Blind Cigar Review: Don Pepin Garcia | Series JJ Maduro Petit Corona

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

Cigar Info

The JJ was one of the first releases that really put Jose “Don Pepin” Garcia on the map. Along with the Blue Label and Black Label Cuban Classic, the JJ and JJ are very well known blends.

As Pepin’s success in the cigar business rose and was created, many more brands have been added to the company’s portfolio. In order to make room, the Garcia’s had planned to remove the DPG JJ from their catalog. As soon as Atlantic heard that, they asked Pepin if we could continue to offer the JJ exclusively and they not only accepted, but have also added a few new sizes to the lineup, the Petit Corona being one of them.

Blind Cigar Review: Don Pepin Garcia | Series JJ Maduro Petit Corona

Vital Stats:

Length: 4.6″
Ring Gauge: 42
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: S.A.
Number of reviewers: 4 (Eulogy) (smalls29) (ThaGreatWazoo) (NavyPiper)
Price: $7.25
Age: 11 Months
Release Date: July 2015
Contributed by: Atlantic Cigar

Blind Cigar Review: Don Pepin Garcia | Series JJ Maduro Petit Corona

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 89

“This cigar had a real nice look to it. Very toothy dark brown wrapper with a nice look of an oily finish. The lines were clean and the cigar was firm to the touch.” - (ThaGreatWazoo)

Aroma: 88

“The aromas seemed a bit muted. There was a hint of licorice mixed with a slight pepper plant. Very interesting mix. The cold draw was soft with a little oak wood. Not a bad mix, just not dominate.” - (ThaGreatWazoo)

Blind Cigar Review: Don Pepin Garcia | Series JJ Maduro Petit Corona

Blind Cigar Review: | Series JJ Petit Corona

First Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“I’m really pleasantly surprised by the flavors of the cigar, due to the almost non-existent aroma from the pre-draw and foot. There’s rich notes of coco, leather, and a hint of pepper. It almost reminds me of a rich cup of hot coco. There’s a nice blast of leather and pepper on the retro-hale that really complements the overall profile.” - (Eulogy)

“I am immediately drawn to the wonderful tingle of the peppery Tabasco flavor. But most notable are flavors of chocolate and coffee. I am reminded of a mocha latte. I feel as if the coffee and chocolate flavors are competing for attention. There is not a subtle blend of flavors but rather one trying to out do the other. Either way the flavors are still enjoyable.” - (smalls29)

Blind Cigar Review: Don Pepin Garcia | Series JJ Maduro Petit Corona

Blind Cigar Review: | Series JJ Petit Corona

Second Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The coco notes have dial way back but there is still a little chocolate sweetness in the draw. There’s is a very nice bold leather and coffee flavor that is cycling for dominance. The retro-hale is a nice heavy cream. Another great third.” - (Eulogy)

“The competition has ended and the coffee won. The first third had enjoyable coffee and chocolate flavors but now the coffee has come out ahead. The peppery Tabasco tingle is still there and a bit more intense but the coffee flavor has multiplied. Still enjoyable to me, the coffee junkie. I would like to say that while not burning evenly during the first third, this cigar has formed a very nice chimney.” - (smalls29)

Final Third

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Leather has won out for the dominant flavor for the final third. There’s still the slightly sweet coco, coffee, and pepper as an added bonus. Couple that with the heavy cream retro-hale and it’s another winner in the flavor department for the final third.” - (Eulogy)

“The coffee flavors have mellowed a bit but are still very good. The peppery Tabasco has mellowed as well. The cigar is burning very nicely and the flavors are balanced a little better now. Still enjoying the cigar like a nice cup of coffee. I do miss the chocolate flavors that were there in the beginning. One thing I am wondering is if the flavors have changed due to this particular cigar having aged in my humidor for almost 6 months.” - (smalls29)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 93

“Fantastic draw. Any easier and it would’ve been too easy.” - (NavyPiper)

Burn: 96

“The burn was another nice attribute. The lines were clean and the ash held solid through most of the smoke. No flaking or falling off.” - (ThaGreatWazoo)

Construction: 91

“I truly liked the look and the feel of this cigar. The appearance was rich and had me excited for a fullness to the cigar. The cap was well built and the overall cigar felt solid and higher end.” - (ThaGreatWazoo)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Overall Experience: 88

“For its small size it really packed a punch in the flavor department. For those looking for a great cigar in areas that get really cold, this would be a great option. I would definitely purchase another to smoke and strongly recommend these to others.” - (Eulogy)

“This was an enjoyable cigar. I did not find it to be a wow cigar but it was enjoyable. I thought with the coffee chocolate flavors in the beginning would make this a great cigar. However, the coffee and chocolate competed for attention until the coffee overpowered an the chocolate dissipated. The peppery Tabasco remained consistent and the coffee strengthened as time went on. IN the end it was like having strong cup of coffee. This was enjoyable but maybe not one I would look for again.” - (smalls29)

“This cigar never really gave me what I wanted. At first glance, I thought this was going to be a nice powerhouse cigar full of rich flavors and aromas. However, the profile was flat from the beginning and the complexity never really built up. By the end, I had lost a lot of interest in the smoking experience and never truly found the flavors I thought would be there.” - (ThaGreatWazoo)

“Overall, I enjoyed it. Flavors were the same from start to stop, so if you’re looking for a cigar with frequent or multiple flavors or changes, this aint the stogie for you. If you like strong tobacco & tons of pepper, then this is the stick for you! I smoke multiple stogies a day, but I couldn’t smoke more than one of these a day, even at the size I had. It’s a powerhouse, and I aint kiddin’! It came in like a lion on steroids and went out the same way. Oh ya, one last thing- my nose NEVER stopped runnin’ during the rest of the smoke and for another half hour after!! I know, I know, that’s gross and TMI, but this thing packed quite a punch!” - (NavyPiper)

“Overall this was a great cigar. Quite complex in the initial 2/3 and slightly less so in the final third. Really pleasant smoke that I would definitely try again.” - (Djangos)


Smoking Time (in minutes): 46

  • Appearance 89% 89%
  • Aroma 88% 88%
  • First Third 90% 90%
  • Second Third 90% 90%
  • Final Third 89% 89%
  • Draw 93% 93%
  • Burn 96% 96%
  • Construction 91% 91%
  • Overall Experience 88% 88%

Total Score - Very Good


To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: | Series JJ Petit Corona