Written by Puff Staff

Sunday, 30 November 2008

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el centurionel centurion emperadores
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Don Pepin Garcia continues to produce one after another world class cigars.

The undisputed current rock star of the cigar industry is without a doubt Don Pepin Garcia.  The admirable thing about Senor Pepin is that he has been able to hold his quality to high standards while taking on more and more work, and opening a brand new factory.  We are going to take a look at the El Centurion line of cigars, and specifically the Emperadores, a 5 ½ x 52 torpedo.

The El Centurion line of cigars consists of 3 year aged Habano Nicaragua wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler.  El Centurion is described on the El Rey de los Habanos website ( as follows:

“EL CENTURION” is the result of a careful selection of leaves grown of Cuban seeds, which have been matured for three years under the strictest conditions of industry standards. In this process, we have used two varieties of plants from Nicaragua: Criollo 98 and Corojo 99. It is a “Medium to Full Bodied” cigar and one of the most exquisite ones you have ever tested.”

We smoked the 2007 edition with about 9 months of ageing on them.  The entire line of cigars was limited to 850 boxes of production per size for 2007.

First appearance strikes you with a lighter than usually Pepin wrapper.  Most are used to seeing Pepin cigars look like, taste like, and behave like powerhouse cigars.  For the first time, we look at a Pepin that seems to have a kinder gentler side.   If you look at the entire line of El Centurion, the Emperadores struck us as the most attractive cigar…the picture at right is of one of the samples we smoked. 

The construction is perfect to the touch…what else would you expect?  Has there ever been a Pepin cigar that wasn’t magnificently made?  Here’s to hoping that all the additional workload he is taking on doesn’t lead to a drop in quality.

With the cut and the light, the construction asserts itself again.  The firm feel does not lead, as it does in many cigars, to a tight draw.   The draw from initial light is perfect…picture perfect.  There is an island to the south of Miami that could use a few lessons from the master Don Pepin Garcia.

As you take your first few puffs, you quickly realize that the lighter colored wrapper does not necessarily mean you have a light bodied cigar.  This puppy has some heft.  Here are a couple select quotes from our reviewers:

“I was thinking I would have a lighter experience from this cigar.  After getting about half way through, I soon realized that this is a stronger cigar than it looks, but I suppose I should not be surprised that a Pepin does that to me!”

“Have you ever gotten in a fight with some little punk you thought you could destroy, just to find out the guy was some tae kwon do expert?  That was how I felt when smoking the El Centurion.  It packed a wallop that wasn’t expected.

“The cigar smoked nearly perfectly.  It got a bit hot towards the finish, but not enough that caused me to pitch it.  Not as strong as DPG’s other smokes, but still darn good.  I’ll likely keep a few around for mid-day smokes.

Overall the reviewers were in agreement; the El Centurion is a nice little cigar that has more punch than most cigars of its hue, but not as much as other Don Pepin Garcia cigars.  The strong spicy nature of the cigar is blended perfectly, and the Nicaraguan puro tobaccos leave a personality that is often hard to attain in cigars with tobacco from a single country.

It’s hard to say anything bad about this cigar, because there really is nothing bad.  That said, when holding it up to the standard that Don Pepin Garcia has set for himself, there are better cigars from him.  If you had to pick a “brother” from the other El Rey de los Habanos line, the Vegas Cubanas probably comes closest.  But hey, why compare, try them all, you’re sure to enjoy each and every one.

The El Centurion Emperadores is a great cigar worth trying…if you can get your hands on the limited amount made.  Our reviewers averaged out giving this cigar a 92…a great rating for a great cigar.  Hit up Google, search your local tobacconists, and get your hands on these cigars.

Vital Statistics:
Size: 5 1/2 x 52
Shape: Torpedo
Wrapper: Habano Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Est. Cost: $10.00

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