|Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural|
When it comes to Padron cigars, there are two rules of thumb that can apply to most cigars in their line: 1) The cigars will contain Nicaraguan tobaccos; 2) The cigars will be released in both a natural and maduro wrapper. At the 2011 IPCPR trade show, many retailers were expecting to see the Padron Family Reserve 47th Anniversary – the fourth iteration of the Padron Family Reserve series. Instead, it was discovered that the Padron Family Reserve No. 47 was now being called the Padron Family Reserve 85th (or 85 years). The name change was to honor Padron patriarch, Jose O. Padron’s 85th birthday Another interesting thing was that only the maduro version of the Padron Family Reserve 85th was on display at the trade show. The Family Reserve series has been consistent with the company’s philosophy of releasing both natural and maduro versions. Even after the release of the Padron Family Reserve 85th, it was the maduro version that has been seen more promiently The natural version of the Padron Family Reserve 85th has been harder to come by. Recently, I finally got my chance to obtain a Padron Family Reserve 85th. Overall, I found it a good cigar, but I think it falls short of being a great cigar.
The Family Reserve series is highlighted by using some of the best tobaccos the Padrons have. The tobaccos have been aged a minimum of ten years. When I assessed the Padron Family Reserve 85th Maduro, I felt it fell a little short when compared to the others in the Family Reserve series. For the case of the Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural, I would say it also falls into this category.
Let’s break down the Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural in more detail:
Like the others in the series, the Family Reserve 85th Natural is a Nicaraguan puro.
Like its maduro counterpart, the Padron Family Reserve 85th is available in a single vitola – a 5 1/4 x 50 box-press robusto. In addition to individual cigars it will be sold in five packs or boxes of 10. Both the Padron Family Reserve 85th Maduro and Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural are the smallest vitolas of the Family Reserve series.
The Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural is a classic Padron box-press. The box-press is well packed with no soft spots. It is highlighted by its light coffee bean colored wrapper. There are some darker blackish colored spots on the wrapper. The wrapper has some visible wrapper seams, some visible veins, but it is not what I would categorize as “toothy”. Finally, I would say the wrapper is not oily, but a little bumpy for a box-press.
There are three bands on the Padron Family Reserve 85th for both the Natural and Maduro. The first band is the classic red and gold Padron Family Reserve 1964 band. The second band has a white background. It rests just under the first band and serves as a band of authenticity for the Padron cigars – which are often subject to counterfeiting. It features the scripted Padron logo in gray and the text “AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED BY JOSE O PADRON” in gold font. Each Padron Family Reserve 85th has a unique serial number located on that second band in black font. My serial number was 971481. Located below the first two bands is a third band. That third band is red and gold like the first. It features the text “85 Years” in gold font on a red background. There is also gold striping on that band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural, I placed a straight cut into the cap, and immediately commenced into the pre-light draw The dry draw notes were not too exciting as it was mostly flavors of wood and pepper In my opinion, the Padron Natural cigars have not had the most exciting pre-light draws I also don’t factor the pre-light draw into assessment, so no point loss here. At this time, it was time to light my Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural and see what this cigar would bring to the table.
I did not feel the Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural had a very complex flavor profile. This wasn’t too much of a surprise to me as many of the Padron natural wrapper blends have fallen into this category.
The start to the Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural was very similar to the pre-light draw with wood and pepper notes. By about the five percent mark, some natural tobacco sweetness surfaced. In the first half of the smoke of the Padron Family Reserve 85th, I categorized the pepper as a primary note, the natural tobacco sweetness secondary, and the wood notes tertiary.
In the second half, the natural tobacco sweetness picked up quite a bit and came on par with the pepper. I also detected some nut notes on the after-draw. The nut notes slowly increased and eventually would push out the natural tobacco sweetness. The last 25 percent of the cigar had a nutty and peppery profile. The resulting nub was disappointing for a Padron cigar as it was soft to the touch, and warm in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When I assessed the Padron Family Reserve 85th Maduro, I wrote:
Padron (and not just limited to the Family Reserve series) cigars are known for high quality with the attributes of burn and draw. I have to admit, the Padron Family Reserve 85th did not burn the way I expected. While the burn temperature and burn rate were ideal, the amount of touch-ups seemed higher than most Padrons.
Unfortunately the same analogy could be applied to the Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural. The Natural had more age on it than the Maduros I smoked. Not only did have I to do many touch-ups on the Natural, but it did have a warmer nub on the finish.
There were no issues on the draw – as it was flawless from start to finish.
Strength and Body
I assessed the Padron Family Reserve 85th Maduro as full strength and full-bodied smoke. The Padron Family Reserve Natural is a notch down with both attributes. I assessed the strength to be medium to full for the Natural. The flavor notes still have enough depth to be categorized as medium to full as well. There is a good balance between both of these attributes as neither the strength or body overshadow one another.
The Padron Family Reserve 85th Maduro was an honorable mention on the 2011 Cigar of the Year countdown. At the same time, I considered it a weaker entry in the Padron Family Reserve series. Unfortunately, the Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural is a notch down from its maduro counterpart. This doesn’t mean it is a bad cigar, it just means it is stacked up against some touch competition in the Padron family. I’m also not going to say the Natural is a “memorable” experience. I’d recommend this to probably a serious Padron enthusiast. I’d still smoke it again, but it would be more of an occasional smoke for me.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased at Little Havana Cigar Factory in Miami, Florida.