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Stogie Reviews: Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro Belicoso

22 Dec 2008

This is undoubtedly a popular stick among cigar enthusiasts. While researching the two Belicosos I recently smoked, I came across a slew of positive reviews from the online cigar community—and, perhaps less importantly, an 87 for the Serie JJ Maduro in Cigar Aficionado.

Don Pepin Garcia Serie JJ Maduro BelicosoSo, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say I went into this Nicaraguan puro with high hopes. It’s best to start cigar reviews with a clean slate and no preconceptions; the mind, however, can’t easily trick itself. Maybe that’s why I found the 5.7 inch by 52 ring gauge Belicoso pleasurable but slightly disappointing.

This popular blend is the result of the combined efforts of José Don Pepin Garcia and his son Jaime (hence the “JJ”). Also known as the White Label, the Serie JJ Maduro has a clean broadleaf maduro corojo wrapper and attractive, cream-colored double bands. Careful observers may notice some black patches scattered about the already dark wrapper leaf.

After clipping away the rounded point with my double guillotine, I noticed a clear prelight draw and a hearty aroma of clove and dark chocolate. The smoke starts in the traditional Pepin way with full flavors of dry wood, leather, and black pepper spice. No surprise there. As the taste mellows to a more creamy profile after the midway point, the spice fades and a maduro sweetness creeps in before a reprise of pepper completes the journey.

Pepin reportedly has these cigars handmade in Miami to maintain quality control. I found that odd, especially since my two Belicosos required constant torch touch-ups to maintain an even burn and stay lit. The ash is also on the flaky side.

I must conclude, therefore, in spite of its physical flaws, this cigar’s popularity is due to its striking array of full, transforming flavors. Fair enough. But I was expecting a little more from a cigar that commands a price of about $215 per box of 24 or $50 per 5-pack. Conflicted, I give the Don Pepin Garcia Serie JJ Maduro Belicoso three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

6 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Maduro Belicoso”

  1. Franky C Monday, December 22, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    I think the quality of these has gne down in the past few years

  2. Sherry Saturday, December 27, 2008 at 5:38 pm #

    I've smoked several DPG JJ Maduro's & I've enjoyed each and everyone of them! Its one of my favorites ; )

  3. Sticks Monday, February 1, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    I just scored a five pack of these for twenty dollars and I am looking forward to having one after it’s been resting in my humidor for a few months. Nice reveiw and I think with some aging, this should be an outstanding cigar.

  4. Juan Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    I got a box and the label has a Nicaraguan sticker on it. Afe they making them in both locations?

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