El Centurion is an allegorical brand name for one of the most cherished cigars in the industry. Don Jose Pepin Garcia, who has been named America’s Hottest Cigar Maker, crafted the blend for this once elusive cigar.
Centurions were Roman commanders who fought alongside their infantry. These men were usually elected, promoted, or hand selected based on their noble bravery and skilled tactical maneuvers. The name is fitting for the brand because of the journey Don Pepin faced in keeping the brand alive.
Don Pepin immigrated to America in 2002 and quickly became one of the best cigar producers in the industry. His techniques were perfected over 30 years in Cuba, where he worked for the national tobacco industry. Pepin has collaborated with several big name brands such as Montecristo and Cohiba.
The American Dream is alive and well and Don Pepin is proof of that. However, his success has not come easy. In 2010, Eduardo Fernandez, owner of AGANORSA and Casa Fernandez, filed a few lawsuits against the Garcia family over their partnerships most notably over the Miami factory, El Rey de Los Habanos.
The lawsuit was settled a year later. The Garcia family bought out Eduardo’s stake in the companies El Rey de Los Habanos Inc and Tabacalera Cubana de Garcia y Fernandez, therefore gaining complete ownership of them. This included several brands they had collaborated on including El Centurion.
Before the lawsuit madness, El Centurion was owned by Fernandez. Pepin blended and crafted the cigar. El Centurion was a limited released, around 2500 boxes, of Nicaraguan Puro cigars in 2007. The limited release can be blamed on the use of two Cuban-seed tobaccos Criollo 98 and Corojo 99, which were tedious to cultivate, in order to mimic Cuban Cohibas.
Pepin blended El Centurion for himself and probably did not expect it to blow up like it did. The classically styled cigars sold out by midday when it first appeared at IPCPR. The insistence of connoisseurs brought the cigar back onto the market in 2013.
The revamped El Centurion blend includes four types of Nicaraguan tobacco including Criollo, Corojo Habano, and Sancti Spiritus as filler tobacco and Criollo 98 for the wrapper. The new blend was well received and has been given several 90+ ratings from various cigar publications such as Cigar Aficionado and Halfwheel.
Pepin has taken bold steps outside the norm with El Centurion H-2K-CT. The cigar consists of Nicaraguan filler tobacco and Cuban-seed Connecticut-grown tobacco for the wrapper. The cigar is box-pressed and follows the same styling as regular El Centurion cigars.
El Centurion is now under Don Pepin’s company My Father. The company has an enduring beginning, it all started with a secret blend Don Pepin’s son, Jaime, created for the Don. Now My Father is the name of the Garcia empire which is being passed down to the new generation, Jaime and Pepin’s daughter, Janny.
El Centurion could not have a more fitting name. The cigar was hand-selected by its crafter, promoted by various cigar publications and elected a favorite by aficionados. Quality is ingrained in each and every Don Pepin cigar, especially the honorable El Centurion.