|Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro|
The year 2014 marked 50 years since Jose O. Padron founded Padron Cigars. To no surprise, the company has unveiled some new cigars to mark the occasion. These new cigars marked the first new lines released by Padron in over three years. Front and center of these releases is the much talked about new limited edition line of cigars called Padron 50th Anniversary – The Hammer. This is an ultra-premium cigar line that features some of the best tobaccos secured by the Padron family. Consistent with Padron releases, the Padron 50th Anniversary is available in a natural and maduro option. As a part of the Padron 50th Anniversary release, these cigars are packaged in a ultra-premium luxury humidor. As much as the cigar and the packaging have been talked about, the price point of this offering has also been talked about as the whole package carries retail price of $5300.00. I have recently had an opportunity to smoke the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro. While ultimately it becomes difficult to separate the packaging and pricing, I can say one thing about this cigar – this is the best cigar I have had from the Padrons.
The humidors were first unveiled at the 2014 IPCPR. At the time, the price point was still to be determined (although a $4000.00 to $5000.00 price point was being reported), yet the Padron 50th Anniversary Humidor was the talk of the trade show. The cigar lived up to our expectations of our prediction for being the hottest cigar at the trade show and Padron was able to sell them. The humidor was designed by Nelson Alfonso who is well known for his work with Habanos on the Cohiba Behike and for his innovative packaging with Selected Tobacco. A total of 1,000 humidors have been produced and given there are 50 cigars per humidor, the initial allocation totaled 50,000 cigars. The same humidor is available for the natural and maduro options of the Padron 50th Anniversary cigar.
|Padron 50th Anniversary Humidor – Cigar Coop IPCPR Photo|
Each Padron 50th Anniversary Humidor has a unique serial number. Consumers who buy the humidor are given a certificate of ownership with a unique serial numbers. Consumers are also requested to register the humidor with Padron. The owners of the humidors have the option (i.e. they are not required) to refill their humidor. Buyers are directed to their local retailer where the humidor was purchased to fulfill their refill. It has been reported there will be a slight color variation to the band for the refills – namely the original cigars have a red serial number while subsequent ones will (reportedly) have a black serial number. Finally, Padron has said the ownership of the humidor is transferable.
|Padron 50th Anniversary Humidor (Open) – Cigar Coop IPCPR 2014 Photo|
As mentioned the Padron 50th Anniversary package carries a price-tag of $5300.00 and it has presented an interesting dilemma for the retailers who have chosen to carry them. There is no doubt the humidor is a collectable piece and has a significant value on its own – and that being said, many retailers have targeted trying to market the humidor as a whole in that price range. It’s an understandable case that once they break apart the humidors, the package as a whole loses value. There are some retailers that have chosen to do that, and the problem becomes what will be the price point of each cigar minus the humidor. Some retailers have opted to just divide by 50 and sell the cigars. In our case, we paid $106.00 for a single cigar, which is the price per cigar with the humidor price factored in. There have not been a lot of cases of the retailers breaking apart the humidors.
|Close up Padron 50th Anniversary – Cigar Coop 2014 IPCPR Photo|
As mentioned there are several releases that have surrounded the Padron’s 50th Anniversary celebration. It is important to know that there are four distinct blends that have been released for this occasion. These are in two distinct lines – with each done with natural and maduro option. One line is an extension to the Family Reserve series (the No. 50) The other is a whole new line – which is the limited edition 50th Anniversary Humidor set.
|Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro (Top),
Padron Family Reserve No. 50 Maduro (Bottom)
|Padron Family Reserve No. 50 Natural
(Padron 50th Anniversary Natural not pictured)
The Padron 50th Anniversary cigar is also being referred to as “The Hammer”. This refers to a gift of a small hammer that company founder Jose O. Padron received from a friend named Raul Fernandez. Padron would use the hammer to work in carpentry and he used to money he made on that job to eventually open his first factory. The factory was opened in 1964, thus the small hammer is an important part of the Padron legacy and the Padron 50th Anniversary release references this.
Today we will focus on the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro. When I considered assessing this cigar, it presented possibly the most interesting dilemma in a review done to date. Since Cigar Coop joined Stogie Geeks, we have used two mechanisms to assess: One component is a numerical score that is based on merit and non inclusive of price. The other is the Assessment rating – which does factor price in. The problem with reviewing it is that there is an unrealistic expectation to recommend someone to buy a cigar at the price point it’s at. This is a special cigar, and by no means is this an everyday cigar. Even for this assessment, only a single cigar was smoked. Based on that single assessment, it ranks as the best performance and experience I have had by a Padron (and there are a lot of very good ones). It’s a special cigar, not an everyday cigar and thus this needs to be factored into the overall way this cigar is broken down.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at this cigar and see what this cigar brings to the table.
For both the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro and Natural, the tobaccos in the blend have been aged for 10 years.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan (Natural or Maduro)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacos Cubanica S.A.)
Both the natural and maduro Padron 50th Anniversary will be in one size – a 6 1/2 x 52 box-pressed toro. As mentioned there is a total production of 50,000 cigars for the initial release. Company President Jorge Padron told Cigar Coop that a single roller rolls the Padron 50th Anniversary. The roller produces about 250 cigars a day and currently the company has enough cigars to fulfill orders.
The wrapper is nothing close to stunning on the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro. It has rich, dark mocha color. The wrapper has a tiny amount of oil on it. It has a rougher, sandy texture similar to many Padron box-press releases. The cigar doesn’t have much in the way of significantly visible wrapper seams. There are a few visible thin veins.
There is a single band Padron 50th Anniversary. The front of the band has a rich, cream color with gold trim. Sitting on the cream background is the Padron logo which features a maroon-colored oval with the text “Padron” in gold script. Below the logo is the text “50 Years” in an almost white gold cursive color. To the left is the text “1964-2014” also in a white gold color. There is an etched cream color hammer to the left and right side. The upper part of the band has a maroon striping going to the far left and far right. On the left side to he maroon stripe is the text “HAND” in gold font. On the right side is the text “CRAFTED” also in gold font.
The lower part of the band serves to validate the authenticity for the Padron 50th Anniversary. Normally this is a separate band on cigars such as the Padron Family Reserve, Padron 1964 Anniversary and Padron Serie 1926 cigars. This section is off-white colored with a dull yellowish font. In a wallpaper mode is the Padron scripted logo and the text “AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED BY JOSE O PADRÓN”. Each Padron 50th Anniversary has a serial number. As mentioned the serial number is in red font. My serial number was 004751.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. After removing the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. There was a nice amount of flavor right on the on-set. I detected a rich chocolate, mocha note along with some more subtle notes of nut and floral spice. Overall this was an outstanding pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up my Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro started out with a mix of earth, cocoa, and black pepper. The earth and pepper kicked in early while the cocoa notes were secondary. There was a cream note present in the background. While the flavor was subtle, it added a smoothness to this cigar like no other Padron I have had. The retro-hale produced notes of black pepper.
By the middle of the first third, the cocoa notes moved into the forefront. The cocoa also delivered a subtle sweetness. The earth and pepper notes joined the cream in the background. There also was a nut flavor present in the background.
Toward the later part of the first third, the pepper spice was now joined by some notes of cedar. The cedar notes also joined the pepper on the retro-hale.
The second third saw some dark chocolate notes mix in with the cocoa – adding some complexity to the sweetness. By the second half, the cedar notes mixed in with the dark chocolate and cocoa. The spice in the background was once again a pepper spice. The notes of cream, earth, and nut were still present.
By the end of the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro, the notes of dark chocolate and cedar were the last notes standing. There was a slight increase of the pepper, but it never became overwhelming. I could still detect the cream notes and there were still hints of earth and nut.
There were two great qualities as this cigar came to a close: the cigar had never lost the subtle sweetness and it still maintained the smoothness. The resulting nub was a real finger-burner – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
|Finish of the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro|
Burn and Draw
From a construction standpoint, the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro lives up to the expectations as an ultra-premium cigar. It also lives up to the high expectations I had on the burn and draw. The burn gets our highest rating of “Exceptional” (introduced this year). I found this to be a straight burn from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was mostly a salt and pepper color. At times the complexion ash was darker than other times. The ash came off the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Early burn of the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro|
|Middle point of the burn of the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro|
|Late stage burn of the Early burn of the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro|
The draw was outstanding. It was not too loose and not too tight. The cigar itself produced a decent amount of smoke production – making this an enjoyable smoke from start to finish.
Strength and Body
The Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro did an great job at maintaining an equilibrium of strength and body. Both attributes started out in the medium to full range of the spectrum. As the cigar progressed, both the strength and body increased gradually. Toward the end of the cigar, both attributes came close to full, but don’t quite make it.
As I mentioned, based on this was the Padron 50th Anniversary Maduro ranks as the best Padron I have ever smoked. The smoothness of this cigar really was really what put it over the top. Looking at this cigar on merit, the score of 96 reflects how good the cigar was. In terms of the assessment rating, I debated putting the Oasis assessment rating because of the price. We define an Oasis rating as “Pursue relentlessly. Crawl Across a desert of broken glass to find and build a new humidor to store all the boxes“. Ultimately, I felt this cigar fit the definition.
This is not cigar I’m going to recommend spending a $106.00 for, nor one that that I am going to tell people to buy a $5300.00 humidor. No tobacco product fits that price point. This is a special occasion cigar. Most likely to get this cigar you are going to overpay if you buy singles. However, I am saying this cigar is one of the all-time greats. It might be a little stronger and fuller for the novice, but for a serious cigar enthusiast I’d recommend this. Put this as a bucket list cigar and make your own decision on it. This is a cigar I bought because of curiosity, but also one to provide media coverage on. I will say, when I was done with this cigar, I was ready to smoke another and hopefully will have the opportunity someday.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 5.0 – The Oasis