Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Length: 6.5 x 52 Toro
Today we take a look at the My Father Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016
A buddy sent me this cigar. Lots of humi time on it. I was told it’s nearly two years old. I haven’t named him in case I don’t like it. If I do, I will place his name here: Dr. Wally Fish.
Here is the caveat about this review…The cigar is extremely limited. Also very expensive for a My Father blend. And it’s been around for nearly two years and yet countless online stores still carry it. Not a good sign. But now I’m reviewing it with a lot of age on it which might make all the difference. The Garcias tend to be in the category of New Breed blenders. Cigars that are produced that do not need months and months of humi time. Ready to go in a month; or sooner. But maybe the indifference shown by the industry and the Garcia faithful’s is misplaced because Garcia went Old School on this blend…we shall see.
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Released: June, 2016
Cigars Released: 4,000 Boxes of 14 Cigars
From Cigar Aficionado (June 21, 2016):
“For the sixth consecutive year, My Father Cigars will be releasing a limited-edition cigar. But unlike the company’s past small productions, this year’s version is a variation of Cigar Aficionado’s reigning Cigar of the Year.
“The Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016 is a 6 1/2 inch by 52 ring gauge cigar that is a play off of the Le Bijou 1922 (the Torpedo Box Pressed vitola was named the 2015 Cigar of the Year).
“The 2016 Le Bijou 1922 features binders and filler from Nicaragua, including some Pelo de Oro, a tobacco varietal that’s difficult to grow, but renown by cigar makers for its combination of strength and sweet flavor. Whereas the original Le Bijou 1922 uses Nicaraguan wrapper, the Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016 is covered in Cuban-seed leaf grown in Ecuador that is Oscuro, or very dark, in color.
“Only 4,000 boxes of the limited Le Bijou 1922 are being produced, each holding 14 cigars. The limited cigar, which will retail for $23 per stick, starts shipping to stores next Monday.
“Like all My Father cigars, the Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016 is being rolled at the Garcia family’s My Father Cigars S.A. factory in Nicaragua.”
Flash and Dazzle. Two luxurious cigar bands. A bright red footer ribbon. The stick is very much on the rustic side…with huge veins running up and down the shaft. It looks a like a big tree trunk covered in age. But the wrapper is seamless. And the triple cap, while looking competent, is a little off skew. The oily wrapper is the typical Habano Oscuro espresso and beef jerky hues. Smooth for the most part with a bit of tooth here and there. A nice looking cigar.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell heavy dark cocoa, red pepper, malt, cream and caramel, cedar, fruity, spicy cinnamon, and freshly baked bread.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell dried hops, chocolate, malt, red pepper, caramel, creaminess, cinnamon, berry fruit, cedar, and floral notes.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, cinnamon, bittersweet chocolate, cream, caramel, cedar, floral notes, hops, and sourdough bread.
This big honker is easily a 2-1/2 hour cigar experience. I have set up an I.V. bottle of Dilaudid and Versed with adrenaline chaser next to me so I can push the button every ten minutes. Unless the cigar blows me away; and in that case time will fly by.
First puffs are lovely. Touches of lemon citrus and honey. Malts galore (Pussy’s sister). There is a heavy dose of black pepper nailing my feet to the floor. An instant portent of the future exhibits itself by displaying early stages of complexity. A complexity I would expect from a $23 cigar, a cigar blended by the Garcias, and one that has had 2 years of humidor time.
This is exactly how an expensive cigar should start its journey. Immediate gratification sees its switch flipped to the on position. This is a friggin delicious cigar blend and I’m all of 3/8” into the redwood tree.
Not very many reviews of this cigar. Most probably due to its limited status. I’m guessing that everyone that could…grabbed a stick or 3, but Garcia is not one for free samples which means most of the reviewers had to go out and pay for it. Ouch. A reviewer needs a minimum of 3 sticks for a review. Otherwise, it’s a total crap shoot. Try and get that through a manufacturer’s head and you’ve won the lottery.
I checked out a couple reviews trying to find background info on this cigar. Clearly, it appears the mostly negative reviews are due to the misunderstanding that the Garcias had changed gears with this blend. Some probably gave it a month or two as the big reviewers like to get their reviews out while the product is hot. And before it disappears. Nothing worse than reviewing a cigar that your readers cannot purchase. Which is also my philosophy. Now and again, I get very limited edition cigars in the mail but you can’t buy them anywhere. So what’s the point? Drive you readers nuts? I would definitely be reported to the United Brotherhood of Cigar Reviewers’ business agent and reprimanded and handed a $24 fine.
OK. The My Father Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016 is kicking arse and taking names. I expected this baby to let me down. I had prepared all sorts of dismissive insults in my head prepping for the review. They are of no use to me now.
First, the cigar is huge. Tree trunks, like the Gordos, unceremoniously and without proper legal consultation need a shit load of humi time or you’re just smoking a cigar full of earth, wind, and leather. I like the analogy about leather. So many reviewers mention this as something good. Now really…someone asks how you like your cigar and you close your eyes and with a big smile say, “Ummm…it tastes exactly like licking my jeans belt. Yum.”
C’mon. When and where did the element of leather become a good thing? Don’t get me started on earthiness and wood. It’s all bullshit.
Strength is medium+. Complexity is here to stay. Nice transitions with a heady bit of saltiness. A very long and intense finish.
It’s very savory at the moment. The sweetie pie goodies are way in the background. This is steak and potatoes…not dessert. This could change as it seems like I still have 9” to go on this giant bratwurst. Not to mention that the construction of this stick is absolutely flawless with a perfect draw but with really packed guts. With the cigar being so fully packed, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t need my PerfecDraw cigar poker routine. It had a clear and clean access without a single plug. That’s always a good sign.
The char line is gorgeous. No touch ups required.
Took Charlotte, for the very first time, to a cigar shop. She’s feeling down with all the shit going around us at the moment. My buddy, Tyler, was working and we hit the place at noon. I picked a Viaje Cache and Charlotte got a CAO Moontrance robusto. She ordered a glass of wine (She never drinks during the day) and then followed by two 4oz snifters of Gran Marnier. By 2pm, she was schnockered. I had to run next door to get her some lunch so she didn’t disrobe in front of all those smokers. We had a great time and the camaraderie of the place made her feel whole again. And she loves Tyler. She wants to adopt him. Hold him to her breast while he falls asleep. And wants to invite him over for dinner (That must have been the booze speaking).
The My Father Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016. Bitch’n cigar, moon doggies.
These babies are still available at a lot of online stores. I know it’s expensive but everyone is selling singles. Now that the cigars have two years on them since release, they seem to be a good purchase. A couple months of naked humi time and you might have a near masterpiece…especially if this blend keeps on keeping on as it appears to do.
I take a big swig of water and then a puff; and I get this glorious root beer flavor accompanied by creaminess that finally turns the blend into a sweet concoction. Of course, I have a long way to go and Wally Fish isn’t getting any younger.
Yeah, it’s Dr. Wally that sent me this cigar. Now that I recognize the quality of this blend, he should feel no shame in dispensing it to me.
There is something very different about this blend. It wobbles between a typical Garcia blend and that of what half a dozen different blenders would make. Something Nomad Fred Rewey, Ezra Zion, Paul Stulac, Andrew Farkas, Pete Johnson, and Eric Espinosa would dream up.
The root beer becomes sarsaparilla. Vanilla ice cream and a berry topping follow.
Super complex now. Transitions are fucking gorillas on the loose. Remember…if you ever see a silver back gorilla on the loose; say in your driveway…don’t move. Don’t make eye contact. And don’t stare at his genitals…gorillas hate that.
Caramel, cedar, graham cracker, cinnamon, nutmeg, salted cashews, malts, chocolate, espresso, black pepper (Not a very peppery cigar so common to the Garcia blends), and hints of citrus, licorice, smoky beef, and stewed apples.
Now I’m impressed.
Smoke time is 45 minutes.
The strength settles into an easy going medium.
This cigar is a huge commitment of your time. As good as this blend is, I believe it would have been better if it was a smaller stick and hopefully cheaper. $23. I could live on earth worms for a month.
Creaminess and root beer continues to drive the bus. Chocolate is in the background waiting for its chance to pounce and dispatch the root beer to hell.
The blend is so complex that flavors nearly disappear into some sort of cosmic ball of intrinsic delirium. Besides the creaminess and root beer, a whole maelstrom of flavors are coming and going that make this giant stick a real pleasure.
The My Father Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016 was released too soon. It should have been given more age in the process of allowing the finished cigars to rest longer. I’m confident that this is why a cigar blend that should have sold out in a month is still around 2 years later. Big fuck up.
A lot of Garcia blends find their expiration date in less than a year if stored without their cellos. This blend follows a different path. A surprise that all the other reviewers hadn’t prepared for. And hence, indifferent reviews. Of course, the ridiculous price didn’t help.
Halfway point arrives at one hour 20 minutes. I believe I should receive some sort of citation for sitting here for 4 hours. Maybe the Croix de Guerre. I could march around the bedroom eating freedom fries and farting the La Marseillaise.
One can’t ask for more. Perfect balance. Intense complexity. Swirling transitions. And a mile long finish. I’d pay $23 for this cigar…or two. What a treat.
I’m a big Garcia fan. Solid blending by a master. I can’t remember smoking a bad Garcia blend.
Strength hits medium/full with nicotine raising its ugly puss.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday. My daughter is celebrating her first one. I find it unbelievable that my mother will be gone 50 years this July. Shit, I’m old. I have outlived her age by 26 years. Must light a yahrzeit candle.
An attack of flavors develops into the cigar’s first bona fide sweet spot. Lawdy. A masterful blend.
The nicotine is making my hands shake.
Smoke time is one hour 45 minutes.
This is definitely not a cigar for newbies. I’m a seasoned cigar smoker and it’s kicking my ass. Had to stop and eat a bowl of cereal to avoid passing out on my laptop keyboard.
Strength is full tilt. I believe I can see the rings of Saturn from here.
This review is going to cause confusion for cigar smokers that troll all the review sites. Everyone gave it a passing grade…barely. And here is this schmuck saying it’s better than sliced bread.
The My Father Le Bijou 1922 Limited Edition 2016 does not relent. It’s attack is ferocious. But the last third is a test of one’s manhood. This assault of nicotine is damn near paralyzing.
The cigar finishes with a big flourish of wide spectrum flavors. The complexity is the star of the show.
I don’t think I’ve recommended a cigar as expensive as this baby. This one is worth it.
But I’m going to need a cold shower to snap out of the nicotine haze I’ve been submitted to.
Final smoking time is 2 hours 20 minutes.
And now for something completely different:
I was at George Martin’s (The Beatles’ producer) recording studio, AIR Studios, in London participating in the mixing of the 1974 “Curved Air Live” album. For those of you who know, and for those that don’t….half the fun of recording an album is just hanging in the control booth watching and listening to the exciting mix of the music. It beats the hell out of staying home and watching TV. You never know who you will run in to. Plus, they feed you. Free food.
Since it was a live album, the recording was finished. Now it was just watching the producer and engineer mix it. At age 24, I didn’t have any producing experience yet; so this was pretty much Alice peering through the Looking Glass. I asked a lot of questions which annoyed the producer who was a real schmuck. Miles Copeland was a cheap bastard and got a C rated producer because his monetary needs saved money for Copeland. But of course, passed on to the band.
I kept telling him that he was mixing the bass line old school. In the background. He hadn’t caught up with the times, especially from the likes of the jazz fusion bands breaking through in America. I played well and I wanted to be able to hear it pounding away. He kept telling me to be patient which was his way of saying, “Get away from me boy, you’re bothering me.”
I sealed my fate with the band, and not in a good way, when during a playback with management and the band present, the managing director of BTM Records announced to the group “I guess we know who the star of this album is.” Hand to God he said that.
I cringed. The leader, Darryl Way, had a look of disgust on his face at that declaration. I kept my mouth shut. Way was totally insulted that a backwater California boy had stolen the spotlight from his classical violin playing. He was backwards in his thinking too about the way rhythm sections were recorded and mixed.
After the album had been released, I ran into our producer at some club. The first thing he said to me was: “You were right. I should have had the bass more upfront.”
I thought: “You rat bastard fuck face cock sucker.” I certainly appreciated his smug comment during mixing that he relayed while laughing; “Bassists always want to hear more bass. Sit down and let me do my job.”
I am proud to say that while the others in the band had to come in, and spend hours, to overdub their mistakes, I had one single dub. One note. Just one note had to be fixed on a live recording. The others gave me the stink eye because I sat back and watched them struggle with placing new notes on an already recorded song. Timing had to be perfect. Sort of like lip syncing.
I was the new member. And I played some very complicated bass lines. So my near perfection caused some temporary jealousy. I had only been with the band two weeks before we took off on the road. And the live album was recorded over two gigs in the first week of the tour. I feared I’d become self-conscious and play a ton of clams. But the music took me away on a magic carpet ride and I lived in the moment…playing my ass off. I literally led the band during a couple songs where there were very long improv segments in the middle of the tunes.
Air Studio had two studios in the same location. Next to each other. While we were using Studio B, Pete Townshend was using Studio A to mix the movie soundtrack to the movie, “Tommy.”
One late night, Sonja and I were sitting on the floor with our backs against one of the plush sofas. We had just smoked a doob and were conversing about life. The sofa was in the farthest location from the door. And the room was huge. George Martin spared no dough in making this booth a plush living room.
I noticed the door opening, about 20 feet away, and looked up. The studio was dimly lit. For mood, I guess. Helps with the artistry.
In walks a man who I can’t quite make out. As he looks our way, he heads toward us. The closer he came, the more my jaw dropped. It was Pete Townshend coming over for a visit with Sonja. Curved Air was a legendary band in Europe from the late 60’s to the late 70’s. And Pete and Sonja were good friends.
Pete was thin. Very thin. I later found out that this was the period in his life where he did a lot of heroin.
He sat down next to Sonja making it a Sonja sandwich putting her between the two of us. They hugged and exchanged kisses. I was close to shitting myself. I didn’t blink or take a breath. Fucking Pete Townshend was sitting two feet from me.
Now if you want to be taken seriously in any business, you must act natural at meeting anyone of note or your presence is ignored, so I did my best to be cool. Be a peer, not a fan.
A minute or two in, Sonja nodded in my direction and introduced me to Pete. We shook hands. I was literally shaking. I muttered something unintelligible. Clicks and whistles.
We sat there for a couple of hours, rolling and lighting one joint after another. I normally did not chain smoke joints. But in the presence of greatness, one did not say “Sorry. I’ve had enough.”
Before long, all three of us were laughing like idiots and Pete told Sonja that he thought I was an all-right chap.
Pete got to listen to my playing on the play back in the studio and when he felt it was time to leave, he stood above me, shook my hand, and asked if I wanted to jam tomorrow night?
Of course, I said yes and told him I would make sure our drummer, Stewart Copeland, was there.
I barely slept or ate in the next 24 hours in anticipation. Back then, long distance calls to America were really expensive. But I didn’t care and called every friend I could think of to tell them what was about to happen.
The night came and we played for countless hours. Time had no meaning except when we stopped to light one up. We were in their little side studio of Studio A (8 x 10) and I was touching distance to Keith Moon’s drums, John Entwistle’s basses, and a mic stand belonging to Roger Daltrey with a schmata/scarf wrapped around the shaft. But the band hadn’t even come into the studio that day. They were fabulously rich and didn’t need to hang out in the studio for fun.
We didn’t play one Who song. We just jammed. And because I was into the jazz fusion scene which really hadn’t made it the English shores quite yet, I had the responsibility of providing pounding Stanley Clarke-like riffs for us to woodshed on.
At one point, he teased us with the offer to produce our next album, which never happened. My only regret was that while tape was running the whole time, I never asked for a copy.
I was in the mode of: “I will always be in the music biz and this was only the start.”
The strange musings of a naïve 24 year old.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS