Issue: Cigar Aficionado: Jan 01, 2016 | Score: 97
The original My Father brand was created by Jaime Garcia to honor his father, Pepin. A year later, Pepin decided to honor his own father with an offshoot brand called My Father Le Bijou 1922. Unlike the originals, which wear an Ecuadoran cover leaf, Le Bijou 1922 cigars are darker and stronger. The blend is Nicaraguan from top to bottom, showcasing Cuban-seed wrappers that the Garcia family calls oscuro. Only one size—this torpedo—is box-pressed. Some will say that box-pressing a cigar is only an aesthetic decision. But when the Garcias took this hearty, complex blend, rolled it into a torpedo shape and then gave it a pressing, the result stood out for its ability to deliver complex notes clearly and harmoniously.The date 1922 denotes the birth year of José Garcia, the father of José "Pepin" Garcia. Le Bijou means "the jewel" in French. And this cigar is emblematic of all the Garcia family has achieved. Pepin started as a roller in Cuba before emigrating to Miami and eventually opening up a tiny rolling gallery in Little Havana. Commercial and critical acclaim for his cigars allowed expansion into Nicaragua. Today, Pepin, Jaime and Janny Garcia lead My Father Cigars, and their factory in Estelí produces millions of cigars a year. Despite rapid growth, the family still takes great care in producing cigars of quality and distinction, which shows in this My Father Le Bijou 1922 Torpedo Box Pressed. It takes a profound understanding of cigar tobaccos to create a smoke that conveys uncanny impressions of dark chocolate-covered raisins, savory leather and a sweet-and-salty finish that resonates on the palate.This cigar has an ideal combination of power and finesse to make it No. 1. It's the second Cigar of the Year for the Garcias.