Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro Belicoso Review

Brand: Don Pepin Garcia

Line: Series JJ Maduro

Size: 5 3/4″ X 52

Shape: Belicoso

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo

Origin: Nicaragua

Price: $7.95 USD

          The Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ line of cigars was one of the first lines that the Garcia family produced which really put them in the spotlight. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the name, Don Pepin Garcia is the creator of My Father cigars which won the Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year for 2012 for their beautiful Flor de las Antillas. I have been smoking Garcia’s sticks since 2011 and I have remained a loyal and avid fan of their products.
          When you pick up any of Garcia’s cigars you will notice the beauty and perfection of the construction. If you take a moment to look at the foot of the cigar you will make note of the amazing quality of the role. It has a characterizing light, yet dense pack. The cigars almost never get squishy when they get close to the nub and the ash always holds on for more than an inch and a half. Overall, the sticks produced by Garcia and the My Father Cigar Co. are to die for and I have yet to hear any complaints. The Series JJ Maduro is no exception to these high standards. They are priced at a decent rate and they provide the puffer all that they could wish for in a super-premium stick.
          Today was a relatively decent day with little to no wind, which means it was the ample opportunity to light one of these babies up. I thought I would take a walk in my local park as I took the belicoso out of its protective cellophane and cut it with my double guillotine. The nose provided a rich earth, barn yard hay and the distinguishable black pepper and cayenne notes. I finally toasted this stick with my torch and got her lit up!
          Right away my palette was met with the tingling sensation of black pepper and extra strong espresso. The cigar was showing itself to be a full body smoke, and there was no indication of future changes.

First Third (1/3) – 25 min

          The flavours from the initial light remained during the first third, however, they became somewhat less distinguishable. It was as if they intermingled with one another into a single complex flavour. My palette and lips were coated with a beautiful oily slickness which I find to be characteristic of great smokes! The cigar remained a definite full body and produced a voluptuous amount of smoke which could probably be seen for half a mile. The burn remained razor sharp, and the strength stayed to a minimum…thankfully. Overall, this cigar is turning out to be another go-to classic from the Garcia’s.

Second Third (2/3) – 30 min

          The burn remained perfect despite the wind picking up a bit. I will say that I was actually quite surprised at the fact, yet I was not willing to give up such a tasty stick simply because of the wind. The flavour profile had taken a definitely different turn in the second third. The black pepper seemed to be gone and was replaced by a noticeable leather and aged tobacco taste. The richness was very noticeable here, the taste was simply spectacular as the oily slickness turned into a more chewy texture on my tongue. I have had this experience with quite a few cigars and I find it to be one that I adore! Notes of white pepper and nutmeg creeped into the finish, which was long to say the least. As the cigar mellowed out more we reached the band point, and thus the final third.

Final Third (3/3) – 15 min

          The final third made some discernible changes in profile compared to the previous two thirds. The cigar really mellowed out at this point and notes of butter and cream seemed to compliment the increasing heat of the smoke as the burn approached the nub. The tastes were really good, and the chewy texture continued to persist on the finish, however, the burn picked up its pace and I was forced, through necessity, to finally put the cigar down to rest.

Total Smoke Time: 1h 10min


The Verdict

          This installation and long time frontrunner of the My Father line is not a disappointment to its recent award winning contemporaries. The JJ maduro was a fantastic smoke and provided me with an enjoyable and ever transforming smoking experience. The only draw back is that there wasn’t more to smoke and that the burn in the final third was a little to quick for me. The notes of pepper, leather and finally cream were an excellent profile and it attests to the blending skill and knowledge of Don pepin and his son Jaime. I look forward to smoking more of these crafted beauties as well as their other lines of cigar blends. On the Leather Library’s 10 Point Stogie Scale the Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro gets a:



          This is a super-premium stick and it comes at a relatively good price. I recommend purchasing a box of these to age and allow for the flavours to consolidate themselves as a more mellow smoking stick. I look forward to trying this cigar in another 6 months to see differences in flavours.

By: Steven Umbrello

Steven Umbrello is a student of philosophy and an avid cigar and pipe smoker. He has been smoking cigars and pipes for over five years and has made it his mission to learn as much about the industry as possible. He has attended some high profile cigar events and is a leading member of the Toronto Cigar Club.  You can find more from Steven at his blog The Leather Library Blog.

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