I decided I wanted to review this cigar while listening to a friend tell stories about the company’s beginnings. I once was asked what the best cigar I ever smoked was. Not my favorite cigar, but the best? It only took me a moment to shout out Padron’s 50th year Anniversary. A very good friend bought one for me on his birthday and I remember enjoying it so much I could not hear any sounds around me, including my friend talking. I enjoy, really enjoy, Padron cigars but I have never said they were my favorite. My friend’s stories about the Padron family were so interesting. Let me share a bit of them.
José Orlando Padrón born in 1926 in Cuba. Jose moved from Cuba in 1961 after his tobacco farm was nationalized by Fidel Castro, went to Spain, then New York, and then he brought his tobacco knowledge to Miami. He began making cigars under his name in 1964 in Florida. He then moved the company to Estelí, Nicaragua in 1970. The company controls all aspects of cigar production, including growing, sorting, quality control, and distributing. You can tell the time and care they put into each cigar. They take the time to age the tobacco for years because their name is on the cigars. Jose Orlando Padrón passed away on December 5, 2017. His family still runs the company and always has wonderful stories to tell about their patriarch.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro
The Exclusivo size is a bit thinner and longer than the Robusto. They are full of Nicaraguan tobaccos from Jalapa, Condega and Estelí. The tobacco is grown in the open sunlight which makes for a richer flavored leaf. Then they are pressed in a distinctive box press style. The Maduro wrapper is dark, smooth and glistening. The feel of the cigar is dry and firm. The cigar looks enticing and makes you want to try it.
The pre-light draw is open and full of rich coffee and chocolate flavors. After toasting the foot, I enjoy a cool draw with coffee, earth and chocolate. These flavors compliment each other perfectly, none overpowering the other. The ash is nice and firm and holds. As I smoke the cigar, I pick up subtle pepper notes, still not overpowering the other notes. As I move into the next few inches, I detect some leather (I know, it took me a long time to understand what that flavor profile was.) In the last part of the cigar, I detect some nutty notes and the leather has gone. The smoke has engulfed me in a cloud of dreams.
The strength of these cigars is deceptive to me. I begin thinking this is a mild cigar but after it gets warm and I smoke more I realize the strength. I want to smoke this cigar after a nice dinner with a sweet rum. I like a full-body cigar and this one meets my needs. I have not had a Padron that did not smoke beautifully, from the flavor profile to the construction, and this one doesn’t disappoint.
The family (I have met several family members) is the most warm-hearted, knowledgeable group of people I have ever met. If you have not had a Padron, I would strongly suggest you try one. The Padron family’s attention to detail shows in every one of their cigars.
By Tara Lee Maloney