Review Summary: The Padron Serie...
The Padron Serie 1926 are your favorite cigars. Maybe you missed the vote, but the internet decided that these are best cigars you can buy in the US, and if you don't agree, you'll have your Brother Of The Leaf membership revoked. Okay, not really, but these are consistently the best-reviewed cigars around. Full bodied, complex, delicious... expensive. If you want just one special occasion cigar to keep in your humi, you have to justify not choosing one of these.
Size: 6 3/4 x 54
Released in 2007 as a special limited addition to the Padrón 1926 Anniversary Series, the Padrón 80th Anniversary is a box-pressed perfecto made to commemorate the 80th birthday of cigar industry legend José Padrón. In fact, they found it fitting to make the Padrón 80th a perfecto-shaped cigar – a first in the history of the Padrón cigar company. The cigars come packaged in boxes of eight and retail for about $30 each. There were both maduro and natural versions of this cigar released. For this Snapshot, I am reviewing the natural version.
The wrapper was a medium-brown in color, with a matte appearance – that is to say that there was no evidence of oils on the outside of the wrapper to speak of. The cigar is a beautifully rolled box-pressed perfecto, with no hard or soft spots. There were two imperfections that I noticed during my prelight inspection. First, there was a slight tear in the wrapper beneath the second band with a tiny flake of wrapper missing. Also, there was a 1/16 inch piece of tobacco applied to the side of the head near the bottom of the cap that resembled a patch. Though it is relatively common to use a small piece of tobacco as a patch, in a cigar of this caliber, I do indeed consider it to qualify as a defect.
AROMA: Strangely, the prelight aroma was so subtle and unassuming that it was almost completely non-existent. There was a slight hint of hardwood sawdust, along with some straight tobacco scents.
TASTE: The prelight taste had some pleasant notes of raisins, straight tobacco flavors, and a hint of allspice.
Upon lighting, the cigar started right off with strong tobacco flavors, along with a strong backing of wet wood. There was a pleasant sweet dried-fruit-like taste that accompanied the emerging strength component.
The retrohale had a green peppercorn like sensation along with a slight bite. The ash was medium-gray and slightly flaky.
As the strength increased in the second third, the wet wood flavors became more hay like – dry and more of a toasted flavor. There was also a buttery caramel-like undertone that served as a nice unifying background character. Though the strength increased in this third, it did not have any harsh or bitter characteristics at all. Rather, there was just an overall sensation of fullness in the profile with just the slightest touch of a nic kick.
In the final third of the cigar, the strength built into what I would classify as medium-full. The flavor characteristics from the second third continued, with the buttery caramel flavors becoming a little richer. There was also the addition of an almost mushroom-like earthy note in the background. I smoked the cigar down to about the last inch or so before it started to loosen and heat up to the point that I had to put it down.
The Padrón 80th was a fine tribute for the 80th birthday of José Padrón. The cigar was not nearly as full bodied as previous samples that I have smoked, so the four years of age has really changed the character of the cigar. In the process of losing a bit of the strength, the full range of the flavor profile became available, and I am glad that I was able to hold on to my last Padrón 80th long enough so that I could experience this. I certainly didn’t think that they would last that long!
Cigar Stars Rating: 9.2
If there is such a thing as 'hype' in the cigar world, this was the cigar that may have started it. I have had the unique privilege and pleasure to have already smoked four of these bad boys. Every single time the cigar's construction was perfect, the draw was literally perfect, the burn was perfect. And at over $30 a piece, they damn well better be. This is far and away the strongest cigar I will probably ever review on here. Pre-light draw is heavy on the tobacco and licorice. Once lit, this cigar exudes a sharp and potent, almost unmistakable, Padron smell. It can literally sting the nostrils. Not that its a bad smell at all, just potent.
The tastes are strong and a tad spicy right out of the gate. An older aficionado with an acute sense of taste could, I believe, pull many different flavors out of this cigar. It's that complex. I am not blessed with such a sense of taste, so I will just stick to what I could put my finger on. Leather and nuts, and lots of both, danced around on a stage of spicy nutmeg the entire smoke. I could have sworn I tasted berries for a bit as well. For most of the cigar the strong leather notes fight with the nutty notes, almost as if they are pushing each other back and forth for my attention. This is no short smoke, took me over an hour, and if you try to rush it down I can guarantee you will walk away reeling from cigar buzz. Overall, this smoke is superb. Simply one of the best around.
However, I fear the Padron's reach may have exceeded their grasp when you consider the price. At $32 MSRP, this is one of the most expensive smokes on the market, and with such limited quantities made this stick is now almost impossible to find anywhere close to the original price. A quick search on the Internet today revealed a online retailer charging over $40 a stick. I don't even want to think of what they are charging at tourist stops in Vegas or Key West. The fact of the matter is, the price of this cigar is beyond unreasonable. Look at my last review, a five dollar cigar that gives me just as much pleasure as this one. Sure this cigar is far more complex and has that certain "snob" appeal, but I can smoke six Hoyo Epicure's for the price of one 80th Anniversario. The math speaks for itself.
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