Cigar Review: Don Pepin Series JJ Salomon
This past week Jerry Cruz from The Stogie Review organized a cigar event among the friends of stogiereview.com and twitter. 2 years back Jerry had the worst nightmare come true. His son JJ died. And on his birthday 7/22 he organized a smoke a JJ for JJ each year since. Well, this past week I smoked a JJ maduro in his memory. Those who hate cigars do not understand the tightness we share as a community and the friendships that bond over a cigar. People from all walks of life come together to help a person get through a difficult day and it doesn’t matter your background, class, religious or political beliefs. A cigar is more then just tobacco. It is a a fraternity, and in some cases a sorority. So when you discuss taking away the rights of smoker remember it is more then just the tobacco that you effect. It is a community. The community that helped build this great nation I live in.
The JJ for JJ event got me on a Don Pepin kick and my favorite cigar store Ashes Tobacconist just got today’s smoke in. The Salomon is a size that has become a favorite of mine, despite having burn issues with some of them.
Cigar: Don Pepin Series JJ
Size: 7.25 x 57 (Salomon)
Wrapper: Corojo Oscuro
Appearance and Construction (19/20): The Salomon is a difficult cigar to roll and that is why many companies stay away from the size. The Don Pepin Series JJ Salomon has a lot of tooth and the wrapper looks closer to the maduro line then the regular JJ line. The roll is seamless and the wrapper shows no flaws what so ever. The cap of the cigar and the foot of the cigar are sheer works of art. Upon closer inspection the cigar has a couple of soft spots and I hope this won’t effect the burn. The band of the cigar is the classic JJ white label with colors of gold and red.
Flavor & Notes (28/30): Prior to lighting the cigar I lost track of time taking in the notes of cocoa that poured off the wrapper and foot. The sweet notes were so calming and relaxing on this hazy hot and humid day. The prelight draw reminded me of anise and it too was quite enjoyable. The cigar starts off with the signature Pepin pepper, but it quickly fades by the time your past the nipple of the stick. The first third of the cigar has notes of pepper, leather and some anise hanging out in the background. So far that sweet cocoa I got offer the wrapper is missing and that has me disappointed. As we enter the second third of the cigar the sweet cocoa notes begin to emerge. While leather is the dominant note, it is quickly being caught by the cocoa notes that become dominant by the time the second third is in its peak. The final third has some slight leather notes in the background but a wonderful sweet cocoa on the foreground. The cigar has a chocolate spice finish.
Burn/Ash/Draw (23/25): Smoking a Salomon has me feeling like a novice as no matter what I do they always start out with an uneven burn. But unlike some other cigars of this size this one corrected itself before the first third is complete. The ash on this cigar holds extremely well, but the white ash is a tad flaky. The draw starts off a tad tight, but that is due to the size. Once past the tip the cigar opens up to a perfect draw with just the slightest amount of resistance.
Overall (22/25): The Salomon is such a classy cigar, and I was glad to have smoked mine for review. I should let you know due to the price I only smoked one to formulate my review, but a friend was smoking his as well and at the end we compared notes and they were dead on. The cigars price is bit much, but if your a fan of the vitola and Don Pepin you will like the Series JJ Salomon. I would like to also take the time to let you know that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome causes mores then 2500 infants to die each year. Awareness is key, support the American Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Institute.
Price: $81.00 a box of 5 at Corona Cigar Co.