My Father La Promesa | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 4.5 x 50
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $7.80 (A buck less online)

Today we take a look at the My Father La Promesa.
I got a fiver from Cbid for $25.00.

Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Released July 2019
Regular production
From Cigars International:
“When Jose ‘Pepin” Garcia, founder of the My Father cigar factory, left his home in Cuba completely by himself, he made a promise to his family: that he would make a name for himself in premium cigars outside of Cuba, and make his family proud of his success. Today the beautiful factory and exquisite, meticulously crafted cigars stand as some of the best in the world, and My Father’s La Promesa stands as a testament and tribute to that success.

“La Promesa features filler tobacco grown solely at the Garcia’s own farms in Nicaragua, and is graced with a Nicaraguan binder and Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. The flavors are wonderfully balanced notes of pepper, leather, oak, and cream, and do proper justice to the noble inspiration behind the name. Elegance, confidence, and the promise of an excellent experience time after time are what you’ll get when you order a box of La Promesa, Pepin’s crowning achievement.”

Petite 4.5 x 50 $7.80
Corona Gorda 5.5 x 48 $8.20
Robusto Grande 5.5 x 54 $8.50
Toro 6 x 52 $9.20
Lancero 7.5 x 38 $10.00

The cigar is one giant billboard; especially on this tiny Rothschild…a main cigar band, a secondary band, and a footer ribbon. There is approximately 1-1/2” of actual cigar left exposed.
The wrapper is a dark paper bag hue…slightly toothy. It has the obligatory triple cap. Lots of veinage. I can’t see the seams as the cigar is covered in 2lbs of advertising. The cigar feels adequately filled and done so evenly. Not much resistance.

Aromas are faint but provides touches of milk chocolate, barnyard, cedar, red hot cinnamon, and black pepper.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, milk chocolate, cedar, malt, cinnamon, baking spices, and barnyard.

The draw is poifect, so I put my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool away for a not so great constructed cigar. Note: Most plugs occur at the cigar band area.

Pepin Garcia has been one of my favorite blenders for a long time. The man is reliable in pumping out good cigars. But I noticed that the La Promesa escaped my attention, so I decided to join the ranks of other reviewers and provide my two cents.

As noted above, I snagged a fiver from for only $5 a stick instead of the nearly $8 selling price. Can’t go wrong with this price point for a My Father blend.
Good start as the room fills with smoke…a nice complex output of black pepper, some sweet factors to be named later, earthy tobacco, a nice dose of malt, a touch of nuttiness, cinnamon, creaminess, buttered toast and cedar.

The cigar is exhibiting everything I expect from a Habano wrapped Nic blend. It’s dark and foreboding with deep richness and a nice finish.
The burn is a slow roll; showing off that the cigar is packed tightly with lots of tobacco.

The cinnamon causes the spiciness to do a retreat from black to red pepper.

These days, this cigar nearly falls into the clearance aisle pricing of catalog brand cigars. My experience, so far, is that this is My Father Lite. I’ve had the cigars for two months. It doesn’t come out swinging; but does provide another solid, but predictable, Garcia blend.
No surprises. But then I’ve just begun.

Halfwheel declared it a good, but not great cigar. Unless the earth shatters below my feet in the next hour, I expect to have the same opinion. Which might explain only a short list of written reviews since its release 8 months ago.

I get a beefy Philly steak sandwich element complete with fried onions. A first for me. And then some lemon zest which gives the creaminess a tart exposure.
The chocolate is fading…replaced with an espresso component.

This cigar is quickly becoming what I have smoked in several other My Father blends. A good blend but not interesting.
The balance is a little off kilter. Transitions are a bit lackadaisical. The finish is replete with spiciness, cream, and tartness.

The flavors are very faint. It makes distinguishing the entire profile difficult. I would like the flavors to pop more…but instead, it is becoming more of a subtle approach rather than a big bold statement.
As I finish writing the last paragraph, the cigar begins to perform better. Boldness makes an appearance.

Strength hits medium/full.
Complexity is on the mild side…but improving. The spiciness is in constant flux…black then to red and then to white peppers…with hints of jalapeno.

The burn is impeccable. It is only a matter of time before the ash goes for my naughty bits. But I want to get that money shot of a nice long ash in the second half…will I pay for my OCD? Probably.

I’ve always found that when I venture into a B&M for a smoke, I have a couple brands I can rely on for a satisfying smoke. One is anything by Garcia. The other is the Tatuaje Black.
I lose the money shot and use my home fire extinguisher to bring life back to my Lucite encased genitals. I want to save them for posterity as they don’t get much use any more…married fellas; nod your head.

It’s a good cigar. It’s dependable. It can be counted on to be pleasing. And the price is right. I can easily see this as something I would want stocked for my go-to moments. But not at $8-$10. This is why God invented Cbid…or any other auction site.

The second half makes a giant leap forward. It is here that the blender’s intent kicks in.
Complexity is now where I would like it to be for my palate. Flavors finally pop.

Transitions are on a rail.
Vanilla ice cream, the milk chocolate returns, spiciness of all ilk’s, savory items derived from a Worcestershire sauce base, a zesty citrus element, café au lait, cinnamon still at play, generic nuttiness, cedar, some malt; at last, and some sweet berry notes.

We now have a fine balance that struts its stuff.
It would have been nice if the stick started out the way the second half has taken over. In a different size, this may be true. But with this little firecracker sized cigar, it doesn’t have much time to develop its resources.

Strength maintains an even keel at medium/full.

I’m saving up all my mental aptitude to provide a review of the Joe Bonamassa concert we attended on the 10th. I can’t think of anything clever or funny to say in this review…Yeah, I know…so, what’s new?

Yesterday, a reader took me to task for comparing the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Robusto to the Torpedo which Cigar Aficionado named cigar of 2019. He argued that the 1” difference in the length of the two cigars meant everything…and hence, my reaction was dead on arrival. The guy never commented before and I don’t know him. So, I’m not sure what his backstory is on this matter. People use fake names all the time when they comment. He may have some skin in the game on this issue…I just don’t know.

The quality level of this blend has risen to the point that I would like to always have a fiver available to me. I’d like to try the Corona Gorda…my favorite size.,..which has nothing to do with my tiny schmekel.

The arrival of the blender’s intent has given me new energy. I was being swallowed up by the lackluster performance in the first half.

Wisconsin has only been barely hit by the CoronaVirus. My fingers are crossed but when you watch the experts tell us that we are fucked, I guess it is only a matter of time. So, I went out and bought a body condom to wear in public.

At my age…with diabetes and an immune disorder, I will be one of the first to go. Keep the cheering down please. But thank goodness that our young people won’t be affected as much; as it is only wiping out the elderly and infirm.

Creaminess excels now. Everything is on point. Subtleties and nuances begin their influence…broadening the cigar’s complexity.
This is a great stick for newbies…and for you old fuckers as well.

The flavor profile has now morphed into what most smokers like…the whole is greater than its parts. No need to dissect flavors. Just enjoy.

The blend is miles away from ever becoming a flavor bomb…just a reliable, good smoke.

If the CoronaVirus does get me, Charlotte is planning on selling $10 grams of my cremated remains on eBay. Who wouldn’t want to snort the Katman? My detractors will make my wife filthy rich.

The blend is in the pocket now. No sudden jerks. The rhythm is constant.
This 4.5 x 50 is a great size for a quick 45-minute smoke.
I could go on, but I won’t. It is a solid blend. And if you haven’t tried one yet, you should.


And now for something completely different:

The Joe Bonamassa concert review from March 10 at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee.

What a disaster.

Charlotte and I are huge fans of JB. We have several Blu-ray discs of live performances as well as some recorded concerts on our DVR. Charlotte plays them all the time.

We got to the venue earlier than expected and I noticed a cigar shop adjacent to the theater…so I insisted we enter. It is a tiny store and almost no seating. A small table with two chairs, a poker table with 4 chairs, and a members only room with 5 chairs.

After I bought a cigar, Charlotte went next door to the theater and bought some wine. I looked for an empty chair. Noticing my disorientation, were two guys from the JB band there for a quick smoke. They invited me to sit.
Introductions were made. I was in pig heaven. We had the band’s trumpet player and bassist in person.

I immediately recognized Lee Thornburg. Wow. An original member of Tower of Power. And with these gigs on his resume: The Tonight Show band, Tom Petty, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Huey Lewis, Rod Stewart, Little Feat, and Supertramp. I was in the company of rock royalty.

We talked about cigars at first. Always the self-promoter, I handed both of them my cigar review business cards. Lee, in a nuclear burst, stretches out his right arm pointing at me and bellows: “Shit. I know you. You’re famous!” I swear I filled my Depends at that moment. He started getting everyone’s attention to tell them the katman was here. I was truly embarrassed. I’m not that shy but this sudden attention pulled the pegs out from under me. I, suddenly, had street cred with these guys. The guys working at the cigar shop had no idea who I was and could care less.

Charlotte arrived and she sat next to me. I told her to look at Lee and see if she could identify him. She nearly exploded. Her face turned red and went ballistic. I didn’t count the OMG’s.

One thing I learned in the music biz is that there are two ways to approach a celebrity…you can converse with them like a peer…or act like a total fan. The latter usually turns off the subject in front of you.

The peer talks about life. The fan interviews the star. But Charlotte was so intimidated that she just sat and listened.

They did talk about their upcoming dates and it was truly impressive. At that point, Charlotte told them she was from Germany. The bassist remarked that he had been looking for a PerfecDraw tool but couldn’t find one til the band hit Dortmund where he snagged a couple.

Lee is 64 so we talked more about life. I did manage to show them a photo of me in full afro mode from the 70’s. They actually seemed to enjoy my back in the day stories. But I knew these guys had a million more road stories that I could ever come up with.

Lee is a very nice, down to earth fella. We laughed a lot. Plus, we talked about what it was like to be a musician in the 60’s and 70’s. That was fun.

After an hour or so, the guys had to report to the theater. We got up and said our goodbyes. Charlotte nearly curtsied in front of Lee, flushed with excitement, and told Lee it was an honor to meet him.

Now…the show.
We had nosebleed seats. $175 each. But the show did not sell out. The usher moved us to the $330 seats, so we were about 12 rows back in the balcony.

I don’t think I saw a dozen people under 30 there. It was all people our age. But then JB charges a lot for his shows. I believe ground floor seats require a second mortgage to be taken out.

At exactly 8pm, JB comes out alone with an acoustic. He plays a flurry of chords at ear splitting volume. My eyes were rattling in my skull. When the band joined up, I realized I’d not heard this sound volume since a Uriah Heep concert in 1968.

One problem…they need to fire the guy on the sound board.

Everything was lows and mids. One giant rumble. Couldn’t make out anything JB sang. The bass was just thunder without a single note being distinguishable. The drum kick was booming but the cymbals were faint.
The three back up girl singers were not in the mix. The horns were invisible. The keys were only heard in several solos. And Joe’s usual blistering solos sounded like a Jaco Pastorius. He played too few solos and I have no idea why. Maybe he was pissed off over all the empty seats…and couldn’t wait to leave…sucking all the passion from his playing.

And then there was the choice of songs. It was an evening of heavy metal blues. Fast and furious cranking out power chords. He only did one tune we recognized, and it did not impress.

People were holding their fingers to their ears in the balcony. Maybe the sound was mixed solely for the crowd in the floor seating jangling their jewelry. Up in the balcony, it was all noise. And these were $330 seats!

Man, we were disappointed. We had been looking forward to this for two months.
I wanted to go down there and talk to someone about the sound but knew I’d be killed instantly by security…so, I didn’t bother.

We sat through the onslaught of poorly mixed music for one hour and 40 minutes.

JB did speak to the audience once and did a funny routine about Wisconsin and cheese. He also mentioned that Reese Wynans (keys) couldn’t be there because he was playing with the Allman Brothers that night at Madison Square Garden.

We saw a lot of people leave early. But we also saw a lot of old farts get up and constantly hit the bar and bring back alcohol to their seats. You pay all that dough for a concert and spend half of it getting drunk? We watched as some alte kakers went stumbling downstairs to get to the bar; dead fucking drunk.

As much as we love JB’s music, once was enough. Lee Thornburg will be reading this, and I hope he says something to Joe about the sound. The Riverside Theater is a bastion of auditoriums…the oldest in Milwaukee. And has a wonderful rep for good sound. I can’t believe that the sound people didn’t check out how bad their mix was during sound check. I am mystified that apparently no one noticed that the sound blasted to the balcony was a cacophony of noise.

Still, it was a lot of fun despite the disappointment of the sound system. Having cigars with band members before the show was worth the price of admission.


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11 replies

  1. The Corona Gorda with 6 months rest was full of coffee, chocolate, cream, cedar, and at times a specific grape Tootsie Pop flavor, absolutely loved it

  2. Good to know, Steve.

  3. I was anxiously awaiting to hear about the concert as soon you mentioned it. I just recently discovered Joe Bonamassa by chance. My co-worker (also a bassist) play some of his tunes at work and I just had to hear more. Since then I have been enjoying a lot more variety of music and a lot more blues. I was hoping to see him as well when he comes to Seattle, but I chickened out when the Corona virus outbreak started and never bought the tickets. Some day maybe. Anyway, I read your reviews all the time and usually look to you for insight on what I might like to try. Like we always say everyone’s palate is different but you are always a big help.

  4. Thanks Kristopher,
    Just make sure you tip the sound guy a $20 bill before the concert to make sure he is paying attention.
    I’m glad I can help you in your choice of cigar decisions.
    Thanks for participating,
    All the best,

  5. I Just saw Joe in Clearwater, Florida. He played to a packed house for a solid 2+ hours. The sound was good but the playlist was … lacking. So much great material that he seemed to bypass. Anyway, the man is a wicked talent and I can scratch one off the bucket list!

    P.S. You are the Katman.

  6. Hey Rob,
    Lee Thornburg told me they do 160 dates per year. That is around a gig every 3 days…year after year.
    That has to take its toll. When I was in Curved Air, we toured even more than that but I was only 25. Most of his band are older people and I don’t know how they do it. That is a rough life…and even harder to rise to each occasion.
    But if you gander at the JB web site, the thousands of pieces of junk with the JB logo on it is astounding. Bonamassa is milking his celebrity for every dime its worth. I’ve never seen such a need to make dough through merchandising.
    At some point, JB is going to burn out. It felt like he was on that threshold the night we saw him. Just going through the motions. Based on his outrageous ticket pricing, he owes his loving audiences more than he is currently putting out.
    But we have some of his great performances on video and we will rely on that to see the man shine.
    Thanks, Rob…

  7. Uhle Tobacco Company – I was there about two weeks ago. It’s a small but nice place. I dig that there are no TV’s.

  8. How are you? Hope things are going well for you. Great review of this cigar. I am smoking the Lancero version. Peppery and cinnamon are going on right now. Again I have to say great review and great story from you. When I read your stories I wish I was you hahahahaha. Sorry I sound like some young fanboy. I know you heard it all before but keep up the great work.

  9. Thank you for the kind words. I often wish I was me. Everything I’ve written is all made up. I have serious mental issues and spend a lot of time in the fetal position in our bidet. But over all, I’m pretty normal. Although, I need to buy more storage freezers for the basement. I can’t keep up.
    And in person, I pretty much just mumble unintelligibly.
    Glad you enjoyed the La Promesa.

  10. Nice write up Phil.

    I have two boxes of the Lanceros in the windador aging away. I enjoyed the first ones so much, even ROTT, I ordered a 2nd box to stash. As a matter of fact, I’m digging some out for this weekend now that I’m thinking about it.

  11. Vincnet,
    I’ve been a Pepin Garica fan forever. Probaboy my first love. Rarely does this man or his family disappoint. A reliable blender.
    Be good,

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