I haven’t tried all of DPGs cigar lines as of yet (since he seems to put his name on everything lately) but those of which I have tried I enjoy very much. I think maybe because of his signature pepperiness. That might be the only I flavor that I can definitively identify in cigars with my relatively inexperienced pallet, so I gravitate toward it… and almost get excited like “YEAH! Pepper! I know what that is!”.
I’ve been smoking a lot of the Blue labels lately and this will be my first Black label.
The wrapper is a nice darkish brown. It has unusually thick veins. So thick in fact that they show through they crease the sticker. There are also quite a few abnormalities and bumps. It’s not ugly, but it doesn’t look perfect. It feels tight and dense and smells, oddly, like an unlit Marlboro cigarette. The taste I get from an unlit draw is also that of unlit cigarette tobacco.
Upon lighting I was expecting a strong peppery blast, but it wasn’t there. There was some pepper, but not that blast you in the face DPG peppery start. I can also detect cedary notes.. I would say strong tobbaco and cedar. It’s quite nice, but not what I expected. The draw is a bit tighter than I prefer.. almost too tight, and I feel myself wondering.. Is that going to be a problem?. Into the first third the flavor seems to settle on cedar, which I like very much, and the ash stays white and flakey.. clearly not strong. This is a smaller vitola, but it’s packed quite tight, so the burn is slow and even. The aftertaste is pleasant, woody, and short.
About 20 minutes into the cigar, it went out. Completely.. that’s disappointing. I tapped out the ash and relit with my triple flame torch. Relighting isn’t a huge problem, and doesn’t taste gross, but I do get that burning scent and sensation in my nostrils from the idling smoke, which may affect my senses for a while.
Entering the 2nd third I got that pepper that I expected. I really like that. It’s not as strong as I find in the blue labels, but it’s definitely there, and it goes well with the woody, cedary flavors which are dominant.
It’s still burning straight, but the amber appears to be receding inwards, which indicates to me that I’ll likely have burn issues later in the cigar. I feel it smartest to correct the issue now before it becomes a worse problem. Again I tap out the ash, relight the wrapper, but this time I’ll set it down to allow correction before I end up with a blast of burnt stink in my nostrils. Upon picking it back up again, I get a dry ashy taste on the first draw, but that does not persist.
The taste remains pretty consistent. I’m a bit sad that the pepper went away. So far I’ve had signifigant burn issues with this cigar, but the taste has been great, if not what I expected, and the annoyance doesn’t ruin it for me.
Passing the half-way point, the aftertaste length picks up. It’s nice and smooth, and exactly what I want it to be.. I do wish however that I had a nice dark roast coffee to go with it. Maybe that’s a indication that it’s picked up a creaminess or coffee undertone. At this point however, it is no longer burning straight, and the burn issues are beginning to frustrate me.
The final third starts out less creamy and smooth than the first and third, with a little more kick, spiciness, but not bitterness. I’ve got a dominantly woody taste, no longer cedar specifically with some spiciness (but not the black pepper) , and stays that way. Towards the end I started to get ashy tastes, probably from all the fixups required throughout it’s life.
All in all, I had several serious burn issues, it wasn’t the prettiest cigar, the taste was fantastic all the way through to the end, although not what I expected, and it’s a good cigar. I wouldn’t seek out more of them, but wouldn’t run away either.. I’m sure it could really benefit from some age in the humidor. Based on this Don Pepin Garcia Black Label Robusto … I favor the Blue Label.