Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Little Robusto
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
Smoke a JJ for JJ Day
This post is more than a review of a cigar, but rather a PSA of sorts. The Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Little Robusto was born from the tragic loss experienced by Stogie Review co-founder Jerry Cruz and his wife of their then 3.5-month old son Jeremiah Jr., aka JJ or “Little Robusto” in 2007 to SIDS. In early 2012 (I believe), the Series JJ Little Robusto was released, with part of the proceeds going to two SIDS related charities. Jerry describes the how this limited release of the Series JJ came about and where the money has gone to here.
Every July 22 beginning in 2008 has since been designated “Smoke a JJ for JJ Day” to commemorate the Jeremiah Jr.’s birth, so I’m smoking this cigar on the eighth annual observance of this day. Even though the 300 boxes of 24 cigars made are long gone, Jerry has always encouraged everyone to just smoke whatever good cigar they may have.
If I recall correctly, I bought a handful of these from Atlantic Cigar back in 2012, although I can’t remember the exact price, and this is the last of the ones I purchased. The cigars were produced at the My Father factory in Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Broadleaf Maduro
Filler: Nicaragua Corojo and Criollo
Price: Can’t really remember; I believe it was somewhere between $5.50 to $6.
Smoking time: 55 minutes
Pairing: Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Pale Ale (ABV 7.5%)
The Series JJ Little Robusto comes with a fairly toothy medium amber brown wrapper. It is unusually light colored for a maduro. There are a couple of short medium sized veins and a couple of smaller ones, and the well packed roll ends in the signature Don Pepin/My Father triple cap. The wrapper gives off a light earthy barnyard scent, while the foot shows some mossy tobacco. The clip reveals a snug draw and not much more than a natural tobacco on the cold draw.
The first puffs bring sweet cedar, light earth, musty aged tobacco, and very light pepper on a smooth and rounded finish. The draw has opened up and has no problem producing a copious amount of smoke, and the light resting smoke has a nice sweet wood aroma. The burn line is sharp, but a bit jagged, leaving behind a solid light gray ash with a couple of cracks. After an inch, the Little Robusto is at a low medium, and I tap the ash off, as it is starting to look a little weak.
Into the second half of the Series JJ Little Robusto, and things haven’t changed much. It is now at a pretty solid medium and the cedar, earth, and some leather lead the way, with sweet bread notes coming and going. The burn is still sharp and mostly even, with no touch ups needed. At the very end, a bit of acidity creeps into the flavor profile, as I take it down to a small nub after 55 minutes of smoking.
The Don Pepin Garcia Series JJ Little Robusto was a solid, if not too complex smoke. If I recall correctly, the ones I had previously smoked were a bit sweeter and with a little cocoa in the mix. I suppose that three years in the humidor have taken a bit out of them, but I still enjoyed this one. I only regret that I don’t have any more to compare at a later date. However, the most important thing is the reason for the existence of this cigar, and the significance of the day itself. On behalf of Casas Fumando, Happy Birthday to JJ, and all the best to the Cruz family.
The medium bodied character of the Little Robusto is just right for something that has a bit of sweetness and not overly powerful. With a good deal of maltiness and just enough of a hop kick to keep things interesting, the Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale makes for as good a match with this cigar as you can find. I think a light aged rum or Scotch would be a great pairing as well.