My Father Ilja VIII A. I hardly ever publish reviews on Wednesday. But this review has to be published on a special day, to commemorate Ilja van Horssen. Ilja van Horssen was a third-generation tobacconist, one of the founders of the largest independent premium cigar importer in The Netherlands. And before his death at age 36, he was the owner of the Cuesta Rey Cigar Shop (now La Casa del Habano The Hague) and G. De Graaff. In the first ten years after his passing, his brother Sasja released 36 boxes of rare or hard-to-find cigars. He would sell them at cost, and donate the proceeds to charity. Only if you were invited to a special night you could buy a box.
The first 7 editions were hard to find cigars, but for the 8th installment, a special blend was created. And here’s where it gets personal for me. At that time I was working for Longfiller Company and during a trip to Nicaragua, I asked My Father Cigars if they could create a small batch for this cause. Being very close to his family and knowing the meaning, brought tears to Jaime’s eyes. He was honored to be asked and a few months later the test blends arrived at our office. All the cigars are from the hands of Jaime or Don Pepin, they took care of the full production The blend is a secret. Personally, I smoked a few bundles of the remaining stock, for this review I’m breaking my box. And the review is published today as marks the 15th year since Ilja’s passing.
The cigar looks good. A nice dark and oily cigar. With a little sparkle from the minerals in the wrapper. The construction feels great. The ring has the face of Ilja van Horssen, with a cigar. And lots of gold. The sheer size of the cigar alone makes it impressive. There isn’t much aroma after six years of aging.
The cold draw is perfect, with a little salt, spice, and mint. Coffee, leather, and sweet chocolate come to mind after lighting the cigar. There is also a hint of salt, with some pepper. There is a nice umami flavor as well. The chocolate gets a bit more pronounced, with some pepper and wood. But the pepper is mellow. This cigar is considerably more mellow than it was six years ago. But the flavor profile remains the same. For an old review, visit CigarGuide. A little lime acidity shows up, with some wood. The retrohale gives smooth dark spices. The second third starts smoothly and full of balance. A perfect mixture of wood, spice, coffee, chocolate, and lime. And a creamy sweetness of condensed milk. The pepper is smooth but has the profile of red chili flakes. More softwood, dark spices, pepper show up halfway. There is also a little nut flavor, macadamia. Sweetness picks up, dark sugar. The cigar is also a bit meaty, with that umami flavor. The flavor profile is much like the profile six years ago but mellower. Wood and pepper are getting stronger in the final third. There is still a hint of coffee as well. Even now the cigar is easy to retrohale. Coffee with condensed milk is getting stronger, with a good dose of pepper. Slightly creamy.
The draw is phenomenal. The smoke could be a little thicker, but the blueish color is very nice. Although the smoke is getting thicker along the way. The burn is great. The light-colored ash isn’t firm, it breaks off easily. The cigar is smooth and balanced. Medium in body and flavor. The smoke time is four and a half hours.
Would I buy this cigar again? That’s impossible.