Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. As I doubt anyone will bother reading many reviews today, I’ve decided to correct an error I discovered yesterday. I did not have this cigar in my data base. I’ve reviewed it at least a couple times for others, but not for me.
The stick is the second My Father cigar to be produced and debuted at the 2009 IPCPR trade show. Le Bijou means “The Jewel” in French and the 1922 refers to the year of Pepin Garcia’s father birth.
From Cigar Aficionado:
“The Le Bijou variety of My Father received a 90-point rating, noting: “Dark and spicy with an even burn throughout. After the cigar warms up it shows significant coffee notes as well as some sweetness.”
I chose the petite corona for two reasons. I got it on Cigar Monster for a song. And second, I had always wanted to try this blend in the little firecracker size.
The stick is packed with tobacco. The dark coffee bean wrapper oozes oiliness and the slightest bit of tooth. Veins are minimal. The triple cap is flawless. And in this case, the double band phantasmagoria nearly takes up the entire length of the cigar. The double bands are some of the most ornate and artistic I’ve seen.
I clip the cap and find aromas of intense sweetness, chocolate covered banana, spice, and leather.
Time to light up.
The first puffs are exactly what I expect: Pepin’s Shower of Pepper. (Cue the “Psycho” stabbing in the shower scene music).
But there is also a lovely sweetness, earthiness, and dash of cocoa. The cigar is very meaty. Manly. Almost steak-like. A bit of A-1 steak sauce appears in the background which completes the main course of our meal. It is probably a combo of Worcestershire sauce and molasses.
The spiciness subsides and moves to the back of the line. Here we go: Sweetness, newly arrived creaminess, meatiness, cocoa, earthiness, spice, and leather.
The second third begins.
The balance of flavors is just right. The opposing elements of sweet and savory make for an interesting flavor profile. The stick becomes an official flavor bomb. But not in the way that I usually describe. It is a sophisticated stream of flavors.
Little things make all the difference. The subtleties and nuance are like a fairy dancing on a pin head. (No, not me.)
The char line has been very wavy from the start. I’ve smoked two before this one and had no such trouble. Go figure.
There is a very satisfying experience. It is not like most cigars. I’m surprised that CA only gave it a 90. When you look at some of the ridiculous ratings they give crap cigars it just amazes me. It strips away their credibility and their whole rating system. Or is that monetary system?
Very near the halfway point, flavors are extremely potent, especially the meaty element and the steak sauce component. The creaminess brings a buttery smooth aspect to the cigar. And the slice of chocolate cream pie is excellent. While leather and spice rummage around in the background. This is not a flavor bomb of a thousand flavors. It is consistent with just a few meaningful flavors.
I have a little trouble with the cap which is fixed with a slice and dice method. Other than that, the construction of the cigar is impeccable. Lots of smoke swirls around my head and on the retrohale, I get a massive dose of black pepper. I don’t like to retrohale Garcia cigars because of the pepper content. It seems to fry the nose hairs off.
The last third begins and the strength moves to medium/full.
The lineup of flavors is the same. This is a great cigar for newbies who want to experience a great cigar. And it is for the experienced smoker who has a talented palate. To be honest, I never tasted the meatiness or steak sauce before because I never started the day with this cigar. Since I write 365 days a year, every cigar is my second cigar.
I highly recommend that you give this cigar a first cigar of the day tryout. And see if you agree with my assessments.
My stick never quite reaches the advertised full body. It also shows not a sign of nicotine. It finishes without a bit of harshness or heat. A small crack in the wrapper has formed near the cap. Probably from me clipping the drool drenched cap.
For a Nicaraguan puro, it does not divulge any of the stereotypical flavors one would expect. That’s quite the achievement.
And now for something completely different:
I lost my mother a long time ago. I was 18. She was 42. A long illness and the incompetence of doctors was her undoing.
It’s hard to remember what she looks like. There was one photo that sticks in my memory. It is a black and white.
I no longer have any photos of my mother. My father remarried a year after my mother died to the most evil of sub species. And a couple months after she moved in with her two children, she began going through personal stuff and tossing it.
She took every photo of my mother and threw them away. I was told about this a week later when there was nothing I could do about it. I hated her with a passion from that day forward. Now that old hag is dying from Cirrhosis of the liver and never drank a single drop of alcohol in her life. Karma.
Anyway, that photo showed my mom smiling standing in the back yard. She had her blond bouffant hair do. But that smile! The last 5 years of her life, she was nearly bedridden and I don’t remember a single smile.
So that photo means everything. Even if it is only available in my memory.
I remember my mother’s cooking. She was an artist. She had my dad’s father translate grandmother’s recipe cards. They were written in Hungarian. So my mother, thanks to grandma, became a master chef.
While my dad was alive, we would talk about her cooking right until he died at the age of 80, about 11 years ago. I’ve tried going online to find some of her recipes but to no avail.
It bums me out that my mother never got to see how my life unfolded. Never got to meet Teri, my first wife. Or Charlotte, my wife of almost 30 years. And especially, her granddaughter who is a spittin’ image of her. Her face. The kid got my wife’s genes when it came to being tall. Charlotte’s father was 6’-4. Charlotte is almost 5’-8. Katie is 5’-9. My mother was 5’-2. LOL.
The good memories all occurred before I was 13. And they are so hard to remember. That was over 50 years ago.
I miss my mother. No boy should grow up without their mother.
She died at UCLA on July 24, 1968. I started college only a few weeks later. I was lost. My father spent all his time with his soon to be wife and all I had was a mean house keeper that needed no make up to be in a horror movie. With a personality to match.
Right up until 2005, when we moved to Chicago, from California, my wife and daughter and I would visit her grave in Culver City. They bury metal vases in the ground right in front of the head stone. At this cemetery, all the stones were plaques. Nothing stood above ground.
And every time I visited, which was once a year, I had to get the groundskeeper to dig the vase out because of the weeds holding on to it. This told me that no one ever visited her but me. Not even my dad.
One day, I couldn’t find her grave. I searched for 30 minutes. Finally, I collapsed on the ground and just cried. A groundskeeper came over and I told him I couldn’t find my mother’s head stone. He grabbed his walkie talkie and got the location. He patiently dug out the vase and replaced it with a new one.
Katie was 19 the last time we went. She is now 28.
I know recanting this story is a real downer. But I felt I had to memorialize her in some fashion this day. What I wouldn’t give to be able to tell a story about some glorious day my mother and I spent together.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS