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Big Smoke Saturday Seminars: Top Legal Cigars of the Year

David Savona
Posted: November 17, 2010

(continued from page 1)

This was the first time that Garcia had appeared before the Big Smoke crowd, and he received a warm welcome from the audience. He was joined on stage by his son Jaime and daughter Janny who work alongside him in Nicaragua and Miami. Helping translate Pepin's comments was John Gonzalez, vice president of sales for the company, which is headquartered in Miami.

Garcia apologized for his English, but this reporter, who helped along with questions from the podium, told him it was all right, because the audience understood him quite well through his cigars.

Pepin, Janny and Jaime Garcia.
Pepin, Janny and Jaime Garcia talk about the My Father No. 1.
Garcia spoke about learning how to roll cigars at the side of talented cigarmakers in Cuba. Garcia, who became one of Cuba's greatest cigar rollers, is among the few men to own and operate a cigar factory that was originally a cigar roller.

 

He spoke about his careful craftsmanship, where he instructs his workers to make each cigar in the Cuban way, with a mounted or three-seam cap.

Garcia's cigar production has increased exponentially since his original foray into cigar sales. He originally made cigars in a tiny factory in Little Havana, a place called El Rey de los Habanos, which made a few thousand cigars per day. Now, at his massive My Father Cigars factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, he makes more than 35,000 cigars a day.

His premiere cigar is the one the audience smoked along with him, the My Father No. 1, a robusto that is Cigar Aficionado's No. 3 cigar of 2009, with a rating of 94 points.

My Father is truly a family creation. Jaime created the blend in secret, using the first of the Garcia's very own Nicaraugan filler and binder tobaccos with a gorgeous Colorado wrapper grown from Habana-seed in Ecuador. The $10 cigar, picture perfect like virtually all smokes made under Pepin Garcia's tutelage, is meaty and rich, with notes of coffee bean cigar.

The final cigar of the morning, introduced after the seminar on counterfeit cigars, was the Diamond Crown Maximus Double Corona No. 1, a $17.50 cigar made in the Dominican Republic by the Fuente family for J.C. Newman Cigar Co. Bobby Newman presented the cigar, which was rated 93 points by Cigar Aficionado.

"If you smoke cigars, you are my friend," said Newman, as the crowd clipped the heads of the eight-inch-long cigars, which are wrapped in dark Ecuadoran wrapper grown from Sumatra seed. "There is not another product that binds people like cigars."


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