Friday, May 28, 2010

Tio Pepe Churchill
SIze: 7.0 x 48
Tobacco: Nicaraguan Puro
Price: $1 (Closeout)

I just love the advertisement copy for this cigar (shown above). It reminds me of Joe R. Lansdale's novel The Magic Wagon about charlatans in the Old West who drove their clapboard stagecoach from town to town peddling cure-alls, potions, and salves for every possible ailment.

Perfect Recession Cigar!
Sweet Tobacco Taste with Light Cream Undertones!
Unique Rolling Technique Gives You 20% More Tobacco Per Cigar!

Eventually, according to, this rolling technique got too expensive, so the brand was discontinued forever.

In truth, most of my Tio Pepe's have been either completely plugged or the draw was so tight as to make them virtually unsmokeable. Even after a year of aging at 62-67% RH. Even after two weeks of dry-boxing. There's just too much leaf rolled into a 48-ring to allow oxygen to pass through and ignite a clean burn.

Cigar forums on the internet also carry a few cautionary tales of beetles in this brand.

I will admit, though, that two Tio Pepe had a good draw, and tasted very good. No sweet vanilla undertones, but earthy and floral and consistent. Reminded me of my Perdomo Fresh-Rolled after a few months in the humidor. Great for relaxing for two hours in the pool.

Update 05/06/2014: I smoked the last Tio Pepe from the Lost Sticks Tray tonight.  Five years aging made a pronounced improvement.  The burn problem was completely resolved.  A nice tooth had developed over the wrapper.  Flavors were mellower and smoother than I remember, but at the same time more pronounced.  A solid medium-bodied cigar now, rather than the mild floral impressions I described earlier.

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