Don Pepin Garcia Blue Invictos Wednesday, Mar 28 2007 

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Country: USA
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto 5.0″x50 ring

I don’t think Pepin Garcia knows how to make a bad cigar. The Blue label sports a triple cap with a choclately brown wrapper. The cigar is very cubanesque in appearance with a puckered vein down one side. The draw was a little loose. It starts out with Pepin’s trade mark pepper but it mellowed out a little after the first inch. It’s a very robust cigar, medium to full bodied. It falls somewhere between the Black and White labels in terms of strength, the Black being stronger and more full bodied. It was very woody with floral notes and the flavors stay very consistent. It wasn’t very complex but the flavors were very good. It had a strong tobacco finish which gave the cigar a very rustic feel. The burn was the straightest I’ve ever had from Pepin cigar (not counting the Tatuaje Brown labels). The ash was salt and pepper which also seems to be a trademark of his cigars and it held firm. If you like a good robust smoke, give this one a try.

Rating – B

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My new ratings system Wednesday, Mar 28 2007 

I was once using a ratings system for my cigar reviews that assigned a numerical score to a cigar. The more I used it, the less comfortable I was with it. I would look at the different scores on the cigars I smoked and found that I didn’t like what the numbers were suggesting about the various cigars. I began to feel that it was a bit inaccurate. I thought about it more and came to the conclusion that numbers are just to concrete and finite to be used to describe or rate something as subjective and fluid as a person’s experience with a cigar. I decided a more categorical approach would be better so I have put together this grading system. Think of the grades as categories. Cigars that rate as a B+ are all very good cigars that I could see as being part of my regular rotation of smokes. As far as which B+ cigar is the best of the B+’s and which is the worst… Each person can decide that for themselves rather than having a number like 88.6 suggest that a cigar is better than one with an 87.9. The numbers just don’t work in my opinion. So I will be assigning the following letter grades to cigars to help categorize them according to what my personal experience was like with the cigar in question. I’ll use this for a while and see how I like it. If it turns out to not work well for me I’ll go back to the drawing board and try to come up with another idea. But for now…

Here is what each letter grade means to me.

A+ = The rarest of the ratings. A fantastic cigar that is an absolute joy to smoke. These cigars demand your full attention. This is a smoke you go for when you want to reward yourself for a big accomplishment or when celebrating a very significant event.

A = A top shelf smoke with good, complex flavors and excellent construction. Maybe not an everyday smoke but something that is destined to be part of your regular rotation.

B+ = Very good smoke with decent complexity and good construction. This is a regular rotation smoke and a humidor staple.

B = A good cigar at a good value. It may lack some in complexity but the flavor it does have makes it an enjoyable cigar.

C = Yard ‘gar. One dimensional but ok flavor. Good for yard work or a windy day on the golf course, or any time you can’t give a cigar the attention it deserves. With these, if you aren’t paying attention you won’t miss anything, but can still be an enjoyable smoke when engaged in those types of activities.

D = Bland, flavorless, or just plain bad. It’s just not worth the time and effort to smoke even when mowing the lawn.

F = Not even smokable. This is a cigar you are likely to toss before you’re half way through it. Unpalatable flavors often accompanied by intolerable harshness. Don’t even waste your time with these.

If you want to know how the old rating system worked click the link below.

Old Ratings System

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