|Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA
The Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive cigars represent two of the eight cigars made for the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) in 2014. As is the case with the Padron 1964 Anniversary line, the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive comes in a natural and a maduro offering. This is the second set of cigars that Padron has provided to the TAA. There is also Padron 1964 Anniversary Toro TAA Exclusive. While the Toro TAA Exclusive is an on-going offering to the TAA, the Belicoso TAA Exclusive set is intended to be a one time offering for 2014. Today we take a look at the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro offering. Thus far, I have found the 2014 TAA Exclusive series to be underwhelming. With the case of the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro, I found this to be an excellent cigar – and one that I would expect from a TAA Exclusive cigar.
As for the TAA, this represents a small group of retailers (at press time the TAA web-site lists a total of 75 members). For the past several years many manufacturers have made available cigars that are exclusive to TAA member retail shops. As per their web-site, the TAA is defined as:
“The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.”
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro
For historical reasons, we list most of the key releases in the Padron 1964 Anniversary. Both are available in Natural and Maduro. The Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive is packaged in boxes of 25.
TAA Belicoso: 5 x 52
TAA Toro: 5 x 54
“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 1/2 x 50
Principe: 4 1/2 x 46
No. 4: 6 x 60
SI: 6 x 60 (Limited Edition – Smoke Inn Exclusive)
Draper’s 125th Anniversary: 6 x 46 (Rounded – Limited Retail exclusive for W. Curtis Draper)
The Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro has a classic mocha colored wrapper that is common the 1964 Anniversary maduro line. The wrapper is nearly void of any visible veins and the wrapper seams are thin. There is also a light sheen of oil on the wrapper. While the wrapper surface isn’t bumpy, there is a rough like texture to it. The cigar has a square press with a very firm pack. The tapering of the belicoso is a soft, more-rounded tapering.
There are two bands on the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro. The design is common for the entire 1964 Anniversary line for both the natural and maduro. The first band has the circular maroon and gold Padron 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 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 – all sitting on an ivory background. Each Padron 1964 Anniversary has a unique serial number located on that second band in black font. My serial number was 623050.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro, I went with a straight cut. After removing the tip, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw was pretty much classic Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro – namely notes of earth, coffee, and some spice. Overall I considered this to be a solid pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up my Belicoso TAA Exclusive and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro had notes of mocha and pepper. The pepper had a touch of cayenne quality – which is something I personally have detected on many Padron 1964 cigars The pepper was also present on the retro-hale. In the background I detected notes of leather and a slight maduro sweetness.
One thing I noticed about the Belicoso TAA Exclusivo Maduro is that it had more sweetness and cream than I usually detect on a Padron 1964 Anniversary. As the cigar burned through the first third, the mocha notes became a creamy chocolate note with the maduro sweetness (almost like a cross of tobacco and cherry) blended in. Meanwhile the pepper and leather notes were secondary. As the Belicoso TAA Exclusivo Maduro moved into the second third, from time to time I picked up a citrus note.
The sweetness reached an apex in the early part of the second half. The sweetness now could best be compared to a chocolate covered cherry – yet it still had that maduro sweetness which kept this cigar very “Padronesque”. The pepper notes increased slightly in the later part of the second half. The leather note was still more distant.
The sweetness dialed back slightly in the last third and the pepper was now in the forefront. The sweetness now had less of the chocolate / cherry /creamy note as was more of a natural maduro sweetness. This is the way the flavor profile came to an end. The cigar was flavorful and maintained its sweetness right until the end. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
If you have read my assessments, I have stated that when it comes to belicoso and figuardo cigars they tend to fall shorter than rounded parejos and traditional box-pressed cigars. In the case of the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro, this box-pressed belicoso scored extremely well. The burn line maintained a sharp edge with a slight curvature. The resulting ash had salt and pepper color. The ash itself was firm and came off in nice 1/4 to 1/2 inch chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw performed very well. It had a slight bit of resistance (something I enjoy on a draw). At the same time, this cigar produced quite a bit of smoke – especially for a draw which did have a touch of resistance. The tip of the cigar were I placed the cut never got soft – something that validates how well the construction is on this cigar.
From both a burn and draw perspective, the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro scored extremely well – especially for a box-pressed belicoso.
Strength and Body
Most of the time when it comes to the Padron 1964 Anniversary line, I find the cigars fall between medium and medium to full range for both strength and body. With the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro, there were no surprises here. The strength of the Belicoso TAA Exclusive Maduro came in on the upper end of medium, just below medium to full. As for the body, it had some richness and I assessed this as being medium to full-bodied. In terms of strength versus body, I gave the body the edge.
2014 is a very big year for Padron with the company celebrating its 50th anniversary. There are two big releases being rolled out with the Padron 50 Years and the Padron Family Reserve No. 50 (Cigar Preview) which have been getting considerable attention (and rightfully so). At the same time, the release of the Padron 1964 Anniversary Belicoso TAA Exclusive cigars have really flown under the radar. As I said, I have felt the 2014 TAA Exclusive Series as a whole has been somewhat disappointing, but this maduro entry is outstanding.
As I mentioned, the surprising thing about this cigar is the sweetness and creaminess I got, yet I still found this cigar very Padronesque. It also smoked extremely well for a box-pressed belicoso. Typically I have found the Padron 1964 Anniversary line to not get much better with age, so this is a cigar I’d recommend smoking now because it seems at its peak. I’d recommend this to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself I would smoke this again – and its certainly a box-worthy one.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessement: 4.0 – Box Worthy
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