Aging Report: Troya Clasico by Don Pepin Garcia

I am inclined to aestivate as an escape from the summer heat, and this year a blistering August drove me even deeper into hiding. The occasional cloud of smoke drifting across the yard was generated by California forest fires rather than my cigar hobby. With high temps ranging from 105 though the 110’s for most of the summer, I hid in the cellar like a frightened vampire. I did get out for some small cigars in the wee hours of the morning, but not until this weekend have I managed to fire up a full sized cigar. I thought I would celebrate the distant approach of autumn with an old friend: the Troya Clasico LXIII.

Troya Clasico 16a

This cigar is almost ten years old now, and as reported earlier, it has mellowed to the point of fading. I only have a few left, and time is running out for these once brilliant churchills. They are still stately in appearance — golden brown wrappers with impeccably crafted triple-wound heads — and time in storage does not seem to have affected them adversely. They still draw and burn perfectly, as I would expect any classic Pepin-made cigar would.

These were never powerhouse cigars — elegance and subtle complexity were their hallmark from the beginning, combined with a touch of Pepin’s trademark tannin that made the epithelia twang like a guitar string. That twang is just barely detectable now. In fact the flavor on the tongue is barely a reminder of what it once was. Lightly roasted nuts with a dusting of black pepper is about it. What remains is an amazing aroma.

At first there is toast and cedar. Slowly the cedar develops more complexity and sweetens into sandalwood. The smoke is buttery in texture and the aftertaste is clean, leaving a very mild aftertaste of wood and earth. In the mid-section there is some cocoa, which reminds me of the old Pepin cigars. Oh the old Red Label, the Sancti Spiritus, the original Padillas… As a tear is about to form in the corner of my left eye, I am shocked back into the present by something new — sugary sweetness, almost like cotton-candy sweetness. This lasts only a few moments though, and then the cedar machine roars back and rumbles full bore to the end zone.
Troya Clasico 16b

Maybe it was a month of near abstinence making the heart grow fonder, (smoking yard gars exclusively is a kind of abstinence, right?) but I really loved this cigar. It has lost some depth of flavor as it has weakened in strength, but the complexity of its aroma has increased by an equal measure. An extra helping of ligero might have helped it weather the years a little, but it’s still a masterpiece.

 

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3 thoughts on “Aging Report: Troya Clasico by Don Pepin Garcia

  1. Wow, Count Vlad finally emerges from his crypt! You know how much I love your write ups, and having to wait for so long between posts tends to bring on a sense of anxiety.;) I have not had any of the Troyas, but I love just about anything from Don Pepin, and this one sounds like something I would really enjoy. I also love the emphasis on the aroma of the cigar. It is so often overlooked. in this age where getting smacked over the head with big flavor is the main attraction. Not that that is a bad thing, but there’s more to the enjoyment of a good cigar than that.

    I hope that all is well with you, my friend, and keep those yard gars to a minimum!

    • Thanks for the good wishes, Jeff. The yard gars haven’t been too bad, actually. I bought a crate of Omar Ortez originals and they have been serving me well. But I’m looking forward to smoking some new stuff and writing a few more reviews, hopefully at a more lively pace.

  2. Looks interesting! Wondering if you plan reviewing any of the Alpha Cigars? I saw them reviewed on some youtube videos but would like your expert opinion.

    Thanks!

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