|Padron 1926 Serie Maduro|
When I decided to form a Cigar Hall of Fame, I made a decision to select one “wildcard” cigar per year. When I started looking at candidates, I went through a lot of my favorites and essentially it came down to a battle of two Padrons: the Padron 1964 Anniversary and Padron 1926 Serie. Often when I talk to cigar enthusiasts, this sometimes becomes a polarizing debate on which is the better cigar. I admit, I take the easy way out and say they are both great cigars. When it came down to selecting the wildcard, it came down to the maduros in each of these blends. In the end, I made the selection of the Padron 1926 Maduro as a Hall of Fame worthy cigar for the first year induction. This cigar is truly a spectacular smoking experience.
The cigar was introduced in 2002, shortly after Padron founder Jose O Padron’s 75th birthday. All tobaccos are aged a minimum of five years. The cigar is made in a limited production fashion on an annual basis.with a total of approximately 100,000 cigars. The cigars are sold in boxes of 10 or 24. The 40th Anniversary (debuted in 2004) is sold in boxes of 20 while the 80th Anniversary (debuted in 2007) is sold in boxes of eight.
The Padron 1926 Serie is a Nicaraguan puro through and through:
Each of the vitolas (except for the 80th Anniversary) of the Padron 1926 Serie are available in a sun-grown natural or a maduro wrapper. Are are in a box-press shape.
No. 1: 6 3/4 x 54
No. 2 5 1/4 x 52 (Belicoso)
No 6: 4 3/4 x 50
No. 9 5 1/4 x 56
No. 35: 4 x 48
40th Anniversary: 6 1/2 x 54 (Torpedo)
80th Anniversary: 6 3/4 x 54 (Perfecto)
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I made the decision to smoke the No 9 vitola – basically a double robusto. Whenever I have such a special cigar, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to place that cut into the cap. This means, it is time to smoke the cigar and it will be gone from my humidor forever. The flip-side of the coin is I know I am having a great smoking experience.
There were no disappointments on the pre-light draw. The dry draw flavors included leather, cocoa, classic milk chocolate, and a hint of spice in the background. I don’t factor a pre-light experience into a final rating, but this was as good as one gets. It was now time to fire up the Padron 1926 Serie and begin what was to be a hall of fame smoking experience.
The initial flavor notes of the Padron 1926 Serie provided a mix of chocolate and a hint of spice on the tongue. I actually picked up some more spice through the nose and I would assess the spice as more of a red pepper. The red pepper spice picked up in intensity early – especially on the after-draw. I also detected cream notes early in the smoking experience as well.
By the time I reached the 1/3 point, all of the flavors were holding and none really seemed to overtake the others. It was around this point, I also detected some notes of cherry. While no note was the dominant one, I look at this as a positive – it allowed me to pick up many nuances of the flavor profile.
Around the midway point, the spice finally seemed to creep into the front. By this point, the red pepper took on more of a baker’s spice profile – a perfect complement to all of the other flavors. This holds until the 2/3 point of the smoking experience is reached. At this point, I noticed the spice diminish and it was the cherry and leather notes that seemed to be the ones in the forefront.
Just when I thought the spice was going away, it picks back up one more time toward the nub. The spice returns to more of a peppery taste. The cherry and leather notes are the secondary ones. This is the way the cigar finishes up. The 1926 Serie had a wonderful finish as it was very flavorful and not harsh at all. The nub was perfect as it was firm and cool – the way a nub should be.
Burn and Draw
There isn’t much to write here as when it comes to a Hall of Fame cigar, this should get perfect scores time and time again – and that is exactly what the Padron 1926 Serie does. This translates to a razor-sharp burn, a perfect burn rate, and a perfect burn temperature. As for the draw – the word flawless is what comes to mind. This draw provides for a wonderful smoking experience.
Strength and Body
One thing that makes anything a Hall of Fame smoke is to provide a balance of strength and body. While I love a strong cigar from a nicotine standpoint, it should not come at the expense of the flavors of the smoke. The Padron 1926 Serie is not quite a full strength smoke, it is on the upper end of the medium to full range of the strength spectrum. This gives the cigar just enough kick and allows the flavors to stand out. In the case of the body, the flavors are rich and robust. There was almost a three-dimensional quality to the flavors. This is definitely your classic full-bodied smoke.
I started this assessment by talking about the polarizing opinions on whether the Padron 1964 Maduro or the Padron 1926 Maduro is better. I took the easy way out saying I like both, but ultimately I felt the Padron 1926 embodied what was needed to claim the one wildcard spot for my Hall of Fame induction. Those who love the 1964 are not wrong, but sometimes I wonder how the 1926 can be put down. This is a cigar that certainly appeals to the seasoned cigar enthusiast, but I even think a newer cigar enthusiast will love what this cigar brings to the table. It remains a cigar I savor for a special occasion and one I would always try to keep in my humidor.
Strength: Medium to Full
Assessment: Historic/Hall of Fame
Source: This cigar has been in my humidor for some time. I cannot trace where I got it from, but I’m pretty sure I bought it.