My Father Cigars

My Father, Esteli, Nicaragua

My Father La Opulencia Robusto

My Father Cigars is one of my favorite factories. Most of the cigars they make, whether it is for their own company, for Tatuaje, for Ashton, for Crowned Heads or other I like them. And I have been lucky enough to have visited the factory on multiple occasions. And I had an amazing dinner on the hacienda of My Father Cigars, surrounded by tobacco fields. Sweet memories that make me only appreciate their cigars more.

The La Opulencia has Nicaraguan Corojo, Criollo, and Habano as filler. There’s a double binder, Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo. The wrapper is from Ecuador, it’s a Rosado Oscuro type of leaf. I smoked the robusto and my expectations were high. Since I’m a fan, and I had never smoked this one before, I was really looking forward to it. The artwork on the box comes from the old La Opulencia brand, which is a discontinued Cuban brand. The artwork is from the late 1800s and it fits with the themes My Father chose for Antiguedad, Flor de Las Antillas and La Gran Offerte which are also discontinued Cuban brands. For those lines, the original artwork was used too.


The cigar looks good, with its dark wrapper. The wrapper feels like velvet. The aroma is strong, soil, barnyard, forest kind of aromas. The cigar has a green, cloth, food band to protect the foot of the cigar. The regular, pinkish, my father ring is on top with a secondary ring in the same style. The secondary ring carries the name La Opulencia. The construction feels great, the triple cap is beautiful.

The cold draw is perfect. The cigar has a little spice, yet a quite dry tobacco aroma. Straight from the start, I taste coffee, leather, chocolate, soil, and oak. This is full flavored. The chocolate is getting a little stronger. But the leather is lingering around, just like roasted coffee beans, some citrus freshness, and hay. There is a nice, spicy, fruity sweetness that compliments the milk chocolate flavor. After a third, the classic My Father/Don Pepin Garcia pepper starts to shine through. After a third, I still taste the chocolate, although it’s turning into dark chocolate. The pepper is still there on the background and aftertaste, with some hay and leather. The mouthfeel is buttery, creamy. Halfway, I taste roasted coffee with chocolate, pepper, some sweetness, and leather, all well balanced and tied together with some citrus. In the final third, I taste more roasted coffee beans, pepper, some oak and leather with citrus. The nuances are great, so there is evolution even though the base flavors are constant. Near the end, I taste more nuts, still that chocolate, pepper, and leather with that buttery mouthfeel.

The ash is salt and pepper colored. Flaky but firm. The burn is good, not perfect but good. The ash is medium thick and full. This cigar starts out medium bodied, full flavored but creeps up to full bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes yes yes

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Tatuaje Nuevitas Jibaro No.1

One of the first Tatuaje Cigars ever released was the Tatuaje Nuevitas. And those were not made at El Rey de Los Habanos, the factory owned and operated by the Garcia family. It was the only Tatuaje line ever made outside of the family, at Tabacalera Tropical. But in 2007, Pete Johnson discontinued the cigar and all Tatuaje cigars since have been made at My Father Cigars.


In 2018, Johnson re-released the brand. This time made at My Father S.A. in Esteli. It is a Nicaraguan Puro with a Corojo 99 wrapper. The name comes from a Cuban village and the Jibaro name is Puerto Rican slang for a farmer. The Tatuaje Nuevitas Jibaro is Johnson’s tribute to farm rolled cigars and based upon a farm rolled Cuban cigars he had years ago while visiting the Caribbean paradise.

At first glance, you think something is wrong with the cigar. The wrapper looks damaged at the foot, but that’s how Johnson intended it to look. An unfinished foot, mimicking the not perfect looking farm rolled cigars. The dark brown, oily, wrapper has some clear, yet thin, veins which fit the theme of a rustic looking cigar. The simple, orange and white ring, is small, timeless yet doesn’t look dated. The cigar has a perfect triple cap and feels well constructed. The aroma is quite strong, it smells like oak and farm animals.

The cold draw is great, I taste pure raw tobacco, which is quite spicy. From the start, I taste coffee and soil. It’s a pretty mild start, where I expected a front-loaded cigar. The moment the burn hits the wrapper, pepper joins in and it’s a strong pepper. After a few more puffs, toast and leather join in with the coffee, soil, and pepper flavors. Slowly the flavors evolve to more earthy, with some oak and a hint of dark chocolate. On the background, I taste something that comes close to nutmeg. After a centimeter, the flavors are more those of spices, with dark chocolate and pepper. And the spices are things like cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice. There is also a little citrus acidity. Then suddenly, at the beginning of the second third, a dominant hazelnut flavor shows up, with some leather, and pepper. The pepper is gaining strength. The final third has more wood, with pepper. In the last part of the cigar, I taste hay, leather and lots of pepper.

The draw is close to perfection. The right amount of air resistance without becoming tight. The smoke has a good density and volume. The burn is straight. But you have to concentrate not to let the burn die. This is a full-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar. There is a heavy nicotine content in this blend. The smoke time is two hours and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, no box though, but a fiver.

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Tatuaje RC Series No.1

I just love the Tatuaje RC 233, it was the cigar I smoked when my only nephew was born (although I later married and now I have more nephews and nieces from my wife’s side of the family) and I smoke one a year, on his birthday. I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years and continue to do that as long as possible. But the cigars aren’t easy to come by, so I’ll have to find a reliable source, that will ship to Asia.

I was happy to find out that Pete Johnson decided to create three new cigars, exclusively for Europe, within the RC series. Three parejo cigars with a little flag tail, but without the silver foil, and a tweaked blend. He used an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigars come in three sizes, 4 3/4 x 52, 5 5/8 x 54, and 6 1/2 x 56. For this review, I smoked the first one.

The cigar looks great, beautiful triple cap with flag tail, a nice oily medium brown wrapper with a velvet touch. The construction feels good. The cigar has a medium strong wood and barnyard aroma. The rings don’t match, the classic brown Tatuaje ring and the colorful RC ring are too different in style to fit together. If I was in charge, the brown ring would not be on the cigar.

The cold draw is easy, with a spicy raw tobacco flavor and a hint of marzipan. After lighting, I taste pepper, earth, green herbs, and coffee. After that, the cigar gets a strong wood flavor, with some leather and the marzipan sweetness that I tasted in the cold draw. After a third, the cigar tastes like leather, oak with pepper and that mild marzipan. Halfway I taste wood with grass, hay and some citrus. On the background, there’s some leather too. After a third I taste pepper and nuts, walnut to be precise. The pepper is Nicaragua strong, chili pepper. The final few puffs are toasty, woody with still that pepper.

T
the draw is a little on the loose side of perfect but still great, the smoke is thick and luscious. The ash is firm and white. The burn needed a touch up once. The cigar is medium-full bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

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My Father La Gran Oferta Lancero

I still remember the first cigar from My Father Cigars that I ever smoked. That was before it was called My Father cigars and before they moved to Nicaragua. Back in the day, when they only had that small El Rey de Los Habanos factory on Callo Ocho in Miami. It was the first release of the Don Pepin Garcia Black Label and I’ve been a fan since. And lucky enough to have visited that small factory, the main factory in Esteli and the new small operation in the My Father HQ in Miami.


I bought this My Father La Gran Oferta Lancero in Amsterdam. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder, all grown on the My Father plantations. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado, a wrapper that is high on my favorite list. So this cigar already starts with +++, one plus for the factory, another plus for the wrapper and the third + for the vitola.

The dark reddish wrapper is oily, with some tooth. The triple cap is nice with a small pigtail. Contrary to the Flor de Las Antillas and La Antiguedad, the old artwork isn’t used on the ring, just on the boxes. The cigars have the regular My Father ring with a secondary ring mentioning La Gran Oferta. The foot is protected by a piece of cloth. The aroma is strong, hay and farm animals are what I get. The construction feels good.

The cold draw is good and reminds me of pepper and sultanas. After lighting, I taste a strong espresso flavor. Soon it’s more leather with green herbs. I get some nutmeg too with a little bit of black pepper. There is some hay in the flavor too. After an inch, I taste cinnamon sweetness with some mild pepper on the background. There’s also some dried leaves. After a third I taste a little leather again, sweet yet dry. Halfway it’s leather and cinnamon, some mild wood, pepper, and sweetness. In the final third, the pepper is picking up. I also taste some citrus and some cinnamon. Then some nuts show up, macadamia to be precise.

The ash is light colored. Not very firm though. The burn is good, just a few little touch-ups. The draw is flawless. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness but it gets thicker along the way. The cigar is medium at most, well balanced and rounded, mellow and smooth. The smoke time is two and a half hours

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it so yes

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Anoranzas Robusto

I had to google this cigar and learned that the line was released in 2012 by Miami Cigar & Co, that part I knew as Barry Stein from the Cigar Authority used to work for Miami Cigar & Co and gave me a shirt of the brand once when I visited him in Florida. But since the Miami Cigar & Co website doesn’t mention the brand anymore I think they are discontinued.


What I learned was that this line, who’s name is something like nostalgia in Spanish, is a tweaked version of the Nestor Miranda Grand Reserve 2011. The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, made at My Father Cigars, from all Nicaraguan tobacco, including a double binder and a Habano Oscuro wrapper. I don’t know how I got this cigar and how old it is, but it’s a few years old a least.


The box pressed cigar has a dark chocolate wrapper, slightly oily and I have to look closely to see the seems. The ring is bold, white with gold and some green at the bottom, simple classic decorations and the name written in golden letters and a hint of green. The cigar is slightly box pressed with a flattened head. The construction feels good. I smell a medium strong toasted aroma with some barnyard.


After cutting the cigar I find a perfect cold draw. I taste some spices. After lighting I taste coffee with some mint and nutmeg with a velvet and creamy feeling in my mouth. The nutmeg, some citrus and pepper replace the coffee, the minty flavor only exists in the aftertaste now. The pepper slowly grows. There is also a sugar sweetness. Halfway I taste cocoa too, with some wood and a mild pepper. In the final third the nutmeg is back with some cinnamon. The finale has the cocoa with pepper.


The draw is fantastic. The color of the smoke is light gray, medium full in volume, medium in thickness. The ash is gray with a yellow brown touch. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full bodied. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I could find them

Score: 92
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Nestor Miranda Special Selection Connecticut Coffee Break

There was a time, back in the day, that I used to be an avid bomber, but also got bombed a lot. And for a while I added rings to cigars of who bombed me and what date I received the bomb. This was one of the cigar that still had the ring, even though is says “Slavac, 10/20/2009”. So that means that this cigar is at least a decade old but I also read that the cigar was only introduced in 2012 as a regular production. I have no idea if this was a regular production, or where information got mixed up.


I probably never smoked it because of the wrapper, as I have written many times before, I am not a fan of Connecticut Shade wrappers. I tried many, and the number of Connecticut Shade cigars I like can be counted on the fingers of one hand. All I can hope is that this My Father Cigars made 4½x50 Short Robusto aka Coffee Break, with its Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and filler from the Dominican, Nicaragua and Honduras is to my liking.


The wrapper has a light, yellow brown color. It also has a few clear veins, I don’t like the color much. The ring is much better, two tone gray and white with copper colored linings, special selection written in that copper color and Nestor Miranda special selection in red. On the back, where the ring is glued together you can find the Miami Cigar & Co logo. The cigar looks well made, it feels well made too. The aroma is mild peppery and manure.


After cutting I taste nothing actually with a good draw. After lighting I taste the classic Connecticut shade mustiness with sweetness, sugar sweetness. Halfway I taste the mustiness, with a sharp edge, sugar and a mild salty peanut flavor.


The draw is great, the light colored ash is firm and the burn is quite alright. The white smoke is thick and full. This is a mild cigar, medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? That Connecticut Shade still isn’t my kind of wrapper.

Score: 88
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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 Tatuajestart 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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