Cigar Review- Don Pepin Garcia Blue

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Oscuro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Size: 6 x 50  “Toro”

Body: Medium

Price: $7.50



I don’t have to do any background info on this as this cigar has been around a while and everyone has smoked at least one.

I’ve had this stick a long time and it looks it. I tried finding a second one but couldn’t. So this is it. Construction is still solid after a year. The seams aren’t that tight; probably my fault from constant moving around. Lots of veins. And if this stick begins to unravel on me, I will continue the review. The natural oils have come to the surface and it’s like an oil tanker spill. A bit of tooth.

I sniff it and detect loads of cocoa. And some coffee.

I clip it and light up.

Very mellow. No Garcia blast of pepper. Time has eradicated that. But I get a lovely cocoa taste along with some coffee and milk. It is also very earthy. I bet this is going to be a lot more flavorful now than it was a year ago when I received it.

A Diet Coke is grabbed.

A sweetness arrives. Dried apricot and cocoa. And very creamy. That tartness is spot on. The char line is perfect.

Not an iota of spice.

This stick is ridiculously flavorful now. I’ve smoked half an inch and it’s a flavor bomb. I’m 20 minutes into the cigar and I haven’t passed the 1” mark.




The flavors continue. All delicious. It gets a bit nutty now. The creaminess accents the cocoa, coffee, dried apricot, and earthiness beautifully. The body is classic medium. This is not the same cigar as one you leave in your humidor for a month or two. A bit of spice shows up but lays back and is tasted in the back of my throat.

The wrapper is hanging tough. And the char line continues to impress.


I finally make it to the halfway point and the cigar explodes with exuberant flavors. A carnival of taste sensations.

The spiciness dissipates. The cocoa and the creaminess are leading the pack. The wrapper is beginning to show some wear. I hope it hangs together until I’m done.

This has to be the slowest burning toro I’ve ever smoked. The halfway point has taken me over an hour. So I leave the laptop and go sit in front of the TV for a while.

The last couple of inches is all about flavor. The original strength was to be full. A year later, it is medium bodied.

I really enjoyed this stick.


And now for something completely different:

Continuation of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer, Hal Blaine…

I have so many fun stories associated with Hal, it is hard to choose.


Let’s see….Hal invited me to lunch on his yacht. Along with some other session player friends of his. I don’t remember their names. A nice bunch of Jewish boys. So Hal ordered from Canter’s Deli on Fairfax. First owned by vaudevillian comedian, Eddie Canter.

We had a smorgasbord of Jewish comfort food. I refuse to list them because I live in Milwaukee where there is not a single Jewish deli. Well…not one that should be allowed to call itself Jewish. All crap. I have to go to Chicago to indulge…90 miles away. Just like Cuba and Florida.

We lit up a doob before we ate. And stories were told. I was amongst the big league of L.A. musicians. So I mostly listened until Hal told them I played with Stew Copeland of The Police. But we laughed so loud and hard we thought someone would complain and call the cops. Does pot make you paranoid?

For fuck’s sake, we were on a docked yacht in Marina Del Rey. Who the hell is going to complain?

I’m one of those guys that loves to hear stories. You have no idea how many musicians I knew that got jealous when hearing them and got all shitty. Not me. I loved listening to bits of history. I loved music since I was a little guy.

Again, I cannot remember names but one guy asked if wanted to see his new studio?

We were stuffed to the gills with some of the heaviest food on the planet. And Hal had 20 years on us. And then the same fella brought out dessert: Colombian marching powder. Wham! I was no longer lethargic.

Off we went. This guy owned a studio…or should I say  STUDIO!!

It was in the Hollywood Hills surrounded by homes of musicians and movie stars. The view was to die for.

To make a long story short, we all sat down and grabbed an instrument. Luckily, I was the only bassist.

We started jamming on “Sugar, Sugar,” by the Archies. LMAO. We were all high and laughing hysterically. One of the guys had actually played on the record. There was no Archies. Totally a conglomeration of studio cats.

We played for about an hour. And the in walked Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley…The Righteous Brothers. Hal had called them from his car on the way to the studio.

I almost shit myself. I had met them once before when I interviewed them for my PBS TV show in 1982.

The drummer had lit up another doob and Bill walked over and took it from him. And then laughed a huge belly laugh. After a few drags, he handed it to Bobby.

I knew what was coming and I did not know a single song in their catalog. Oh fuck!

I took the studio owner aside and asked if he had one of those giant music books with 1000 songs in them? He did and it had all the boys’ songs. Whew.

Unfortunately, it was a piano book with the bass lines for the left hand of the piano. So I did some wood shedding when we began to play.

Bobby and Bill made it absolutely clear that no recording will go on. They were very stern about this. They didn’t want any boot legs showing up. I thought that here was my only chance to play with these guys and I’d have no record of it…so to speak.

The first hour, we jammed on a bunch of R & B tunes that everyone knew. They said they were in no hurry to sing their songs. And besides, we weren’t paying them. LOL.

Little Latin Lupe Lu was a mind fuck of an experience. This was the most fun song of the session. It lasted at least 30 minutes.

And then the sun set around 8pm on the California summer day. And guys were talking about getting home before their wives beat them. That was OK. We had played for 5 hours. And I was adrenaline soaked.

Hal drove us all back to his boat where our cars were parked.

A few months later, Hal called me and gave me Bill’s phone number. Their bass player was sick and couldn’t play Friday and Saturday at their own club in Orange County. Been there many times and once in a while, they showed up to perform.

I called Bill and he asked me if I wanted the gig? )($&KUE$%&((*%#@%*_?????!!!!

“Yes, sir.”

“You know our songs, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

Times were arranged and for two glorious nights, I was in the Righteous Brother’s Band.

Son of a bitch.