|Padilla Reserva Maduro
In 2012, Padilla Cigars launched their Padilla Reserva Maduro. 2012 was a pivotal year for Ernesto Padilla’s company. It was late in 2011 where Padilla made a decision to discontinue production of his current brands. This decision was in part because his portfolio had gotten discounted too much by the online catalog companies. To get back to his roots, Padilla launched several new lines in 2012 targeted for brick and mortar shops. In addition to the new lines, the company setup production agreements with El Titan de Bronze and Tabacalera Oliva, and entered into a distribution agreement with Oliva Cigar Company. The Padilla Reserva Maduro was one of those new lines launched. If 2012 marked a comeback year for Ernesto Padilla and his company, it appears that things look headed in the right direction. The Padilla Reserva Maduro is going to be one of those products that should be an important part of the comeback.
The Padilla Reserva Maduro is one of two of the Reserva brands (the other being the Padilla Reserva which uses a natural Ecuadorian Habano wrapper). Both of the Reserva brands are mde in Tabacalera Oliva. In 2013, Padilla will introduce two other cigars in collaboration with Oliva – the Padilla Connecticut and the Padilla Vintage Reserve.
Let’s break down the Padilla Reserva Maduro and see what this cigar brings to the table. As a disclaimer, I will mention this assessment is based on a single cigar smoking experience.
The Padilla Reserva Maduro leverages a San Andres Maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler.
There are currently four sizes offered with the Padilla Reserva Maduro:
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Toro vitola of the Reserva Maduro. The San Andres wrapper of the cigar has a dark, roasted coffee bean color. If you examine the wrapper closely, you can even notice some marbling on the dark color. The complexion of the wrapper is not oily. The wrapper seams and wrapper veins are well hidden thanks to the wrapper’s dark color.
There are two bands on the Padilla Reserva Maduro. The primary band has a red, brown, and gold color scheme. In the middle of the band is the gold Padilla lion. Above the lion it says “PADILLA” in small gold font. Below the lion is a red shield with an “E/P” combination in the middle that has gold and brown font. To the left and the right of the shield it says “Padilla” in gold scripted font on a red background. The remainder of the band has red, brown, and gold designs.
Below the primary bend is a secondary band. The band has a red background. The text “Padilla” is a gold cursive font on the middle of the band surrounded by gold striping. Below the “Padilla” text is “RESERVA MADURO” in white font. There is also additional gold striping and adornments on that band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to my smoking experience of the Padilla Reserva Maduro, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. At this point, it was time to move on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes of the Reserva Maduro provided some notes of coffee, but there also was an interesting floral/mint flavor I detected. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the cigar to be satisfactory. At this point, it was time to light up the Reserva Maduro and see what this cigar would deliver.
The start to the Padilla Reserva Maduro provided a mix of leather, coffee, and red pepper notes. The leather and coffee notes became the primary flavors. For the most part, the red pepper settled in the background, but there were times in the first ten percent it could be detected more prominently. There were also times during that first ten percent where I could detect some dark chocolate flavors. As the cigar progressed through the first third, there was an occasional note of bitter char that I could detect, but it was nothing major. Meanwhile the retro-hale of the Reserva Maduro was providing a very interesting sweet floral spice.
In the second third, much of the coffee and chocolate flavors I had detected had transitioned to more of a traditionally earthy note. The floral spice that I had detected earlier on the retro-hale was now becoming more prominent on the draw.
As the Reserva Maduro moved to the last third, the red pepper notes became more prominent and emerged as a primary flavor. The earth notes receded into the background. This was the way the flavor profile would hold until the end. There was some spice at the end of the cigar experience, but no harshness. The resulting nub was very good – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
In terms of burn and draw, I found that the Padilla Reserva Maduro scores quite nicely. The burn line remained relatively straight requiring little in the white of touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight with a nice white color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal throughout the smoking experience.
I found the draw to be excellent and low maintenance on the Reserva Maduro as well. This made cigar an enjoyable cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
Overall I did not find the Padilla Reserva Maduro to be a nicotine bomb, however it did provide just the right amount of kick for this smoking experience. I assessed this cigar to be medium strength from start to finish. The flavors have some nice depth to them. They aren’t going to be the boldest flavors, but this cigar will provide the right amount of flavor. I assessed the Reserva Maduro as having just enough body to be medium to full-bodied.
Overall, when looking at strength vs. body, I would said the scale tips slightly in favor of the body. In other words, the Padilla Reserva Maduro emphasizes strength over body.
From first look of the Padilla Reserva Maduro, one might think this is going to provide a fuller strength, full-bodied smoking experience. This was not the case with the Reserva Maduro. This shouldn’t be looked at as a negative as it is possible to make a good maduro with a blend that is medium/medium to full range for strength and body. The Padilla Reserva Maduro accomplishes this well. While I would say this still has a lot of traditional maduro qualities, the retro-hale and the floral spice flavors will differentiate this cigar from others. This is a cigar that I’d recommend for a novice cigar enthusiast looking to graduate to something with medium strength while exploring a maduro blend. I’d also recommend this to a more experienced cigar enthusiast as they will appreciate what this cigar brings to the table. This is a cigar I would definitely smoke again.
Source: The cigar for this assessment was provided by an authorized representative of Oliva Cigar Company who distributes Padilla Cigars. The request was initiated by Oliva Cigars to myself (Cigar Coop) to provide an assessment. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.