"Le Bijou 1922" by My Father Cigars is a cigar built for those who really dig having a cup of coffee with their dessert.
So much so, that every time I have smoked one of these award-winning smokes (it was Cigar Aficionado's "#1 Cigar of the Year" in 2015), I find myself feeling like I should be pairing this blend from My Father Cigars with sweets of some sort and not just coffee.
But we'll save the whole pairing cigars with food discussion for another time. For now is the time to discuss what this dark and oily oscuro offers us tobacco leaf enthusiasts, and it all starts with some seriously intoxicating aromatics and a strip of orange ribbon...
Before you even slide this cigar out of its cellophane for a sniff and a visual inspection, you can tell that it comes dressed to impress.
Triple-banded, with bright gold foil leaf accents on the upper two paper rings, and a tangerine-colored ribbon footband at the bottom, this cigar signifies its superiority with all the appropriate accouterments. Deeply capped and firmly filled, the dark, heavily fermented Habano maduro cigar wrapper is one of the more attractive-looking outer leaves I've seen all year.
It smells just as distinguished and well-bred too. While a mellow espresso and cedar scent wafts off the barrel, the foot delivers lavish layers of heavy sweet cream, dark chocolate, holiday spice, and sponge cake. This is backed by more coffee, cracked black pepper, and a toasted vanilla bean scent that is not noticeable at first.
Dreams of those ritzy dessert notes are quickly dashed by an intense light-up that is more bitter coffee and black pepper than sweet cream and chocolate truffles. There's a sniff of cedar in there too, along with a little black licorice, but these are barely noticeable behind those leading flavors unless you seek them out.
Swinging in to save the day, and provide your olfactory senses with the satisfaction that they deserve, comes the familiar tastes of milky coffee lattes, baking cocoa, and holiday fruit cake. Creamy, subtly sweet, and rounder than a fat Elvis impersonator on the Vegas Strip, every pull provides you with what was first promised, and then some...
With the introduction of vanilla, cream, and a mellow breadiness similar to that of fresh chiffon cake, a tiramisu taste starts to form. For some of you, this may be "the crown jewel" of this particular blend, as it treads between heavy and light with consistency and class.
Flavor and strength are medium, while body is medium-full, with a long finish that keeps you entranced even post-exhale.
With coffee beans and rich chocolate taking the blend further into darker territory, it becomes apparent that the biggest strength of this cigar is not its strength, but its ability to bring balance. These foods are often associated with bitterness and intensity, yet Le Bijou 1922 manages to give us all the flavor from each without any of the harshness.
While the holiday cake spice notes are subtly increasing, a Christmas latte cigar flavor profile forms. Milky, eggnog heavy, but still very cocoa and coffee first, this festival for the senses is damn near grin-inducing it's so good.
Body remains on the utmost upper end of medium, while flavor follows suit, leaving strength sitting alone on the lower side of medium.
It is not until the third and final band is removed, that strength starts to make a last-ditch effort at being felt. It's still a solid medium, but a little more notable with each draw.
Even more noticeable are the espresso and semi-sweet chocolate truffle tastes. No more holiday spiced fruit cake left to enjoy. All of the tiramisu has been consumed as well. Leaving behind an impressive final display of fermented oscuro flavors, and a mouthfeel that is heavy without being oppressive.
An extremely well-executed closure to what I consider to be a near-flawless dark cigar flavor profile.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
Sadly, both cigars that I smoked burned unevenly, required multiple touch-ups and flaked a lot past the first third. The ash itself was also very "dirty" in its appearance, with brownish blemishes appearing in multiple places along the way.
Burn lines were also all over the place, distracting me from my enjoyment with the concern that at any moment things could go horribly awry. Additionally, the final band on both cigars was very difficult to remove, as it did not have an easily accessible starting point for getting a thumbnail in. This resulted in quite a bit of fiddling and ultimately a cracked wrapper.
Heat however, was never an issue, and both sticks combusted in a clean, low-temp manner. The draw was also spot-on, even when punched.
I wholeheartedly adored everything that the Le Bijou 1922 provided my olfactory senses both times that I sat down for a smoke. It is an ultra-premium-tasting cigar that comforts and nurtures you with flavors that normally would be deemed intense.
Perhaps it's all of those milky vanilla and tiramisu cake notes or the way in which strength or bitterness does not build until the very last moment. Whatever it is, this cigar kicks a whole ton of ass and is one of the better oscuro cigars I have smoked in my 20+ years of puffing stogies. Making this cigar a most fitting tribute to Don "Pepin" Garcia's father.
All that's needed is a clean burn and a cigar band that can easily be removed, and we'll be in business...
My Father Cigars "Le Bijou 1922"
Habano Oscuro (Nicaragua)
5.6" x 55 "Grand Robusto"
|Brazilian Coffee w/ Milk and Brown Sugar