Padilla Series ’68 Toro Wednesday, Dec 17 2008 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Size: Toro 6.0″ x 50 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Like the Padilla Signature 1932, the Series ’68 is another tribute to Ernesto Padilla’s father Heberto.  In my review of the Signature I mentioned that Heberto Padilla was a Cuban poet and linked to a profile of him that was written by Cigarfan at The Keepers of the Flame.  Where the Signature 1932 celebrated Ernesto’s father’s birthday, the Series ’68 commemorates the year his father was placed under house arrest for his series of poetry that was very critical of the Castro regime in Cuba. It is a limited edition cigar with only 100,000 cigars produced.  The Series ’68 has another unique attribute.  It is made in Honduras.  As far as I know all the other Padilla cigars are made in Nicaragua and Miami.  The Series ’68 is made for Padilla by Flores Tobacco in Honduras.  Made mostly of Nicaraguan tobacco, it does contain some Honduran tobacco in the filler.

The Series ’68 is an handsome looking cigar with a smooth, dark brown wrapper that has a dry appearance to it.  It has a Padron Anniversary like look to it enhanced by the dual bands.  Under the standard cigar band is a second band containing a serial number very much like the send serialized band found on the Padron 1964 Anniversary cigars.  You can see the second band sticking out below the top band in the picture above.  Just click the picture to get an enlarged view.

I really enjoyed how this cigar starts off.  Slightly sweet with some spice that I would describe as clove, it is very smooth right from the beginning.  It didn’t take long for the clove flavors to fade though.  About an inch and a half in it mellows out a lot and has a somewhat nondescript creaminess with a nutty undertone, but in truth it’s muddled and kind of bland. It remained pretty consistent the rest of the way, never changing except that it started to develop a slightly bitter finish.  It picked up a little towards the end getting a little spicy but it just never did anything to hold my attention.  The construction was very good though.  The burn was even, the ash well formed but required tapping every inch or so.  It is a pleasant enough smoke that shows some promise at the start but it just never lives up to it.  A bit to mild and one dimensional for my tastes.

Rating – B

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Padillia Miami 8/11 Churchill Thursday, Sep 4 2008 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo
Size: Churchill 7.0″ x 48 ring

The Padilla Miami 8/11 is arguably the cigar responsible for putting Ernesto Padilla on the cigar map. And why not, he picked a master blender to make it for him. At the time this master tobacco blender wasn’t well known. He had a small factory in Miami that employed just 12 rollers. This man would quickly become the hottest name in cigars. That’s right, the Padilla Miami 8/11 was made by Jose “Pepin” Garcia. The 8/11 in the name denotes location of Pepins factory near the corner of 8th and 11th in Miami. I did say “was made” because Ernesto and Pepin have recently parted ways, and now Pepin no longer makes any cigars for Padilla as Pepin’s business has continued to explode and he had to devote more resources towards maintaining his own products. That means the Miami 8/11 as it has existed is going away so if you are a fan, you will want to buy up as much of these as you can because the Pepin Garcia version of this stick will no longer be produced.

Wrapped in a typical Pepin Corojo leaf, the Miami is rustic looking with puckered veins and bumpy look. It is the color of milk chocolate and has an oily sheen. It has a strong almost pungent odor of tobacco and wet earth. Packed full of tobacco this Churchill has a nice heft to it, firm its entire length. The triple cap clipped nicely revealing a perfect bunch in the head of the cigar which mirrors the view from the foot.

On the initial draw you get hit with a blast of pepper on the tongue but it quickly subsides. It is replaced by a rich earthiness with undertones of spice and flashes of caramel. It produces amazing thick clouds of almost snow white smoke and a room bouquet of toasted tobacco and floral notes. About half way through the Carmel and Spice have come to the forefront and it has a decidedly creamy feel. It has also developed a nice woody/cedar finish with a slight sweetness on the palate. The cigar begins to pickup in the last third. gone is the caramel and sweetness. It is all wood, earth, and pepper. It is very robust and full bodied.

The Padilla Miami is a very well made cigar. The burn was even if not razor straight, and the draw provided just the right amount of resistance. It produced plenty of thick creamy smoke and produced a firm salt and pepper ash. In the past I experienced a lot of problems with the wrapper on this cigar being almost flame retardant and impossible to burn. I had no such problem with this cigar so perhaps those problems are a thing of the past. it is shame that this cigar is no longer being made.

Get your Padilla Miami 8/11’s at CigarsDirect.com

Rating – B+

Padilla Signature 1932 Torpdeo Monday, Jan 14 2008 

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Torpedo 6.5″ x 52 ring

The cigar I am reviewing today is yet another Patriarchal tribute (see my review of Perdomo’s Edición de Silvio). The Padilla Signature 1932 is Ernesto Padilla’s tribute to his late father, the Cuban poet Heberto Padilla. The Keepers of the Flame have a great profile of Heberto that is very interesting and worth the read. Be sure to go check it out. Just click Heberto’s name above. Ernesto trusted the making of this blend to none other than the greatest cigar maker of the current age, Don Jose “Pepin” Garcia. I received this beefy gem of a torpedo from my friends at CigarsDirect.com.

This cigar sports a dark brown, veiny corojo wrapper that has the look of leather. That combined with an ornate band with earth tones and gold trim gives this smoke a rustic yet very elegant look. The overall effect makes the cigar look vintage. Aesthetically it is an absolutely beautiful cigar. Its beauty doesn’t stop at its appearance. The flavors are beautiful as well. After a typical “Pepin Pepper” start the cigar makes a full on assault of your palate with robust flavors of leather and spice with a very earthy undertone. There is also a creaminess to the flavors that reminded me a bit of some of the Tatuaje Reserva cigars I’ve smoked, also made by Pepin Garcia. I smoked this cigar outside on a beautiful sunny day and I noticed something about this cigar that I didn’t see until I stepped out into the sunlight. When the sun hit the cigar it began to shimmer and sparkle. A closer look revealed a light dusting of crystals all over the wrapper. Plume! It served as a testament to me of the care that CigarsDirect.com takes in properly caring for and storing their cigars and to the quality of materials and construction that Padilla put into making it. It was a pleasant surprise. As I passed the halfway mark it mellowed out a little. It was very woodsy/cedary and not as full bodied as it was at the start, but still a full flavored robust smoke. The construction was superb and the burn was great. The only negative thing I can say about it is that you can’t put it down. I don’t mean that in the sense that “it’s so good I can’t put it down” although that statement would apply to this cigar. Rather I mean you can’t put it down because it will go out. I had to relight it a few times because it wouldn’t stay lit if I stopped smoking it. The ash was mostly white peppered with black spots and it was a little papery on the edges.

The Signature 1932 is an excellent smoke and a wonderful tribute to a great poet and father. I know Ernesto must be awfully proud of this cigar. I rate it as a must try for anyone who enjoys a robust, complex smoke.

Get yours at CigarsDirect.com: Padilla Signature 1932

Rating – A

Padilla Cedro 6.0×52 Saturday, Jan 14 2006 

Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican, and Peruvian long-fillers
Size: Toro Grande 6″x52 ring
(for a detailed description of the points system I use please click here.)

Broke out one of my Cedros earlier then I planned to. Couldn’t wait to try one. I’m still trying to get a hang of describing the flavors of a cigar, but here’s my best shot…

Appearance – 6/10
The wrapper is a very nice Caramel Brown with small veins throughout. There were a few minor blemishes/color variations. The cigar was nice and firm except for one very small soft spot that happened to be in the same spot a light spot in the wrapper. It had a very nice cap that was a little longer than I am used to seeing, meaning it went a little further down the head than normal. This had a cool effect. After I cut the tip of the cap, the remaining portion created a pronounced and very cool looking ring around the head of the cigar. The cut was perfect, the filler tobacco bunched nicely with no rib veins visible in the head. The pre-light draw tasted of cedar. It was a medium draw, maybe just a little on the firm side of medium. Some one who likes a firmer draw may bum this section to an 8. I like my draw a little lighter.

Flavor – 16/20
The flavor was very consistent throughout. I thought this cigar was very much like a 5 Vegas Gold. It was smooth and mellow. It had a strong cedar flavor with a creamy…… toasted cereal/nut flavor. i don’t think that’s quite right but it is the best I can come up with to describe what I was tasting. About half way through I thought I detected a very subtle hint of licorice but it only lasted for a few puffs. Towards the end of the cigar I thought the flavors and the strength of the cigar increased. The whole time I was smoking this I was thinking this would be a great breakfast cigar, perfect with a good cup of coffee.

Smoking Characteristics – 7/10
The cigar lit nicely. The ash was firm and held it’s shape, and was a very nice light grey in color. Almost white. The burn wasn’t razor sharp but it stayed even enough. I just kept rotating the cigar as I smoked and I never had a problem, and never needed to make any manual corrections. The cigar produced plenty of nice white smoke and it had a short woody finish. No real buzz factor to speak of since this was a very mild cigar. Mild but very flavorful.

Price – 3/5.

I fell victim to my own impatience here. I jumped on this right away and paid $6 a cigar for these. A couple days later, CI comes out with a 15 for $35 deal that would have put them at just over $3 a stick. So for five bucks more I could have had 15 of these instead of 5. Sucks for me. Well the review system says to rate it on what you paid so I gotta go with the $6 price point here. If I only paid $3 a stick the cigar would have scored a 5 here. At $6 I can only rate it a 3. Slightly better than average deal.

The Math
6+16+7+3=32\4.5=7.11*10=71.1

SCORE = 71.1

This seems a little low to me, but like I said, at a better price this cigar would score a little higher. It’s also possible the blemishes in the wrapper on this stick were an aberration. I’d like to check the other four I have to compare, but the cedar wrap covers almost the whole cigar. If the blemishes I saw were an aberration the score on this would bump up into the upper 70’s. I really like this cigar. It reminds me a lot of the 5 Vegas Gold (another one of my favorites). I would not call it complex but it is definitely not boring. I thought it was a very nice, very flavorful mild cigar. I wish I was smart enough to wait and see if CI put them on special (like they did) so that I’d have more of them.

Very nice cigar Ernesto. I really enjoyed it.

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