Everybody who reads my reviews knows that I love me some Don Pepin Garcia sticks, especially the Cuban Classic aka Black robusto. All cigars in this line are named after important years for Jose ‘Don Pepin’ Garcia and I smoked a few before, like the 1979 (robusto), the 1970 (belicoso) and the 2001 (6×60). I knew I had the 1973 (figurado) from the original release somewhere down in my humidor and as I was in the mood for some Don Pepin I decided to look that 1973 up and light it. I had high expectations from this cigar, as it is an original release and that release had a slightly different flavor profile than the other releases.
The cigar looks great, a medium brown and oily wrapper, a great shape, just a few veins. The shape is a bit different from other figurados I smoked, as this one has a flat head, and usually a figurado has a pointy head. I like it, because that means I can punch it, instead of clipping. The construction feels good and the predraw is a bit on the loose side. The flavor I get from the predraw is the worst ever, a nasty and bitter pepper.
Oh, what a disappointment I get after lighting the cigar, I taste a sharp, dry and very unpleasant flavor of newspaper, but fortunately that flavor disappears as soon as I get passed the small part at the fire end of the cigar. After that I taste dry wood and straw, mild spicy. I also taste the wild berry flavors that are so signature for the original release of this blend, I have never tasted it in the other releases, too bad because I love it. I also taste a lot of pepper, right on the edge of what I can handle comfortably. The cigar makes my mouth feel dry.
After ⅓ the flavors tone down a lot, I taste some wood and earth. A few puffs later the wild berry flavor returns in a milder form than before. Halfway the wild berries disappear again and the remainder of the cigar is wood and earth.
This cigar lasted me quite long, an hour and three quarters. I got a lot of smoke. The draw was fine, the burn was fine too. I had to correct the burn once but that was my fault, I dropped the cigar on the floor for a reason I am still trying to figure out myself. The ash is quite light colored and pretty firm. This cigar is full bodied and medium to full flavored. The flavors start out full and then fade to medium.
Would I buy this cigar again? I think I will stick with the robusto. And with the current exchange rate I am better off buying them locally in The Netherlands, as they are about the same price without the shipping and the risk of customs seizing my order.
Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10