Does this cigar even need an introduction? As the brainchild of My Father Cigar’s Cuban mastermind, Don Pepin Garcia, I hardly think so. Nevertheless, we’ll cover the bases. For the sake of formality, if nothing else. The La Antiguedad is the latest and greatest creation from Don Pepin, and that fact alone is enough to pique the collective interest of many.
La Antiguedad, which translates to “The Antiquity”, is actually an old Cuban brand. The Garcia family sought to revive the name in celebration of both their Cuban heritage, as well as the Cuban cigar tradition as a whole.
All tobacco in the La Antiguedad is grown by My Father Cigars, with the exception of the wrapper leaf. The leaves are sourced from three different growing regions: San Rafael, Las Quebradas, and San Jose. While not done purely for the sake of doing so, soil and climate variation in each region should yield the benefit of increased complexity and a more diverse profile overall, at least in theory.
My Father has opted to release the La Antiguedad blend in five sizes, all of which are box-pressed. Available sizes are: 5 1/4 x 52 robusto, 5 5/8 x 55 toro, 6 3/8 x 47 corona granda, 7 x 56 super toro, and 6 x 60 toro gordo.
Cigar: My Father La Antiguedad
Size: 5 5/8 x 55 Toro
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo/Criollo Double Binder
Filler: My Father grown Nicaraguan from San Jose, Las Quebradas, and San Rafael
Price Point: $7.00-$10.00
Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
Appearance and Pre-Light Aroma:
The La Antiguedad has the appearance of something crafted with care. A deep light brown in color, with a butterscotch hue; the La Antiguedad is evenly proportioned from head to toe, giving an exceedingly symmetrical feel all around. The wrapper is coarse, both visually and in feel, and veins protrude from the body throughout. Despite this however, the wrapper is exceptionally smooth where veins are not present; a characteristic at least partially due to a thick layer of oil embedded throughout the wrapper. A somewhat tangible residue can be felt on the finger tips from simply holding the cigar for more than a few minutes.
Aromatically, Pepin’s latest creation is fairly reserved, revealing only a few rich notes of what falls under the general header of ‘barnyard’. Soft oak, honey, earth, and what might be described as a blueberry-esque undertone are what constitutes the brunt of what my nostrils pick up. On the dry-draw the blueberry sweetness becomes something much more akin to the finish of raisins, and is complemented by softer undertones of hay and oak.
All the usual suspects you’d expect from Pepin are present. The La Antiguedad starts off with a formidable front-end bite; prototypical Nicaraguan spice mixed in with a healthy bit of black pepper. A strong presence of leathery earth is contrasted well against a soil-based cocoa powder. If forced to describe the overall profile in a word one might reach for terms like “hearty” or even “meaty”. This cigar demonstrates virtually zero shame in exuding an exceedingly long finish. Strength is a solid medium plus, although it does appear to be ever-so slowly on the ascent to being full-bodied. A bit further in, but not quite in the second third, we begin to see the emergence of raw minerals and nutmeg. While certainly noticeable orally, both are most pronounced through the nose.
Into the second third, the My Father La Antiguedad executes several transitions, abstractly intensifying in some respects while mellowing in others. The body has become notably more creamy, although it has also become much more raw and visceral. Almost as if one can perceive a chemical reaction from each puff, the La Antiguedad has a way of ‘igniting’ the palate, so to speak. At the heart of the profile one picks up a muted dark coffee note, and one that contains just the right touch of bite and bitterness that makes for great coffee. In the finish, one picks up a rather lively brine flavor that carries itself from puff to puff. A sweet cocoa spice is ever-present, as is a healthy dose of black pepper. The pepper orientates itself in an exceedingly Cuban fashion, dispersing itself across the palate in a way that is smooth, even, and linear – creating the effect of a mild sizzle across the tongue.
Bearing down the final third, the predicted rise in strength has occurred. This isn’t done in a particularly overt fashion, however, giving the effect of a rather sneaky strength. Not much has changed in regards to flavor or body in regards to intensity, but there is a serious bit of nicotine going on here. While I’m not sure one necessitates the other, there seems to be at least somewhat of a correlation between nicotine strength and the intensity of spice. Those who have ever chewed nicotine gum will likely be familiar with this phenomenon.
Nearing the finish of the La Antiguedad, the cigar has thus far remained free of any sort of tarry bitterness. As the cigar draws toward a close the profile is most defined by its earthier characteristics, although a fair bit of sweetness can still be picked up in the midst. Heavy leather and minerals dominate the vast majority of the profile, and the previously mentioned briny flavor also pervades over the palate. The finish remains somewhat creamy, albeit a bit diminished from earlier on. Despite the brashness of the profile’s intensity, balance remains quite good. Certain flavors are more emphasized than others without a doubt, but nothing gets drowned out.
Burn and Construction:
Both categories are excellent, which comes as a surprise to absolutely no one. The rollers employed at My Father Cigars S.A. have always excelled in consistency. The wrapper is rolled taut, and as mentioned earlier on, is nearly perfect in its symmetry. The La Antiguedad burns smoothly from start to finish. The burn line does get a bit on the wavy side, but only needs a touch-up at most.
I played with the idea of jokingly having this review only lasting a paragraph. To an extent, I could have done so and told you everything you need to know. Such a paragraph might read:
“Another cigar from Don Pepin Garcia, and it tastes like one too. Medium to full throughout, earthy and spicy. The cigar doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it is unique and distinctive enough to warrant its place within the My Father lineup.”
All joking aside, all of that is true, but conveying it as merely just that wouldn’t be doing the La Antiguedad justice.
Pepin’s latest creation is, as the company describes it, the “the Flor de Las Antillas on steroids“. It tastes very much like the older, more mature big brother of the Flor de Las Antillas. It has more strength, more flavor, and more sophistication, which begs the question of what it will do to sales of the Flor de Las Antillas. Likely, it will at least partially divide the customer bases, with individual palates falling on one side or the other. Personally, I happen to prefer La Antiguedad. I enjoy the added strength, and I find the blend to be all-around more interesting. The sweet cocoa notes present in the La Antiguedad add a nice contrast to the rest of the profile, a characteristic I found myself desiring in the Flor de Las Antillas. The only real negative, so far as my palate goes, is that the sheer amount of nicotine, spice, and leather can be a bit taxing on my palate. Nevertheless, I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every La Antiguedad I have smoked, and exploring the variations in flavor between sizes has been a real pleasure.
8 out of 10