I am sure that over the years, I have smoked at least two or three cigars that have been given the title of “Cigar of the Year” by Cigar Aficionado. To my knowledge, I have never before specifically sought out to do so. However, recently a guest came in extolling the virtues of the My Father Le Bijou 1922 and the 97-point rating it had been awarded. Not being above the power of suggestion, I just had to give it a try.
The Le Bijou is a box-pressed torpedo made by the Garcia family, who got their start in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. The family business has grown quite a bit since their humble beginnings. They now operate a factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, producing millions of cigars annually. Le Bijou 1922 is made out of a 100% Nicaraguan blend with an oscuro Cuban seed wrapper.
The Le Bijou 1922 has a wonderfully mellow pre-light aroma of chocolate, cedar and leather. Upon lighting, the first sensation on my palate is pepper. Quickly after this initial pepper onslaught, the expected notes of chocolate and leather appear with a slightly sweet feel. The stick burns evenly and hold its ash fairly well. About halfway through, the notes of pepper begin to subside and are replaced with notes of coffee that mesh well with the cocoa and an almost raisin-like sweetness on the palate intensifies. With each draw the finish now seems to be almost salty, which contrasts the notes of what I would call chocolate-covered raisin nicely.
My overall impression of this cigar is that it is a very well made, full-bodied selection from My Father Cigars. While it may not be everyone’s favorite cigar, it displays a combination of power and nuance that is worth seeking out at least once.
Rick Swartz, Beer Consultant & Certified Retail Tobacconist
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