon arriving in Miami, however, Pepin started from ground zero in establishing himself as a cigar-maker in the premium U.S. market.

Pepin commemorates his journey and his rise to the top with My Father La Promesa. Spanish for The Promise, La Promesa debuted in 2019 and is named for the promise Pepin made to his family to succeed as a cigar-maker as they departed Cuba and faced an uncertain future. There is little doubt Pepin has delivered on his pledge. Today, he runs a thriving tobacco-growing and cigar-making operation in Nicaragua with his son, Jaime Garcia. His daughter, Janny Garcia, occupies a critical role running the sales force for My Father Cigars.

The company has won Cigar Aficionado’s prestigious ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ title twice: first in 2012 for the 96-rated Flor de las Antillas and again in 2015 for the 97-rated My Father Le Bijou 1922. The family’s state-of-the-art factory is also home to the top-rated La Aroma de Cuba and San Cristobal brands. Pepin’s ascension in the U.S. began with a handful of small-batch brands, notably Tatuaje. His ability to blend such a wide range of rich and Cubanesque cigars has made him a sought-after entity.

I am reviewing My Father La Promesa in a classic 6 x 52 Toro. Because the Garcias have received high marks for other Toros they produce, the shape holds much curiosity when I smoke a new blend from their factory. Also, many of Pepin’s cigars are on the stronger side. Therefore, a slightly thicker format like a Toro lessens the intensity with a cooler and looser draw.

In classic My Father fashion, La Promesa is a visually appealing cigar. The celebrated pastel pink My Father band includes a secondary label with the cigar’s name displayed in an electric light-blue font. A silky light-orange ribbon adorns the foot. Beneath the bands, an Ecuador Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper shimmers with an enticing and oily texture. Inside, an aged amalgam of premium Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos rests.

Sweet notes of leather, nutmeg, coffee beans, and spices deliver an inviting and complex cold draw. Chewy, leathery aromas emanate at the unlit foot. Other reviews of My Father La Promesa reference a citrus note, but I prefer to call it tangy.

La Promesa is a deep and personal cigar for Pepin. Well-rounded, earthy Nicaraguan flavors create anticipation naturally. The initial puffs appease expectations as the cigar begins. Creamy, woody, and crisp spices meld with a lush zest. Pepin’s blending is formulaic to a degree, but every cigar he assembles intrigues in a unique way. Notes of wood, nuts, pepper, and coffee beans maintain the tangy pluck they began with as the first third of the cigar progresses.

Notes of oak and chestnuts add definition to the second third of My Father La Promesa. There is no dramatic shift in taste otherwise. The blend stabilizes. An excellent burn, firm ash, and consistent flavor characterize La Promesa with reliable Pepin-made hallmarks. Bursts of heat and spice tease the palate but don’t overpower or turn bitter. The blend is solid, nutty, woody, and balanced.

As the final third emerges, signature Nicaraguan spices drive home behind a leathery tang. Hints of earth, smoked almonds, and hickory sneak in with peppery and resonant aroma and taste. My Father La Promesa is not punctuated by fireworks at the end, nor does it sizzle out without making a statement. It is a dependable Nicaraguan handmade and a perfect choice to pair with scotch.

With such success under his belt, aficionados approach cigars blended by Pepin with a genuine sense of anticipation. But not every cigar Pepin creates needs to achieve the highest ratings and the biggest demand to affirm his talent. That is the magic at work in My Father La Promesa: another rich and well-made premium created by a guy who proves his passion for tobacco in every cigar he makes.

90rated

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