Origin: Miami, FL                         Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo

Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo            Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo, Corojo

Strength: Medium to full-bodied Flavor: Spicy

Box of Don Pepin Serie JJ Belicosos The Don Pepin Serie JJ Belicoso is a handmade cigar that brings a rare heritage to the US cigar market. A good handmade cigar is magic. It is a talisman of carefully crafted power - capable of transporting it’s possessor across time, culture, class levels, and continents. It is Hemingway gazing wistfully across the beaches of Cuba. It is Kipling sitting in the high backed rattan chairs at Raffles in Singapore as “the sun comes up like thunder.” Cigars are a pensive JFK or an exuberant Churchill. They are as rowdy as the 19th hole after any golf tournament or as simple and sublime as “It’s a boy!”

To make a great cigar requires talent and training; the best rollers receive the title of “Maestro.” The Don Pepin Serie JJ was created by a manufacturer that has both. Don ‘Pepin’ Garcia received the rank of Tabequero Maestro while he was rolling and blending cigars in Cuba. When he left Cuba in 2002 he was considered the top roller in the country. He brought his genius to Miami via Nicaragua and Mexico, and founded his own cigar factory, El Rey de los Habanos, (The King of the Havana Cigars) and began creating exciting and impressive new blends for us cigar smoking Americans that just love a good stick.

As with most very good cigars made today there is a story behind every nuance. The “JJ” in the name of this cigar stands for Jose (Pepin is a nickname) and his son Jaime who works along side is father in their factory in Miami. His daughter Janny is also involved in running the business.

The Don Pepin Serie JJ Belicoso natural is a good shape to first try out a cigar. The torpedo shape is one that only experienced rollers are usually assigned to create. The conical shape at one end (hence the “torpedo” name) channels the smoke giving each puff a full sampling of the flavor of the cigar. At 5 3/4 inches x 52 ring gauge, the Don Pepin Serie JJ Bellicosa has a substantial heft and “feel” without being huge. The wrapper or outer skin of the cigar is from Nicaragua; as are the filler (the inner leaves) and binder (that leaf which holds and shapes the filler leaves and is covered by the wrapper.)

I found the Don Pepin Serie JJ Belicoso to have no soft spots along the length of the cigar and the foot (the part you light) appeared to be well packed and uniform – meaning it would have no dead spots during the smoke. After toasting the foot (charring the end of the cigar without lighting it) the draw was perfect and light. After lighting the cigar it produced an even burn with the smoke tasting of wood notes and pepper. The volume of smoke was decent – not too thin and reedy, but rich enough to fill the palate. The strength was between medium to full; tasty and complex without being overwhelming. Those who enjoy smoking cigars agree that this cigar has a place in their repertoire.


POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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