First, let’s start off with a little history: El Rey De Los Habanos, Inc. is a newly created corporation founded in June 2002 in the United States and headed by José “Pepín” García, a master cigar maker who, with his family by his side, continues to follow in the tradition maintained in Cuba for many years.
Pepín comes from a family of tobacco makers and entered the business in December 1961, when he was only 11 years of age, working at a cigar factory belonging to one of his uncles in the town of Báez, Cuba. In March 1963, having gained a certain amount of experience, he began working at the Félix Rodríguez export cigar factory, also in the town of Báez. He worked there continuously until he was finally able to get out of Cuba in 2001, bound for Nicaragua. During his long career in Cuba, he received countless distinctions and awards for his work, including the “Productivity Prize” for rolling 320 Julietas (7 x 48) in four hours. His dexterity and agility were also repeatedly compared by the Cuban press with those of a magician.
Today, he owns his factory in Miami’s Little Havana. It is considered by many in the cigar industry as one of the few factories that consistently produces the highest rated cigars. The team of cigar rollers is comprised primarily of persons who received formal training from Pepín in Cuba, and who have become cigar-making experts through training in the most modern and creative cigar manufacturing methods.
The company has put five of its own brands on the market and their best blends are the ones that bear the name “Don Pepín García.” These are distinctly full-bodied and medium to full-bodied cigars with a long and heavy finish. In addition, each of their boxes has a stamp at the bottom with the packing date and another with the “Don Pepín” signature.
For José “Pepín” García, cigars have been both a career and a passion. Since fleeing Cuba, Pepín has made a life in nearly every aspect of the cigar business.
El Rey de los Habanos is the culmination of an 11 year-old boy’s dream of making cigars in his family’s tradition. Today, that boy is José “Pepín” García and his dream has become reality, because he is El Rey de los Habanos.
While hanging out at 2nd Street Cigar Lounge, I decided to try the Black Label. Looking at the Don Pepin Garcia stick, it followed in the true tradition of Cuban cigars. It was well-constructed with a great aroma and a nice texture, and the good-looking brown wrapper was blemish free.
The flavor profile was pepper and spice, but it also had quite a bit of complexity. It starts out medium-bodied and progresses to full-bodied. The firmness of the cap allows you to effortlessly cut the head off and take in that great clean, spicy aroma that guides you toward a powerful finish.
This cigar is a Cuban classic! If your palette doesn’t like this one, you simply don’t like cigars! It is complex, with incredible flavor and aroma; a strong smoke for the strong smoker. Its flavor draws heavily on that of the tobacco itself, complimenting the entire blend from start to finish. What you end up with at the end of an evening enjoying this stick is a superb combination of tobacco.
Wrapper: Habano Rosado
Size: 41/4 x 40