Padrón 1964 Anniversary –
Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural

The Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition is a special limited edition cigar that was made available to Washington DC/Maryland based retailer W. Curtis Draper.  In 2012, W. Curtis Draper celebrated its 125th anniversary in business and commissioned four manufacturers to produce retail-exclusive limited edition cigars at different times during 2012.  For the Padrón Cigars release (which actually came out in early 2013), the company did something different – providing a round vitola of their famed (and box-pressed) Padrón 1964 Anniversary blend in both a natural and maduro option in a single size.  Recently I had an opportunity to smoke the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition in the natural blend.  Overall its a solid cigar – and does provide a different smoking experience in a famed cigar line.

The Draper’s 125th Annivesarry Series has consisted of four releases:  The Tatuaje Cabaiguan WCD Redux (our highest scoring cigar to date on Cigar Coop which since has become a Draper’s House Cigar); the La Aurora 100 Años 125th Anniversary,  the Drapers 125th Anniversary Cigar by Arturo Fuente, and the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural and Maduro.  This assessment will focus on the natural of the Padrón Draper’s edition.

The Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition cigars are the first time a rounded cigar has been done in the 1964 Anniversary line (the rest of the line is box-press).  The size selected was a corona gorda for both the natural and maduro lines.   This cigar is one of two retail exclusive releases by Padrón Cigars in 2013 – joining the 6 x 60 Padrón TP40 (1926 Serie) that went to Tobacco Plaza in New York.

Without further adieu, let’s take a closer look at the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

The Padrón 1964 Anniversary line consists is a Nicaraguan puro.  This is true for both the Natural and Maduro lines.  The  Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural shares a similar blend composition to the rest of the Padrón line.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

There have been many vitolas in the Padrón 1964 Anniversary line.  Except for the Draper’s release, all of these are box-press vitolas.  The Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural is a rounded 6 x 46 corona gorda.  The line already does feature a box-press 6 x 46 corona gorda called the Monarca.

For historical reasons, we list the vitolas of the Padrón 1964 Anniversary line:

Draper’s 125th Anniversary: 6 x 46 (Rounded – retail exclusive)
“A”: 8 1/4 x 50
Diplomatico: 7 x 50
Piramade 6 7/8 x 42 x 52
Monarca: 6 1/2 x 46
Superior 6 1/2 x 42
Torpedo: 6 x 52
Imperial: 6 x 54
Corona: 6 x 42
Exclusivo: 5.5 x 50
Principe: 4 1/2 x 46
SI: 6 x 60 (Smoke Inn Exclusive)
No. 4: 6 x 60

There were 100 boxes each of the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural and Maduro made.

Appearance

The Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural has a medium brown/brown bag color to it.   The wrapper is not very oily or very silky.  It has a slightly bumpy surface to it.  There are a couple of visible veins and the wrapper seams are visible upon close inspection.

There are two bands on the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition for both the Natural and Maduro.  These bands are identical to what are found on the rest of the Padrón 1964 Anniversary series.  The first band has the circular maroon and gold Padrón 1964 logo surrounded by a ivory circle.  Gold and ivory horizontal stripes moving away from the circle create almost a “pseudo band on the band”.  Sitting on the stripes to the left of the circle is the text “IMPORTED” in gold font.  To the right of the circle is the text “HAND MADE” also in gold and sitting on stripes.

The second band has a white and grayish color scheme.  It rests just under the first band and serves as a band of authenticity for the Padrón cigars – which are often subject to counterfeiting.  It features the scripted Padron logo in gray and the text “AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED BY JOSE O PADRÓN” in a gold(ish) font – all sitting on an ivory background.  Each Padrón 1964 Anniversary has a unique serial number located on that second band in black font.  My serial number was 252282.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my smoke of the Padrón 1964 Natural Draper’s edition, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap.  After the cap was successfully clipped, I commenced with the pre-light draw.  The dry draw notes were on the bolder side – especially for a pre-light draw.   These notes seemed bolder than the Padrón 1964.  The dry draw flavors were a combination of natural tobacco, floral, and pepper.  Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw.  At this point, I was ready to light up the  Padrón 1964 Natural Draper’s edition and see what the overall smoking experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural provided a shot of pepper to start.  As the pepper subsied, it was joined by natural tobacco, cedar, and citrus notes.    While the pepper subsided, the pepper would still be a prominent factor during the smoking experience.      The retro-hale was peppery, but also had some cedar notes mixed in. During the first half of the cigar experience the pepper and natural tobacco were the primary flavors while the citrus and cedar notes were secondary.

During the second half, the pepper seemed to increase. This wasn’t a large increase, and it didn’t turn the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural into a pepper bomb, however it did have a spicy kick to it.  The other flavors from the first half were still present right until the end.  Padrón 1964 Natural Draper’s edition closed out with a nub that was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

There might be a different shape to the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural compared to the rest of the 1964 line, but it still shares in the line’s excellent construction.  This construction is reflected in both the burn and draw attributes of the cigar.  The burn line remained straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups.  The resulting ash was firm.   The ash was white in color with a little salt and pepper coloring mixed in.  The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.

The draw was excellent as well.  It had a touch of resistance on it – and this makes for an ideal draw in my book.  This made the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural a low maintenance cigar to puff on.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, I didn’t find a huge difference between the Padrón 1964 Natural Draper’s edition and the 1964 line as a whole.  I found the Padrón 1964 Draper’s edition to be a medium to full strength cigar experience from start to finish.  As for the depth of the flavors, the Draper’s cigar had some of the deepest flavors I’ve seen from this line.  I assessed the Padrón 1964 Draper’s edition to be a full-bodied cigar.  When it came to looking at strength vs. body on the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition Natural, the edge definitely went to the body attribute.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the Padrón 1964 Anniversary line, I’ve always felt the maduro has the edge over the natural.  With the case of the Padrón 1964 Natural Draper’s edition, this is a nice smoking experience.  The rounded version compared to the box-press provides a nice alternative and a nice change of pace.  While I still give the box-press vitolas an edge here, this still shows the blend can work in a rounded vitola.   I’ve never found the Padrón 1964 Natural to be an overly complex cigar and the Draper’s edition didn’t change this.  Still this is a cigar I’d encourage many to try this cigar.  This is a cigar I’d definitely recommend to experienced cigar enthusiasts and definitely Padrón cigar enthusiasts.   Novices may still find this cigar is a little too much for them, but I wouldn’t discourage one from smoking it.  As for myself, change of pace is key here.  I wouldn’t make this the first Padrón I’d reach for, but one I would smoke from time to time.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 89


Source: These cigars are only available through W. Curtis Draper tobacconists.  The cigars for this assessment were gifted to me by a friend.