Review: My Father La Dueña
Saying ‘goodbye’ to November and ‘hello’ to December. Hard to believe 2017 is almost gone. Even harder to believe is the fact I haven’t had a cigar in almost 4 days. WTH? Making matters worse is the fact that I have a number of cigars in the humi I’ve been dying to try (and review) and for a variety of reasons, I just can’t seem to get my hands on ‘em. Life. Sooooo, I first got a whiff of the My Father release, La Dueña, on social media. The more digging I did the more intrigued I became and I knew I had to add this to my “To Smoke” list. Having had nothing but great experiences with other My Father marcas and given the fact that My Father has enjoyed unprecedented success with just about their entire line, I realized my destiny with La Dueña was becoming more about legacy. It also helps that I recently smoked, and loved, the Don Pepin Garcia Blue. Like several of my last smokes, this cigar sat in the humi, taunting me daily. Well, today no vet emergencies, sick children or exploding toilets – I’m freakin’ smoking a freakin’ cigar.
La Dueña is the coming out party for Jose “Pepin” Garcia’s daughter, Janny, who along with her father and brother, Jaime, helps run the family business. Janny runs the family’s headquarters as Executive VP in Doral, Florida, which also serves as a small boutique factory. The family’s primary factory and farms are located in Esteli, Nicaragua. The marca name, “La Dueña”, translates to “female boss” or “female owner” which isappropriate as Janny is considered both. The blending of La Dueña was crafted by a collaboration of Janny’s brother, Jaime, and Pete Johnson of Tatuaje. Don’t let the soft, understated girl cameo label fool you. Launched in late 2012, this cigar is not some mellow, underpowered girly ’gar designed to target cigar noobs. The band represents the innocent, gentle elegance of a woman whereas the cigar itself serves to underscore the power and success a woman can attain and wield. A classic tale of the sheep and thewolf. So, you guys take off them man panties (“manties”) to enjoy this bad boy…er, girl. La Dueña received a respectable 90 rating from Cigar Aficionado shortly after its release in 2012. Some independent reviews suggest that La Dueña is not that good a cigar ‘right off the truck’ and benefits from some good humi time. I’ve seen recommendations range from a couple of months to a full year.
Did you know: Janny’s favorite cigar is the My Father due to its incorporation of an Oliva family grown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper – “…a flavor bomb”
- Profile: Medium-Full
- Vitola: No. 13 [Toro Gordo]
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″/ 56
- Purchased: Local Humidor
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf, Nicaraguan
- Filler: Connecticut Broadleaf, Nicaraguan
- Cutter: Xikar Xi1
- Lighter: Colibri Firebird
- Price Range: $4.75 – $9.50
The first thing you notice is the disparity in price range. As is usually the case, for single sticks most brick and mortar shops tend to sell cigars closer to the MSRP, in this case $9.50, whereas online retailers sell at discounted prices. In the case of the La Dueña No. 13, I’ve seen current pricing at select online shops at half that ($4.75) if you buy the box of 12. As previously mentioned, the banding is a subtle 2-color (red and white) band featuring an embossed cameo of a young girl with the marca, “La Dueña”, scripted on the sides. The styling gives it an antique and very understated look considering some of the more opulent and flashy bands in the 12-marca My Father stable. The long fillers and binder tobacco used in the La Dueña are 100% Garcia-farm grown in Esteli. The La Dueña comes in 6 vitolas, including the No. 13 toro gordo as the only box press, packaged in boxes of 12.
Unlike the last few sticks I’ve smoked, the La Dueña is firm at the head but a bit squishy in the middle and at the foot. Not sure this can be considered a true box press as it is more rounded at the edges suggesting more of a Spanish press. The oily Connie Broadleaf wrapper is a sumptuous reddish-brown, is semi-veiny and toothy with one particularly ugly seam. The aromas from the wrapper are a wonderful bouquet of floral scents resembling Jasmine, tea and raisins. The semi-pressed foot delights with cocoa aromas and a touch of cinnamon. In some reviews, folks have reported very tight draws, but with my Xi1 the draw is excellent providing a nice array of sweet cocoa, hay and nougat.
The initial light provides a wonderful splash of earthiness, nuts and a touch of vanilla. After a few puffs, there is a nice spice present as well as some delightful hints of cinnamon on the finish. There is a toastyness on the retrohale as well some coffee notes. The La Dueña settles into a silky smooth smoke with a nice buttery, creamy texture with lots of rich, creamy smoke. As you smoke the earthiness and spice dissipate into an overall nuttiness toward the end of the initial third. Combustion is good but the char line did get out of whack once towards the end of the first third requiring a quick touch up.
There is a definite transition into a more woody profile in the middle third but still maintains a really nice creamy texture. The pepper is more pronounced and the strength has been kicked up a notch and gets stronger in the middle third. There is a nice balance of light nuts, cocoa and coffee in the background. Towards the end of the middle third I pick up some nice oats and cedar but the spice is gone. Transition to the final third occurs a bit early with the La Dueña serving up some earthiness with hints of leather. The combustion is better with a near perfect char line.
As I get into the final third I’m amazed at the continued creaminess but the strength is every bit of medium-full. The profile is notably more Cedar-flavored with some maltiness and espresso notes on the finish. This cigar does not give up and it is still delicious. Unfortunately, another touch-up is required to get combustion even, but overall this was one of my favorite parts of the La Dueña.
The La Dueña is consistently delicious with the ability to not only mix things up but maintain a wonderful creamy texture. There is no harsh spots in this cigar, there is good complexity in each transition and the flavor palette along the way is superb. The draw is excellent throughout but a couple of combustion issues along the way while minor, are still a bit of a nuisance. She holds a nice 1″ ash without batting an eye. I’m not surprised this received a 90 rating from Cigar Aficionado, but I do think it rates up there with the Don Pepin Blue. I highly recommend at least trying the La Dueña, but be conscious of some reports that additional humi time may be beneficial. She sat in my humidor for only a few weeks and I had no problem, particularly with the draw. This is a solid cigar and an excellent value, particularly if you get a box of La Dueñas. I will probably keep one or two in my humidors. – In Fumo Pax!