El Centurion Emperadores by Don Pepin Garcia

El Centurion Emperadores on Box

Cigar Stats
Brand Owner: Tropical Tobacco, Inc. – Miami, FL
Tabacalera: Tabacalera Cubana (TACUBA) – Esteli, Nicaragua

Click here for a short video (about 11 minutes) of the José “Pepín” García factory in Esteli, Nicaragua posted on YouTube by Cigar King. JPG demonstrates application of the famous cuban triple-cap.

Model/Vitola: El Centurion Emperadores (belicoso)
First Limited Edition 2007
Size: 5.50 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo 98 and Corojo 99

Other vitola sizes available

  • Guerreros 5.0 x 50 (robusto) MSRP $270/20
  • Gladiadores 6.5 x 52 (toro) MSRP $320/20

El Centurion - Inside Cover Artwork
Inside Box Cover Artwork

Released at RTDA 2007, this is one of several new lines by the famed José “Pepín” García. El Centurion by Don Pepín García and the Don Pepín García Series JJ Maduro were added to the offerings from El Rey de los Habanos. The San Cristobal by Ashton, also released for RTDA, is a JPG creation. Due to the specially selected tobaccos, El Centurion is the first Limited Edition smoke made by Don Pepin Garcia under his own label and it is limited to a production run of 850 boxes per size. El Centurion was sold out by noon on the first day of RTDA.

Jose Pepin Garcia and Jaime Garcia
Jose Pepin Garcia and Jaime Garcia Inspecting Tobacco Plants
(photo courtesy of El Rey de los Habanos, Inc.)

El Centurion is a Nicaraguan puro with filler and binder of Cuban seed Criollo 98 and Corojo 99 carefully selected and matured for 3 years under controlled conditions. The wrapper is a beautiful Nicaraguan Habano also aged for 3 years. At RTDA Pepin is quoted as saying, “El Centurion tastes like ‘old Cohibas’ and they are aromatic.”

Bottom line up front …..
This cigar is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. A medium to full-bodied smoke, it displays all the attributes aficionados look for from pre-light beauty and aroma, to draw, to clean burn, to flavor complexity and balance, to the bit of sweetness on the finish and in the olfactory senses. Only drawback is the price. I think once you try one, you’ll suck it up and shell out the bucks for a box!

El Centurion Cigar Band

Pre-light
A medium brown oily habano wrapper with very few veins surrounds this hefty 52 ring belicoso. The wrap is soft as a baby’s ass. Really! Construction is impeccable as you would expect from JPG and the stick feels solid although it is lighter than I expected. The aroma from the wrap is musky sweet tobacco with a hint of barnyard and earthy tobacco from the foot. Adorned with a very nice band befitting it’s name, the top of the band crests like a roman centurions helmet. As you look at the tobacco bunching at the foot end, there are swirls of two or three different color variations. My mouth was drooling in anticipation! Clip was clean and pre-light draw superb with a slightly sweet taste on the lips.

El Centurion Bunch and Burn Line Bumps

The Smoking Experience
Lighting this cigar is a breeze and I never went back to the torch. The burn line got a little bumpy at times but always self corrected. Draw was effortless through to the nub. The ash was medium gray and held on like gangbusters. First ash was almost at the midway point and the second with only the nub to finish. Smoke production is voluminous. Neighbors must have thought I had the barbeque stoked.

El Centurion Ash

Starts with the typical JPG lite bite for about a half inch then really smoothes out to a creamy core flavor of rich coffee, toasted cedar and nuts with notes of cocoa, caramel and white pepper. A complex full-flavored cigar. It has a long spicy finish and the aroma is out of this world.

I would say this stick starts and maintains medium body until about the two-thirds mark where it begins to build in strength toward full at the nub. Certainly not overpowering in any way but probably good to have something on your stomach.

My take …..
Definitely top of the line JPG. He has out done himself. What a special cigar. This one takes a seat right up there with the Ashton VSG and Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve for me. Along with all those other Pepin greats of course!

MSRP rings in at a whopping $290/20. The online prices are running approximately $234/20 and $$62/5. Definitely going to hurt in the wallet department. Hey, quit your whining, get yourself a beer and an El Centurion, go out on the porch and relax! You will feel much better and you will forget all about your financial woes.

Smoke Til You're Green

Like it … Loved it
Buy it again … Absolutely
Recommend it … Unequivically Yes

What others are saying about
El Centurion by Don “Pepin” Garcia …..

28 August 2007 – Cigar Live – NNexus + others
Don Pepin Garcia El Centurion

28 August 2007 – cira of Cigar Pass
El Centurion Review, Pepin’s OpusX?

On the Cigar Family Forum
From: Aashton
Date: 08/31/07 12:59 PM
I smoked the Emperadores (belicoso) today. If you can find them, they are on the high end pricewise, but IMO unlike the San Cristobal, these are worth the dough. To me they are a bit of a taste departure from most of Pepin’s blends. I’ll leave taste descriptions to the aficionados but I can say it was quite complex and very very smooth. As you would expect, construction and burn was excellent. The wrapper was a Colorado brown with a suede feel to it. After lighting it took a few puffs, but when this thing hit it’s stride, it was nothing but pleasure. I would say upper med to full bodied and I probably won’t smoke these again in the A.M. It took me 34 years, but I finally found THE one!

Publications

March/April 1999
Cigar Aficionado
An Interview With Pedro Martin
President, Tropical Tobacco Inc.

29 June 2007
The Cohiba Club
The Many Faces of Don Pepín García

Wikipedia on José “Don Pepín” García

The El Rey de los Habanos, Inc. Website


… lucky7

“It has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep,
and never to refrain when awake.” (Mark Twain)

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10 thoughts on “El Centurion Emperadores by Don Pepin Garcia

  1. Sometimes the pictures tell the whole story — it looks like you ashed this one only twice and finished it by scorching your fingertips. Now that’s a real cigar. I can see a lot of diehard Pepin followers dipping into the retirement fund for this one.

    Thanks for another cutting edge review!

  2. I found four (4) El Centurion Toros 2006 at Cigar Artisans 2007 in Tampa. I quickly purchased all four sticks. What a smoke!!! I stayed on top of the release of the 2007’s and was fortunate enough to purchase a box of the El Centurion Toros before they were sold out. Since I have three of the 2006’s left, I have not tried one of the 2007’s yet, but I can hear them calling my name. I am also the envy of cigar club that I frequent.

  3. A little more then 3 months ago I bought 2 of each, the same size of all the Pepin lines I could find at one store on the www. I just made my own sampler of about 14 or so stogies. The El Centuron was 2 in the bunch and I just lite one up a little while ago. I am smoking a Guerreros which is a 5X50 and just right for me. Smelling this thing pre-lite was heavenly barnyard for sure. I have never smoked one this good in quite a while. Its been aging just for 3 months in the humi. The other one I have in there will be tried in 6 to 9 months from now, unless I decide to get a box. These can be purchased on the web for around $200 for 20 in a box. Hummm. Maybe I get these instead of the Partagus LR Decades. What a great Christmas present for me.

  4. I BOUGHT A BOX OF EL CENTURIONS LAST WEEK AND IF ALL OF DON PEPIN’S 850 BOXES OF EL CENTURIONS WERE SOLD OUT BY NOON ON HIS FIRST DAY, THAN WHAT IS THE VINTAGE OF TABACCO HE’S USING NOW ELEVEN TO TWELVE YEARS LATER? IS HE USING THE SAME 98 CRIOLLO AND 99 COROJO. IF SO THAT WOULD MEAN THAT THE ORIGINAL EL CENTURION THAT WAS AGED FOR 3 YEARS HAS NOW BEEN AGED FOR ELEVEN TO TWELVE YEARS. WHAT ARE THE FACTS?

  5. This is also my fav that Don Pepin produces, but he only made one edition and that was for only 850 boxes for each size. Thats it as for as I know. I have a few of the Emporadores and Guerreros’s left in my humi that have been there over a year now. I’m smoking one now and enjoying it very much.
    This was a great review for a great cigar that was one of a kind.

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