|Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural|
In 2009, Padron Cigars released the second release of their Family Reserve Series – the Padron Family Reserve No. 45. The Family Reserve series was launched in 2008 with the release of the Padron Family Reserve No. 44. The significance of the 44 and 45 correspond to the anniversary of when Jose O. Padron founded Padron Cigars (1964). As with most Padron releases, the line is released in a Nicaraguan natural and Nicaraguan maduro wrapper. In the case of the Padron Family Reserve No. 45, it is the Maduro (which won Cigar Aficionado’s 2009 Cigar of the Year award) that gets most of the attention. With the Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural, this cigar is often overlooked. Recently, I have had an opportunity to smoke the No. 45 Natural – and without a doubt, this ranks as one of the best in the entire Padron portfolio.
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. Since the release of the No. 44, there have been four iterations of the Padron Family Reserve series – each in a Natural and Maduro. Following the 2009 No. 45 release, there would be 2010’s Family Reserve No. 46 release. In 2011, the name was changed the the Padron Family Reserve 85th to commemorate Jose O. Padron’s 85th birthday. According to our good friends at Toasted Foot, there are no plans to resume the series until 2014 – which would be the company’s 50th anniversary.
Without further adieu, let’s analyze the Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural is a Nicaraguan puro – consistent with both the natural and maduro cigars in the Padron Family Reserve series.
Both the Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural and Maduro are available in a single size – a box-press 6 x 52 toro. The cigars are packaged in boxes of ten for both the natural and maduro.
The Padron Family Reserve 45th Natural is highlighted by its light coffee bean colored wrapper. The box-press is well packed with no soft spots The wrapper has some visible veins and void of wrapper seams I would not categorize the wrapper as oily. The surface looks slightly weathered but still smooth.
There are three bands on the Padron Family Reserve 45th for both the Natural and Maduro. The first band is the classic maroon and gold Padron Family Reserve 1964 band. It has the Padron logo in gold with the text “FAMILY RESERVE” below it. Below that is the Padron hammer surrounded by “19” and “64”
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 PADRÓN” in a gold(ish) font. Each Padron Family Reserve 45th has a unique serial number located on that second band in black font. My serial number was 953253.
The start to the Family Reserve No. 45 Natural started with a mix of pepper and natural tobacco. In the first five percent, there was a short blast of the pepper. Once the pepper subsided, the No. 45 Natural settled into a combination of pepper, wood, and coffee. No flavor emerged as the dominant flavor.
As the smoke of the Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural progressed to the ten percent mark, the flavor profile continued to evolve and get more complex. At that point, the primary flavors were pepper, floral, and coffee. There were wood and citrus notes that were close secondary notes. The pepper was also very present on the retro-hale. As the cigar continued to move through the first third, the pepper took on more white pepper characteristics.
By the end of the first third, citrus notes surfaced and took over as the primary flavor. The coffee, white pepper, floral, and wood notes were now secondary. In the second third, the white pepper joined the citrus as a primary note. Some bread notes joined the other secondary notes in the background.
The flavor profile held until the end with the pepper and citrus notes alternating as primary flavors. The bread flavors remained secondary while the floral and wood notes dissipated. The close to the cigar had some spice, but was not harsh. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall the Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural had excellent construction and this was reflected in the attributes of burn and draw. The burn line remained straight from start to finish requiring only an occasional touch-up. The resulting ash was white and tight in color with only occasional flaking. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw was outstanding – making the Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural a joy to smoke.
Strength and Body
The Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural surprised me in that it had a lot more strength than I was expecting. I assessed this cigar as having just enough strength to qualify as a full strength smoke. As for the flavors, the Padron Family Reserve No. 45 Natural had bold and robust flavors. This cigar easily qualified to be a full-bodied cigar. Both the strength and body have a nice equilibrium creating nice balance between these two attributes.
The Padron Family Reserve No. 45 easily ranks as one of the best natural wrapper blends made by Padron. However as I said at the beginning, this cigar also ranks as one of the best cigars Padron has made overall. The flavors, complexity, and construction to this cigar are second to none. If you are looking at a cigar that has the potential to be a hall of fame smoke, this one fits the definition. This cigar is priced around $25.00 and while we don’t factor price into our assessments, we mention this for awareness purposes. While this cigar might have a little too much strength and body for the novice, an experienced cigar enthusiast will appreciate everything this cigar brings to the table. In my book, despite the high price point – this is a cigar that is box worthy in my book and one I would easily smoke again.
Source: The cigars for this assessment were gifted to me by a friend.