On June 10th, 2016, Jose Orlando Padron, the patriarch of the Padron family and founder of Padron Cigars will celebrate his 90th birthday. Earlier this year, the festivities for this milestone kicked off when South Florida retailer Smoke Inn held a 90th birthday celebration at an event that took place at its Boynton Beach, Florida store. That evening a commemorative cigar was made available to attendees known as the Padron No. 89. According to Smoke Inn, part of the reason No. 89 was chosen (as opposed to 90) is because Mr. Padron was actually still 89 years of age when the event occurred. Par for the course with Padron releases, the Padron No. 89 was offered with both a natural and maduro offering. Today we take a look at the Padron No. 89 Natural. Overall I found this to be an excellent release. While it’s a cigar that is difficult to get a hold of, if you can your hands on it, you will want to.
The big difference with the Padron No. 89 offerings is that it is offered in a rounded format. While the rounded format is currently used on the Padron Damaso offerings, it has rarely been offered outside too this line. Most recently, a rounded format of the Padron 1964 Anniversary was made available as a limited edition shop exclusive to retailer W. Curtis Draper.
Jose O Padron’s birthday has been commemorated on several other Padron releases. The release of the 1926 Serie commemorated Padron’s 75th birthday. A special edition of the 1926 Serie called the 80 Years commmemorated Padron’s 80th birthday. For Padron’s 85th birthday, the Padron Family Reserve No. 85 was released.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Padron No. 89 Natural and see what this cigar brings to the table.
No specific details on the blend were disclosed on the Padron No. 89 releases.
Wrapper: Not Disclosed, other than “Natural”
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Both the Natural and Maduro offering of the Padron No. 89 were offered in one size – a 6 x 46 rounded Corona Gorda. The cigars were packaged in ten count boxes with a total run of 200 boxes of a combined of the natural and maduro offerings. It was reported that the current allocation has been sold out.
Visually, the Padron No. 89 Natural is a very different looking Padron Cigar.
The natural wrapper is lighter than what I have seen on most Padron cigars. It almost looks two shades darker than a Connecticut wrapper. Depending on how the light hits this cigar, it will show off a colorado red tint. The cigars I smoked did not have wrappers that were completely uniform in terms of the color scheme, but at the same time, it gave the cigar that had some character to it. There also was a light coating of oil. The cigar had some visible veins. Despite the lighter color of the wrapper, I didn’t find the visible seams to be very prominent.
The banding to this cigar (and its Maduro counterpart) is also different. The primary band is similar to the one seen on the Padron Thousand series. The difference is that it has a black background. All of the font on the band is gold in color. The front of the band has two leaves and an image of Cuba arranged triangularly. Above the images is the text “PADRON” arranged in a curved fashion. Below the images is the text “HANDMADE”. There is a circular trim going around the images and text on the front of the band. There are gold adornments and stripes on the left and right side of the band. In addition the text “IMPORTADO” appears on both sides of the band.
The second band is the one typically reserved on premium offerings of Padron’s portfolio such as the 1926 Serie, 1964 Anniversary, Family Reserve, and Damaso offerings. This band has an ivory and dull gold 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 1926 has a unique serial number located on that second band in black font. My serial number was 133201 for the cigar used for the photos in this review.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap of the cigar. After the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of cedar, wood, and citrus. Overall it wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but since we do not score the pre-light experience, there was no loss of points here. At this point, I was ready to light up the Padron No. 89 and awaited what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Padron No. 89 Natural started out with a mix of generic wood, cedar, citrus, and black pepper. The citrus notes delivered both a sweet component as well as some sourness. Meanwhile the retro-hale delivered an additional layer of cedar notes.
As the Padron No. 89 Natural moved through the first third, the cedar and wood notes became primary. The citrus notes were a close secondary note while the pepper was more distant. In addition, a bready note surfaced in the background. By the end of the first third, the generic wood notes changed to more of a nut flavor.
By the midway point of the cigar, the nut flavors had a slight edge over the cedar as the primary note. The citrus and bread notes were a little further back. As the Padron No. 89 Natural moved into the second half, the black pepper started to increase.
As the Padron No. 89 Natural moved into the last third, the spices kicked up. I found the pepper was in the forefront along with a return of the cedar notes. There still was some citrus, nut, and bread notes. This is the way the cigar experience of the Padron No. 89 Natural came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall the burn scored very well. The burn line had a slight amount of curvature, but overall the burn maintained a straight path and was never in danger tunneling or canoeing. The resulting ash was a silvery gray color. I found the ash had some light flaking early on, but overall it was firm for the lion’s share of the smoking experience. The burn temperature was ideal, but I did find this cigar burned a little fast (smoked about an average of 50 minutes). The fast burn didn’t seem to have any adverse effects other than a shorter smoking time.
From a draw standpoint, I found the draw to be a little more open than I preferred. This contributed to the faster burn that this cigar delivered.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, I found the Padron No. 89 Natural to deliver a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke from start to finish. While there was a nice amount of flavor delivered, this isn’t going to be a cigar where the flavors weigh heavy on the palate, nor gives a heavy nicotine punch. I found this medium profile worked quite well for this cigar.
In terms of strength versus body, I found both attributes balanced each other very nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
As different as this cigar looked from its lighter natural wrapper to its different banding, I did find this to be a cigar that was different from many Padron natural wrapped cigars. Yes, it delivered both sweet and spice notes that are common on the Padron naturals, but there was just something intangible and different about this cigar. There were a few points during this cigar where I wished the cedar and pepper notes were amp’d down a couple of notches as I think it would have allowed the complexity of this cigar to shine, but overall I was still pleased with this cigar. This is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. I would recommend this for a novice if that cigar enthusiast wants something with a little more spice. If one can find this cigar, I’d recommend picking it up. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again and it’s worthy of a box split.
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: Jose O Padron 90th Birthday Cigar Slated for Smoke Inn Event
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 179
Stogie Feed: Padron No. 89 (Jose O. Padron 90th Birthday Cigar for Smoke Inn) – Natural
Brand Reference: Padron