My Father Cigars

My Father, Esteli, Nicaragua

Nestor Miranda Art Deco Robusto Grande

I have not seen this cigar in a few years, and I got this one from Nestor Miranda at one of the Intertabac trade shows five or six years ago. The cigar, which was released in 2010 in the USA is made at the My Father Cigars factory in Nicaragua and the cigar has Dominican and Nicaraguan both in the filler as in the binder, as the cigar has a double binder. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Corojo.


Nestor Miranda is the founder and owner of Miami Cigar & Co, a Miami based company and I think that the name and ring design were inspired by Miami’s most iconic area: Miami Beach! Even though it’s officially another town as Miami, most see it as part of Miami. And Miami Beach is famous for it’s art deco scenery, the hotels, the art, it all comes from the Art Deco area and a lot of details are still seen on the streets.


The wrapper is bitter chocolate brown with some lighter smears, a thin vein runs over it. The wrapper is a looker. The ring is typical art deco style, pastel green, red, art deco silver letters. It fits the theme. The cigar looks and feels good and has a strong leather aroma.


I sliced a thin part of the cap off. The cold draw is great, I taste tea and raisin. After lighting I taste earthy flavor and coffee. After half an inch I taste earth with spices and a very faint cocoa. After a third the cigar has a woody base flavor with spices and a little pepper. Halfway the pepper is replaced by cinnamon. Later a flavor best described as raw carrot shows up.


The draw is great. The white smoke is pretty full and the burn is good. The ash is medium dark and not very firm. The cigar is medium full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I can find them.

Score: 91
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La Imperiosa Dukes

La Imperiosa is the regular production version of the limited edition Las Calaveras. That’s a cigar made by My Father Cigars for Crowned Heads, a company that rose from the Nashville ashes of CAO, when it got sold to General Cigars and had to move to Virginia. A few people from the old management didn’t want to leave the Nashville community and started Crowned Heads.


The Las Calaveras limited edition was so popular, customers kept asking for more so Crowned Heads decided to release it as a regular production under a different name and in different sizes than any of the limited editions. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder wrapped in an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper.


The wrapper is dark, it looks almost black and its a nice contrast with the maroon and gold ring. The cigar feels well constructed with a perfect triple cap. The aroma is quite mild, I smell ammonia   sawdust plus vegetables and herbs.


After cutting a thin slice of the head I taste raw tobacco, with a close to perfect draw. After lighting I taste some nutmeg with mild leather. Soon I taste hay with a little pepper. There’s also some sticky honey sweetness. After an inch the pepper is strong, with honey and leather. The flavors remain but after midway I taste something fresh too, and more pepper. In the final third I taste wood while the cigar gets hot. There’s also a lot of Nicaraguan pepper.


The draw is perfect. The white ash is dense. The smoke is full and thick. The burn is fine, a little uneven, but within margins. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a good cigar, I expected a little more after all the raving reports I heard about it though.

Score: 91
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Benchmade Toro

I remember that close to a decade ago people were raving about the new La Aroma de Cuba, blended by Don Pepin but owned by Ashton but back then the cigar wasn’t available in Europe. When it finally got released, under the name La Aroma del Caribe due to copyrights, Ashton simultaneously released their budget medium filler Benchmade, also made at the My Father Cigars factory and I remember that I didn’t dislike them, which is rare for a budget cigar. But I haven’t smoked them in years, time to revisit the cigar for this budget month.


The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, from filler to wrapper, everything comes from Nicaragua. There are 5 sizes, a 5×50 robusto, a 5 1/2×54 gordo, a 6×50 toro which I’m smoking, a 6 1/2×46 cazadores and a 7×50 churchill. And even though it’s a budget cigar, they don’t come in bundles but in boxes, which make them look worth more than what you pay for.


The cigar has a dark wrapper with some black smears and spots, it looks very tasty. The construction feels good and I like the little pig tail. The broken white ring shows a bunch of drying tobacco leaves and the name benchmade in golden letters. The aroma is faint, I smell a bit of a barnyard aroma.


I just twisted the pigtail off and the cold draw is good, it’s quite spicy and peppery. After lighting I taste spicy strong leather. The leather remains with a little sweetness yet the spice never disappears. After a third I taste cinnamon with still some leather. Halfway I taste some French toast with leather and pepper. The final third is peppery with a hint of sugar and cinnamon. The finale has the leather flavor again.


The draw is good, as can be expected from a mixed filler cigar. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness, it has a brownish color. The ash, with wide rings, has that same brown color. The burn is nice, the cigar isn’t boring due to the evolution. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a nice snack cigar.

Score: 87
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La Casita Criolla HCB

Years ago, I hadn’t even start to work for my later (and now previous) employer who’s one of the major cigar importers & distributers in The Netherlands, Pete Johnson released both the La Casita Criollo and the Fausto and I got a call from my later employer who told me the cigars showed up on the international price list, he didn’t know what they were, he gave me prices and asked weather he should order them or not. I knew about the cigars, I smoked the Tatuaje T110 where the Fausto is based upon, and read about the La Casita Criolla too and thought it was an interesting concept, the prices were fine so I advised him to order both lines. And he did. Today is also Pete’s birthday, so happy birthday my friend.


The La Casita Criolla is made with a 100% American Connecticut broadleaf, the cigar is an American puro. Now Connecticut broadleaf is known as a wrapper or sometimes a binder but it being used as a filler isn’t something known to the general public, it happens as not all Connecticut broadleaf is dark enough or of the quality needed to be a wrapper. And that’s the kind of leaf Pete Johnson uses for filler in this La Casita Criolla, the lighter colored, the esthetically lesser quality leaf but still flavorful. The only thing I don’t like about it is the naming of the vitolas, why not just go with corona, robusto, torpedo, churchill but with a HCB, HCBC, HFBF, HCR which to me, and not just me alone, very confusing and I think it hurts the sales. I am not a 100% sure but I think the La Casita Criolla name comes from an old Cuban brand.


I grabbed the HCB out of my humidor, which is a 5 1/8×42 corona sized cigar. The cigars are naked in the box, no cellophane to protect the wrapper during transport. The wrapper is dark, juicy and oily with here and there a glittering of minerals, the veins make it look rustic and with the dark color combined it looks a bit intimidating. The ring is very simple, just like the packaging, brown with a white square and red letters La Casita Criolla, then a red square with white letters Tatuaje Cigars Esteli and the Pete Hassel Johnson logo and a drawing of a small house, the native cottage that the name refers too. The construction feels great and the cap is beautifully glued onto its place. The aroma isn’t very strong, just tobacco, barnyard and a little chocolate.


I cut the cigar, xikar butterfly style, and that creates a perfect cold draw with a spicy and peppery touch. I taste a full and nice sweetened coffee. After half an inch the cigar turns to chocolate, coffee and pepper. The chocolate is getting stronger after a third with wood and a little bit of pepper. The pepper fades away a little, I taste caramel with oak, a little chocolate and some spices.


The draw is perfect and the white ash is dense and firm. The luscious smoke is white and full. The burn is close to perfect as well. The evolution isn’t spectacular but the flavors are, right up my alley. The cigar is medium bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I had to pick 10 cigars that I could smoke the rest of my life, this cigar would make the cut.

Score: 95
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Nestor Miranda Special Selection Danno 2012

In 1989 Miami Cigar & Co was founded by a few people including Daniel Miranda and his father Nestor Miranda.  They are distributers of several brands, including La Aurora, and also own some brands like Tatiana and the Nestor Miranda cigar brands. Unfortunately in 2005 Daniel got diagnosed with brain cancer and in 2008 he passed away. So in 2009 Miami Cigar & Co released a memorial cigar, in both rosado and oscuro, a limited edition not only to commemorate Daniel but also to celebrate their 20 years in business.


In 2010 another double edition of the Danno was released but in 2011 there was no release. In 2012 the Danno returned as a 7×56 Double Corona made at the My Father Factory in Esteli. The blend consists of Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, a Nicaraguan binder and a Mexican San Andres wrapper. In total 30.000 cigars were released with a MRSP of 10 dollar. As far as I know only one more Danno was released, in 2015, but in a maduro, habano and Connecticut version so that can count as three.


The wrapper is beautiful, dark, almost black with some thin, flattened veins, a nice shine, some sparkles from the minerals. The construction feels good and I just love pig tails. The rings are simple yet of high quality and they match. The foto ring is black with a quite dark, almost copper like, gold edge and a Danno 2012 instricption while th normal band is black & gray, with the same golden edge, a small font in red saying Nestor Miranda Collection and in bigger, white, letters Special Selection. The cigar has a mild, almost fresh, smell.


I cut the cigar with my Xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is good, a little spicy and peppery. After lighting with a single jet I taste a nice, sweet, coffee.  After an inch I taste a beautiful mix of pepper, sugar and a nice cinnamon roll. Slowly the cigar becomes more spicy, even though the sweetness and the cinnamon still stick around but now with more spices and some green herbs. I also taste a mild acidity to keep everything balanced. The final third starts with wood, a hint of vanilla, some herbal freshness but it’s not minty, and some pepper. Near the end I taste more vanilla and some powdered sugar.


The draw is great. The burn needed correction a few times. The light gray ash is beautifully layered. The smoke is thick enough and enough in volume. The balance is great just like the subtle evolution. This cigar is medium to medium full bodied and equally flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish, this cigar is a great tribute.

Score: 92
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601 Oscuro La Punta

601, its not an old brand but in its short existence it has build up quote a following and a history. The brand was started by EO Brands, the company of Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega, blended by José ‘Don Pepin’ Garcia and made by My Father Cigars, first at the El Rey de Los Habano factory in Miami and later in the My Father Cigars factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Then EO Brands split up, 601 disappeared, but then returned as part of Espinosa Cigars, reblended, new design box and ring, made at La Zona and in december 2016 the news broke that the production will be moved from Espinosa’s own La Zona factory to the San Lotano Factory from A.J. Fernandez in Ocotal Nicaragua, which he recently bought from Fidel Oliva. And that’s the short version of the 601 history.


Back to the cigar, the 601 Oscuro La Punta is a perfecto, 5 1/2×52 in size and I am smoking an old one with the oldest label know so I think it must be about 10 years old. It is a Nicaraguan puro with a Habano Oscuro wrapper. I think this cigar was given to me at one of the EPIC herfs in Ocala Florida, a yearly weekend herf which originated from Cigar Asylum, my favorite cigar board.


The cellophane on the cigar has a nice golden brown color from the oils from the wrapper that have been leaking into the cellophane for years. Let me start with the ring, I wonder if I should score on the ring since the line has been revamped with new design rings, but I’ll score it anyway. I like the shape, the green color is a nice contrast with the white 601 and the white banner uses the same green for the word obscure. The golden lines make it all pop. The design is a bit outdated but Erik Espinosa took care of that. The wrapper is dark, very dark and leathery with hardly any visible veins.  The construction is flawless, I have never seen a perfecto with a cap so beautiful as this one and the cigar feels evenly filled. The aroma is medium full and reminds me of straw and manure.


Because of the shape I decide to cut the cigar xikar style. The cold draw is a bit tight but that could be because of the shape. I taste a spicy and peppery raisin flavor. The moment I light the cigar I taste pepper with dark coffee and a little sweetness. After a few puffs I taste some raw unrefined cocoa powder. After an inch I taste wood with a little lime and far on the background a little cocoa. Halfway the flavors are dry, I taste wood and a little cocoa. Right before the final third starts I taste the pepper again and it’s the Pepin pepper that was his signature back in the day. I still taste wood too and a little walnut. The final few puffs are very peppery and I’m loving it.


The draw is fine, better than the cold draw. The smoke is quite thin though. The burn is fantastic. The light colored ash is firm. The cigar is medium bodied at best and medium flavored too. The smoke time is a little over an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to try a reblended one.

Score: 90
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Cubao Robusto

You know that the cigar you grabbed is old when the cellophane is almost golden because of the years of soaking up oils from the cigar. Add to it that the company behind the cigar was split up and both owners went their own way more than 5 years ago and you know you have a aged, maybe even vintage, cigar in your hands, and that’s what’s the case with this EO Brands Cubao Robusto.


Back in the day the cigar was made by Don Pepin Garcia and was from Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega, Ortega got the name in the split up and the cigar is now sold as Ortega Cubao with an almost identical ring, only change is the Espinosa & Ortega has changed to Ortega Cigar Co. The new cigars, I don’t know if the blend is still the same, is still made at My Father Cigars while Espinosa started his own factory, La Zona, and is one of the more reputable boutique brands.


As I said, the cigar comes in a yellow, almost golden, cellophane and when I release the cigar I see a reasonable dark, smooth and oily wrapper with a leathery feel to it. The construction feels a bit hard, but evenly hard with a beautiful triple cap and a flat head. The aroma is strong, wood and barnyard, that what comes to mind. The ring is simple, it reminds me a little of a Montecristo ring because of the brown ring with white letters but bigger. The ring says “Espinosa y Ortega” on top, “CUBAO” on the bottom and in the middle a white tobacco flower.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is very good that tastes like raisin and black pepper. After I lit the cigar I taste a nice coffee flavor with the perfect amount of bitterness and a faint hint of cocoa. After a few puffs it’s coffee with chocolate butter, almost Nutella like. The second third starts with a mild chocolate butter flavor, with green leaves or fresh wood, and a little bit of cinnamon on the back of my throat. The cinnamon slowly grows stronger and is not just on the back of my throat anymore. The final third starts nutty with some chocolate sweetness and pepper.


The smoke is very thick and there is plenty. The burn is a bit off though. The draw is close to perfect. The ash is white and firm. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is little over an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, especially the first third is great.

Score: 91
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My Father Le Bijou 1922 Boxpressed Torpedo

A few years ago My Father released the My Father Le Bijou 1922 series, it was the follow up to the regular My Father line, the line Jaime & Janny Garcia created to honor their father Jose ‘Don Pepin’ Garcia and he in his place honored his father with this Le Bijou 1922 blend. At that time I was working for the Dutch distributer of My Father Cigars and we added this line to our portfolio in several different vitolas, including the Box Pressed Torpedo.


Now for some reason the line didn’t sell, it is a great cigar but I guess time wasn’t right to compete with the Cubans in their price range I think because quality and flavor wise I would pick this Nicaraguan puro with the beautiful Pelo de Oro wrapper over any Cuban cigar any day but the sales numbers changed when Cigar Aficionado picked the Box Pressed Torpedo to be the #1 cigar of the year 2015. Since we stopped carrying the cigar we quickly had to order a few hundred boxes and even with a €13 price tag I wrote a record number just in pre-orders and the week they got in we received another shipment of highly awaited cigars too so it was a madhouse at the office, the boss was in Nicaragua on a business trip and I spend all week helping our warehouse staff to get all shipments out to break the company record with a landslide.


Once I release this 6 1/8 x 52 box pressed cigar from its cellophane packaging I smell a strong barnyard aroma. The construction feels good and the pointy tip of the cigar stands out, it looks more pointy than most torpedos I have seen. The dark wrapper looks leathery because of the tooth, the thin veins and the mild shine, you can see that the sun did its work. The rings are pretty, I like the fact that the bottom ring has a gap on top where the pointy bottom of the upper rings fits in. The bottom ring has a golden background with curly black letters saying Le Bijou 1922 while the bitter top ring has a pink white circle with the golden My Father logo, golden decorations and a pink banner underneath with golden letters. I don’t think these rings are printed by Vrijdag, their gold is a bit more shiny and of a higher quality but the rings are still beautiful.


I cut the cigar with a flat cut since punching is no option with a torpedo. The cold draw is great with a very peppery flavor, the famous Pepin twang from his old days is back. After lighting the cigar with a soft flame I taste coffee and leather with a very tiny bit of chocolate. After a centimeter i taste a meaty charred wood, which is nicer than it sounds with some spice and pepper. Slowly the flavors change to wood with a bit of metal and pepper. After a third the pepper gets stronger with a little wood as a base flavor. Halfway I had to cut the cigar a little more, i had cut it really small and that caused some tar build up. After cutting a little more I taste nuts, lime, wood and pepper, a very Nicaraguan flavor profile. The pepper gets stronger towards the two thirds and become the dominant flavor by far but I also taste a little nuts.


The draw is great. The smoke is reasonable thick and medium plus in amount. The burn is straight. The ash is white, dense and firm. This well balanced full bodied cigar is full flavored with a nice evolution. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I have over half a box left. It’s a great cigar but not my number 1

Score: 91
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Paradiso Francisco

I love the classic sizes with a lancero as my favorite vitola, closely followed by the lonsdale, the corona and if I really want to treat myself, the A size cigars. Unfortunately, the last decade we have seen cigars getting fatter and fatter, where a robusto was considered to be a big cigar, nowadays with the gordo, extra gordo, extra extra gordo or how manufacurers call these donkey dick sized vitolas a robusto is almost considered a skinny stick. And what is most surprising, most industry people don’t like big ring gauged cigars at all. And I agree with them, I prefer skinny cigars too as stated above. The wrapper to filler ratio is much better and since the wrapper gives the most flavor a skinny cigar has so much more dynamic, nuances, evolution and flavors compared to the big ring cigars that I really don’t get the big ring hype.


But as always, the market dictates and the market demands big ring gauges, the smaller rings don’t sell so we don’t see that many lanceros, lonsdales or coronas, especially on my side of the ocean. Heck, when I worked for Longfiller Company, the only way to persuade my boss to order lanceros was if I pre-sold an x amount of boxes, he would order that exact amount of boxes and that’s it while he would just order loads and loads of robusto and gordo sized cigars. The only corona we had in our portfolio was the Paradiso Francisco, known as the San Cristobal Francisco in the United States, a cigar made by My Father for Ashton Cigars and when my boss told me he was discontinuing this vitola I quickly bought a few because I like the cigar and the vitola.


The wrapper is dark with two thin veins running over the back and a rough leathery feel to it. The ring is awesome, a bright red parrot with green and blue wings on a light colored ring with lots of gold, and the gold really pops, high quality printing. The construction feels good, but then again, it is a My Father Cigars made cigar and that counts for quality. The cigar has an aroma that reminds me of when I’m boiling cauliflower, and it’s medium strong.


I cut the cigar with my xikar cutter. The cold draw is a little tight and I taste some raisin, mint and pepper. After lighting the cigar with a soft flame I taste coffee, not too bitter, and a little sweetness with some chocolate. After an inch I taste a pleasant cedar with some nutmeg. The flavors are very subtle yet medium full in strength. Halfway I taste vanilla, honey and some jalapeño pepper. The vanilla is the main flavor and there is a little mint in the aftertaste. The jalapeño changes to black pepper. Near the end the pepper gets really strong.


The ash is almost white and pretty firm. The burn is straight as an arrow. The draw is great, better than in the cold draw. The smoke is medium to full thick and enough in volume. This cigar is medium bodied yet medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I still have a good stash, but once they are gone I will need more.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , ,

My Father 9/11 Nicaragua Habano Oscuro Robusto

Last year, also on September 11, I published a review of the My Father 9/11 Ecuador Rosado Habano robusto that came from on of the 343 boxes that My Father Cigars and Casa de Montecristo released in 2011, 10 years after the terrorist attacks by Al Qaida and Osama Bin Laden. Since the box carried 9 of the Ecuador Rosado Habano and 11 Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro cigars I thought it was a good idea to review the Nicaraguan version this year to commemorate all that lost their lives at the attack on the Twin Towers.


Now that I’m grabbing this cigar I can’t believe that it’s already 17 years ago since those attacks and the world hasn’t been the same. It caused a war on Iraq on false information, it caused a war and man hunt in Afghanistan to get the mastermind behind the attacks. The war in Iraq was the cause for the rise of ISIS and destabilized the whole middle east, leading to terrorist attacks all over Europe, Asia, Africa and North America leading to millions of death, millions of refugees, PTSD for both veterans and civilians living in the war zones that will haunt society for decades to come. I’m usually a pretty upbeat and positive person yet when I look at the state the world is in, with populism on the rise, racism back out in the open, a lack of diplomacy, the garbage that is spilled on social media where people are calling each other libtards, snowflakes, racists etcetera for having a different political view instead of respecting each others perspective, it makes me sad. And I think a lot of it is the aftermath of this world changing terrorist attack.


The cigar comes naked, that means no ring, no marking whatsoever. The wrapper is dark and smooth, oily and has a velvet feel to it. The cigar feels good, the head is nice and round, the triple cap is nice. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of a barnyard, some manure, some hay, some grass, some straw, some animals. Nice.


I decapped the cigar with my xikar cutter. The cold draw is great and quite peppery. Right after lighting I taste toast with cinnamon and a little cedar. After a third it’s more toast, nutmeg, a hint of dark chocolate and some oregano. Halfway I taste wood, oak, with pepper. The pepper is getting stronger and stronger.


The draw is fantastic and so is the smoke. Thick, full and voluminous. The ash is white, with some black spots, dense and firm. This cigar is medium full bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? That would be impossible

Score: 95
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