Cigar Aficionado’s 2012 Cigar of the Year! 96 rated!
For the last decade, the My Father brand has taken the cigar world by storm. Cuban master-blender Jose “Pepin” Garcia and his son Jaime Garcia are the ultimate blending tag-team and a modern dynasty that will go down in history with the likes of the Fuente and Oliva families. And their place in history was cemented by their first Cigar of the Year win: the My Father Flor de las Antillas, which won the top prize in 2012.
Don Pepin was famous in Cuba for his speed rolling, impeccable construction, and blends for brands like Cohiba and Montecristo. But he made a name for himself in the mainstream cigar world after coming to Miami when he partnered with Pete Johnson to create the Tatuaje line. Don Pepin and fewer than a dozen rollers created this acclaimed cigars out of his small El Rey de Los Habanos factory in Little Havana, Miami. Johnson had been on a quest to create the closest thing to original Cuban cigars that could be legally sold in the USA. He met Don Pepin and knew he had found the perfect man to accomplish the mission. Tatuaje made major waves in the cigar industry thanks to its potent Cuban-seed Nicaraguan flavors and Cubanesque construction, complete with a triple-seam cap and double binder.
The revenue from the Tatuaje line, combined with the high demand that the Miami factory couldn't keep up with, led the Garcia family to buy a large factory in Esteli Nicaragua and start growing their own tobaccos in 2009. Don Pepin started overseeing the Nicaraguan operations and Jaime became the master blender. Their company was renamed My Father for the blend that Jaime created in his father's honor. My Father continues Don Pepin's mission to showcase stellar Nicaraguan tobaccos and create powerful Cubanesque blends. Pepin Garcia painstakingly grows new hybrid tobaccos and ages them to perfection, while his son Jaime combines these remarkable tobaccos into the stellar cigars that make up the My Father line. The cigar world quickly recognized that the Garcias were onto something special and it became a question of how long it would be before they took the Cigar of the Year title, not whether they could win it. The answer came in 2012 when My Father Flor de las Antillas Toro was named the Cigar of the Year.
The name is an ode to Cuba, where both Garcias learned the art of blending cigars. Cuba is the largest of the Antilles Islands, which include Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico, and is often called the Flower of the Antilles. Our Spanish isn't great, but even we can see that's what Flor de las Antillas means. The blend is as much a love letter for their Cuban homeland as the name is, with the characteristic triple-seam cap and double binders and a host of Cuban-seed Nicaraguan tobaccos. It was also the first entirely box-pressed entry into the My Father line, which is now well known for their elegant box-pressed vitolas.
Flor de las Antillas is also the perfect entry into the My Father line for those cigar smokers looking to expand their palates but not ready to dive right into powerhouse blends, or for smokers who love those powerful blends but feel like a more relaxing smoke. It is surprisingly restrained and delicious for a My Father cigar: the pepper and spice is a compliment to the palate, not the dominant influence. The solidly medium-bodied palate delivers a flavorful combination of cocoa, earth, baking spices, and sweet cedar with just the right amount of tingly white pepper to keep things interesting. It is incredibly smooth from first light to the nub, even as you burn your fingertips trying to get every last puff of delicious flavor out of this phenomenal cigar. Flor de las Antillas is a My Father cigar that you can enjoy morning, noon, and night and use to introduce yourself or your friends to this illustrious brand. Years after it became an instant classic, Flor de las Antillas is simply a classic and a must-have for anyone's humidor.