Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto-Selectos”
Body: Full
Price: $4.65


I discovered to my dismay that I only have the JJ Natural within my catalog. How could I have not reviewed it here? Dunno. Probably because I reviewed it a few years ago on a dozen other blogs. But it is never too late. Unless you’re dead.

This wonderful cigar made its debut at the 2009 IPCPR.

One thing I’ve noticed with this new batch is that the double cigar band seems to have been redesigned.Probably to set it apart from the old blend.

The cigar is gorgeous with the dark coffee bean wrapper just shimmering with oiliness. It is very toothy. The triple cap is flawless. Seams are invisible and very few veins. The stick is very hard but allows for a gentle push. But the general shape of the cigar has something lacking…like being round. The cigar is lumpy and bumpy and is almost flat on the back side which makes for wonderful photos from the front but not as a cigar should be.

I clip the cap and find strong and definitive aromas of earthiness, cocoa, herbal notes, spice, cedar, and leather.
Time to light up.

The first thing to get my attention is the Garcia Blast of Pepper (The GBP). Right behind is the baker’s dry cocoa. There are gentle herbs as if picked fresh from your herb garden. A very toasty element presents itself. Leather is very strong. And the stick is very earthy. The cedar is stronger than I expected.

The strength starts out at a tick above medium bodied. I shall be doing the back stroke, on the living room floor, by the last third…screaming for my mommy.

This is the last of the cigars sent to me. I’ve had this one in my humidor for about 6 weeks. You can light up a Garcia blend after two weeks and be good to go but I wanted to wait on this one. I wanted the full throttle of its strength and pepper.

The char line is dead nuts. The strength starts out a tick above medium bodied. The tobacco is very earthy. And then creaminess jumps in at the ¾” mark. More flavors join the fold and here is the list of all the flavors, so far: Spice, earthiness, sweetness, cocoa, creaminess, herbal notes, toasty, cedar, fruit, and leather.

My trusty table top stainless steel cutter is my friend and confidant. The best cigar accessory I’ve every purchased. Got it on Monster a few years ago. The table cutter has two straight cutters for 52 and 60 ring cigars along with two V-Cutters for 52 and 58 ring cigars. The blades are Surgical Stainless Steel. The dimensions are 6” wide x 4” high X 4” deep.

I’ve given up using regular cutters as of late….the Xikars, the Palio or the other assorted good cutters. I stick with the clean and crisp small V cut. It allows for less damage to the cap. If you don’t have one, get one. I know they are not cheap so save up for one. That’s my Jewish Uncle Katman directing you to do what’s best for you.

Prices are all over the place as high as $140. Amazon has them for $80 plus $10 shipping. has them for $69 and free shipping.
It has a pop off removable bottom for ease of cleaning. Great tool.

Back to the cigar.
The char line is still spot on.

You know I read other reviews and the only thing I figure is that my palate has developed past theirs. They seem to get caught up in a bunch of mumble jumble nonsense when they describe the cigar. The kind of discourse saved for the sampling table at Cigar Aficionado where the other snobs come to count their money so they know how to score the cigars in front of them. Blind taste test, my ass. He with the most shekels wins.

The cigar becomes a flavor bomb at the 1” mark. This is an incredible cigar for an incredible price if you shop around. No one pays the $8 anymore. I’d say it can be easily had for $6 or less. And the cigar reminds me I should always have these in stock.

The second third begins and the flavors are Wild Child. Creaminess leads the pack and the spiciness has slipped a couple of notches.

Very few boutique brands match up to this one blend from Pepin. Garcia just blows me away sometimes. Such talent in one man. And as a result, he ends up blending all the good cigars that come from other manufacturers like Tatuaje.

The construction remains immaculate. I have a boner from this flavor profile. And at my age, that ain’t no easy feat.

Did you like Chapter 3 from “Blue Star Adjustments” from yesterday’s review of La Aurora Escogidos Maduro?
I am posting Chapter 4 at the bottom of the review. And then that’s it. If you want to read more, click on Blue Star Adjustments here or on my home page.

I might add that some of the stories are 100% true. With no embellishments. But I cannot tell you which ones. I like not being in prison.

It is a beautiful, warm and sunny day in Milwaukee. Can you see how oily this stick is from the sun’s input on my photos?

And don’t forget, my giveaway of two 1.5lbs of fine, fine pipe tobacco ends on Wednesday the 4th. Not a lot of people have entered so the chances are good for anyone to win. Go to my home page and click on the photo of the pipe tobacco.

Back to the cigar. Here are the flavors: Creaminess, honey, cocoa, coffee, earthiness, spice, herbal notes, cedar, toastiness, chocolate brownies, black cherry and raisins, and leather.

This is one of Pepin’s early blends and yet it holds the test of time. Most smokers flock to the My Father line but the early Garcia blends are just as good. And cheaper.

This is one of those cigars that even after a full day of smoking is just as flavorful as your first one if you choose it to be the last stick of the day when your palate is fried.

The halfway point has come and gone. I am not into the last third. The cigar is uber complex. Well balanced. And it has a mile long finish with a big dose of chewiness. I can feel the oil on my lips.

The halfway point brings the cigar to medium/full. But the last third digs in and dishes out full bodied strength. And with it, some nicotine. It is at its lowest level and blindness does not occur. I never know if extreme masturbation causes my blurry vision or the nicotine. Someone should appropriate federal funds to do a study.

Flavors are just out of control. I don’t understand why the other big reviewers don’t get excited over this cigar like I do. I consider myself to have an “Everyman’s” palate and therefore you should be able to understand where I come from. But these big shots are dry and indifferent to the excitement of a great blend. Are they in cigar overload? Are their palates just not as good as the rest of ours? Who knows.
The strength reminds of an Illusione at this point. That deep, deep earthiness along with a multitude of flavor. But with an almost total absence of spiciness now.

The cigar finishes out like a dream. The nicotine isn’t too bad. The stick is nice and cool. No harshness or heat. And complex and balanced with a boat load of flavor.

And now for something completely different:

A chapter from my mini novel called “Blue Star Adjustments” My mother’s family was Jewish mafia. So I wrote about what I observed as I grew up.

I am currently in negotiations with the BBC to turn my story into a mini-series for 2015. No shit.


Uncle Sam’s son, Aaron, was a failure as a crook. He always got caught because he was stupid. Of course, I didn’t know this until I was in my teens.
I remember seeing him at a couple Passover dinners and he was quite possibly the fattest man I had ever seen in person.

I also noticed he had very dark circles under his eyes. I asked my mother why he looked like that? She responded that he had heart problems. Yeah…someone was probably waiting out there to stick a knife into it.
Aaron spent most of his time in and out of jail/prison. Hence, I only saw him those few times as he was lollygagging his time away picking up soap in the shower.

Obviously, he was a huge disappointment to Uncle Sam and his wife. Uncle Sam was a smooth crook. He made no mistakes and he planned well.

I was 20 when I got a call from my dad. He had already remarried after my mother’s death two years earlier.

He had been convinced by his darling Satan wife that they should move to Palm Springs and give up the house I grew up in. I loved Long Beach. I loved that my father put a second story addition over the living room and den and it became my bedroom….that is until Satan brought her two Satanettes and I lost my huge room and found myself in a tiny bedroom downstairs while I was attending college.

The call from my dad was to tell me that Aaron had died. A heart attack and the funeral would be the next day. If you are Jewish, you must be planted within two days. Rules are rules.
I told him I wanted to go and got directions.

I asked Chip, my best friend, if he wanted to go with me since it was an hour ride into L.A.
He agreed.

We were overwhelmed when we got to the synagogue. The people! Hundreds and hundreds of people! Since we were family, seats had been saved for us..even Chip.

I do not like funerals. They creep me out. The first one I had ever attended was my mother’s two years prior. And that was horrible. She died weighing 60lbs. She looked like a Holocaust victim. I couldn’t believe that after the ceremony, the casket was opened for family to view her. I didn’t take one foot forward. My face was frozen in terror. I was paralyzed. I could see her face a bit. And I could tell they dumped a paint can full of make up on her.
I never moved.

Aaron’s casket was closed.

After the long tedious drive to the Jewish ceremony in Culver City, we all went back to Uncle Sam’s gigantic, sprawling house for refreshments and a good time.

Chip and I provided our condolences to everyone. And then we headed outside to smoke a doob.
We had found an out of the way place on the grounds inside a cluster of trees. No one could see us or smell the delicious aroma of nature’s herb burning.

We had barely lit the joint, when we heard a voice from above asking, “Hey! Ain’t you gonna’ share?”
We both metaphorically shat our pants.

We looked up and there was a guy, about our age, sitting on a branch of a tree about 8 feet above the ground.
He was dressed in all leather…not exactly funeral appropriate.

He climbed down and introduced himself as Fred. He was Aaron’s cousin. A cousin I had never heard of, or seen.

He had a heavy Brooklyn accent. He smiled so much that it was hard to understand him when he spoke. We had to keep interrupting him to repeat himself in English.
We shot the shit for a while sizing each other up. When the joint was 15 minutes dead, Fred asked if I knew what happened to Aaron?

Yeah, a heart attack.

Fred laughed a full throated laugh. Even his head tilted back.
When he began to speak to us, there were tears in his eyes from laughing.

“Are you guys kidding? You believed that shit?” Chip and I nodded our heads yes.
“Let me tell ya’ what happened.”
So Fred told us his version of Aaron’s death.

Apparently, Aaron was once again in prison on Terminal Island. He was there for passing bad checks.

Aaron didn’t make friends. He made allies and enemies. He hated being called “Fatso” in the joint. These people became immediate enemies.

Aaron also ran numbers on the street. And with his phone call privileges, he continued to do so.
Aaron hung with several Jewish inmates. And a couple of rainbow Heinz 57 fellas.

They schemed and became very entrepreneurial in prison. His father, Uncle Sam, would always give Aaron protection money to keep him safe while behind bars. This gave Aaron leverage.

Most of the shit Aaron did inside was small potatoes…more like stuff that kept one busy so the dead time didn’t get to you. So no attention was given to him by the guards. He probably paid off a couple guards to make things easier.

One day….6 months from his formal release, Aaron got some imaginary balls. He had an idea that he shared with his comrades. They were going to rip off opiates from the prison hospital.

The plan was to grease two guards in order to give them access to the infirmary. But it would be in daylight while it was busy and full of people. Supposedly, one of the guys had “key” skills in their group. He would make a key copy for the medicine vault.

He would have to approach, distract, and make a mold of the keys from a nurse that he didn’t know.

This guy, James…with the help of the greased guards just happened to have regular migraines and spent one or two times per week in the infirmary being treated for this. He got the lay of the land and nailed the nurse with the keys.

James, not just being good with locks, was a good looking man in his 30’s. Not your average criminal in prison. No one touched him though. That’s because he cut another inmate’s finger off during a push to get James to be friendlier. From that point, he was left alone…although once in a while, he would have to prove himself a dangerous adversary to new guys entering the prison.

James’ best asset was his huge cock. It just so happened that lots of women appreciated that part of his personality…as did the nurse on duty during the day.

The third week of James’ trips to get help for his migraines he made his move. While his schlong was inside Nurse X’s mouth, he merely bent forward and made a mold of the medicine vault key with clay in a Mentos tin.
Once that was done, the mold was given to Swifty…an outdated nick name in the 70’s. Swifty worked in the machine shop and quickly and quietly made a key.

James convinced Nurse X to try and get a night shift so they could spend more time together without worry of being found out. She managed to do that. The following Tuesday night, she worked from 3pm-11pm.

So on that evening, James once more went to the infirmary with complaints about his migraines.

The prologue went slower this time because there was no rush. But when the time was right for intercourse, James relented. There were no rubbers for sale in prison. And he didn’t want his semen as evidence.

He lifted Nurse X on to a table as if to have sex with her sitting down facing him….mega schlong ready for action.

They were kissing while she urged his penis forward, towards her vagina. At that moment, James put his hands around her neck and began to squeeze. Her eyes opened wide. Bulging wide. One can only imagine the last thoughts streaming through her mind and visualizing in her eyes.

It took about 3 minutes to kill her.

James picked up the limp body and moved it to the far corner of the infirmary and plopped it on an empty bed. He grabbed some cleaning solvent from the mop closet and rubbed it all over her neck so there would be no fingerprints.

On the night planned for the robbery of drugs, it was decided 3 men would go. One was Aaron.
At 10:45PM, as the shift was about to change, they made their way to the infirmary and then to the medicine vault.

On duty that night were two nurses and an armed guard. The guard was there because of what happened to Nurse X. None of the planners knew this.

The room was darkened so patients could sleep. The nurse’s station was barely lit and the guard was in a far corner, sitting in the dark, smoking a cigarette….a Remington 870 shotgun in his grasp.

The boys stayed in the shadows and headed towards the vault. Aaron was so fat that within his first few steps, he bumped into a breathing ventilator attached to a prison inmate. This caused the tube to be ripped from the man and an alarm on the machine went off.

The boys tried to scatter and get out of there, but with one movement, the infirmary was lit up like the Sun.
The women screamed thinking it was their turn to be strangled. The adrenaline in the guard went to max. He thought the same thing plus no prison inmate goes anywhere without a homemade weapon.

The guard yelled for them to stop which only caused the boys to panic. They turned towards the guard and pulled their shanks. The guard raised his shot gun. He told them if they made one move he’d kill them all.

Aaron didn’t move until one of his buddies felt that if he pushed Aaron forward it would direct attention to him while they made their escape.

Next thing Aaron knew was that he was three feet in front of the other guys and the blast of the gun was deafening.

Aaron looked down and saw he wasn’t hit. He turned to his buddies and one lay on the floor nearly cut in half. Blood was spewing like a chocolate fountain.

The guard came running forward to take control and when he got within a foot of Aaron, he slipped on the blood and fell backwards with his finger on the trigger. The trigger was pulled and the tight spread of 12 gage pellets hit Aaron squarely underneath his chin.

The mortuary could not use enough putty to make things right. So they stuck with the heart attack. Protection Status



Tags: , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Hey Kat, Atlantic has 5ers!

  2. Of all the Boutique cigars that Cigar Federations sells, the Guyacan is in my top 5 favorites.
    At the beginning of May, Atlantic sold 5 packs of the Series JJ Maduro. For some reason, now they only sell boxes or bundles.
    It’s OK. I get my social security on the 3rd and I plan to snag a box.
    Thanks for your comment Patrick.

  3. OK, I got to ask, what are your top 5 at cigar federation? I’ve been meaning to make a purchase over there but I can’t decide where to start.

  4. BTW, the stories are great! You got me reminiscing of my era! I was just a wanna be then. Had a lot of close call’s. But thank God I’m still here. Many of my friends didn’t make it.