There are so many reviews of this cigar in the blogosphere — all of them positive from what I could see — that I can find no reason not to throw another one on the fire. Unfortunately the volume of material fact about the composition of this cigar exists in inverse proportion to the number of opinions, and the My Father Cigars website is still under construction. (A very classy site, by the way, but every link to actual information about a cigar blend yields only a promise that it is “Coming Soon”. )
But the reliable intel is that this cigar is made by My Father Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua, and is named for (and probably blended by) Jaime Garcia, the son of cigar superhero Jose “Don Pepin” Garcia. The wrapper is a dark Connecticut Broadleaf, and the filler leaf is a combination of tobacco harvested from Garcia’s farms and Oliva’s farms in Nicaragua. Some sites indicate that the binder is Ecuadoran (which would be an unusual choice, but Oliva does grow a huge amount of tobacco in Ecuador) and other sites say the binder is Nicaraguan.
Six sizes are in production, including the newly introduced fireplug format, denominated here as the “super gordo”.
- Petite Robusto – 4 1/2 x 50
- Robusto – 5 1/4 x 52
- Belicoso – 5 1/2 x 52
- Toro – 6 x 54
- Toro Gordo – 6 x 60
- Super Gordo – 5.75 x 66
It’s not easy to make broadleaf look beautiful, but My Father Cigars does about the best that anyone can to make it presentable. The wrapper is dark, but variegated in color from dark brown to black. No artificial processing here. There are the expected veins, but they’re fairly discreet by broadleaf standards. The roll is solid, though the cigar seems a bit light in the hand for some reason. The head of the stick is rounded and the cap is not triple wound. This is very unusual for a cigar from this factory, but it is understandable given the toughness of the leaf.
The draw is excellent, and while the burn wavers a bit it catches up without encouragement. It seems to burn rather quickly. The ash is solid but slightly flaky.
Overall construction: Very Good.
The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, and the Jaime Garcia Reserva certainly retains many of the flavors we’re familiar with from his father’s blends. The toro starts up with a dry tannic pinch to the salivary glands, followed by a moderate amount of black pepper on the tongue. The base flavor is earthy, but it is balanced very nicely by the broadleaf’s sweet chocolate aroma.
The mid section continues in the same vein, dry and peppery, though the volume is dropped a few notches on the spice. The sweet earthy flavors momentarily combine to give the impression of pine resin.
The last third focuses on a black coffee flavor as the sweetness dissipates. It finishes a little bit harsh, as if it were serving up a mouthful of grounds rather than a smooth cup o’ joe. The complexity of flavors presented up to this point might have persuaded me to smoke this cigar beyond a prudent point, but I couldn’t help myself.
The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial robusto is an excellent medium-bodied smoke with an earthy taste on the palate but a sweet broadleaf maduro-style aroma. The blend tastes very much like what one would expect from My Father Cigars, though perhaps a little milder than many of them. It reminded me of a less manly 601 Maduro. 601’s little brother, maybe.
There is a slight raspiness to the smoke that won’t bother My Father aficionados, but I’m hoping that with a little age these will smooth out a bit more. That said, they’re certainly not difficult to smoke now. MSRP appears to be in the 7 USD range. Definitely worth a look for maduro lovers, especially those who enjoy the Garcias’ tannic pinch.