Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cigar Review: My Father - Le Bijou 1922


Don "Pepin" Garcia started working with cigars in Cuba when he was 11 years old.  He spent the next thirty years honing his craft and achieving Class 8 (Master), the highest cigar rolling level possible, and has worked with such storied manufacturers as Partagas, Cohiba and Montecristo.  In 2001 he left Cuba for Nicaragua and then, finally, Miami Florida.  All of this history comes together in the Don's tribute to his father, the Le Bijou 1922.



Made from a Nicaraguan Pelo de Oro wrapper (a well veined, difficult to grow leaf) and filled with other varieties of Nicaraguan tobacco, this cigar was a joy to smoke.


Details:

The Le Bijou 1922 I had was a toro gauge and 5.5 inches long.  It seemed well rolled, firm with a slight give, and had a round triple cap that cut easily.  There was an attractive double label that did not tear the leaf when removed.


Pre-light:

There was a mild, sweet aroma to the cigar that was quite pleasing.  The draw was smooth without being too free and there was no evidence of plugging.  Pre-light the flavor was sweet with floral undertones.


First 1/3:

The Le Bijou lit easily.  Right off the bat there was a creamy, peppery flavor that soon gave way to a pleasant woody tone with hints of leather and spice as an aftertaste.  The burn was even with a good ash that dropped after about two inches.  The smoke was light and did not linger on the palate overly long after exhale.


Second 1/3:

The peppery flavor returned, strongly, in the second 1/3, accompanied by a brief cocoa tone.  Near the end this changed to a floral taste.  At this point the burn got slightly uneven, but this could have been caused by me not drawing evenly and it corrected itself with a rotation of the cigar.


Final 1/3:

The floral flavor continued through to the end and was mingled with a sweet citrus note that seemed to cleanse and refresh the palate.


Rating:

Price: 3/5 -  At $12.95 it's not a cheap smoke, but it's worth it

Construction: 4/5 - The Le Bijou 1922 was masterfully rolled with a great feel

Draw/Burn: 3.5/5 - The draw was great throughout, but there was a slight unevenness to the burn.

Flavor: 4/5 - Strong peppery tones followed with sweet floral and occasional hints of other warm flavors gives this cigar wonderful qualities.

Overall: 4/5 - A great cigar for relaxing and enjoying the day.  It is excellent for autumn type weather.


Opinion:

Okay, there is no doubt this is a great cigar.  "Don" Pepin Garcia took all the skills he's learned over the years and crafted something outstandingly unique.  The different flavors flowed and blended together so that there was always something new, just as an under note, to keep things from getting boring.  A good Islay whisky such as Laphroaig or Lagavulin would be a perfect complement.  I enjoyed this beauty during my lunch hour with a hot cup of fresh coffee at my local cigar shop.  Big thanks to Phil for recommending this cigar.



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