On June 10th, 2016, Padrón Cigars patriarch and founder José O. Padrón celebrated his 90th birthday. A few weeks later at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, Padrón Cigars launched a cigar to commemorate the occasion with the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90. The No. 90 is an extension to the popular Padrón 1926 Serie line. It is not a typical Padrón release. For starters, it is a rounded vitóla – something we haven’t seen in the 1926 Serie line before. It also is a release where each cigar is packaged in a tubo – something that is also a first for Padrón. Keeping to the tradition of the 1926 Serie line, the No. 90 is available in both a Natural and Maduro offering. Today I take a closer look at the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro. While it seems like the No. 90 Natural got all of the attention, the No. 90 Maduro is a cigar not to ignore – as this is one excellent cigar.
As mentioned, this is the first time the 1926 Serie has been put into a rounded format. While Padron is known for its box-pressed offerings, there have been a a few rounded offerings. In 2015, the Padron Damaso was released as a rounded cigar in a Connecticut Shade format (another example of Padron moving out of its comfort zone). In addition, there was a special limited edition Padron 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition – a limited 1964 Anniversary blend for W. Curtis Draper came in a rounded format.
The Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 is the fourth pair of birthday cigars for José O. Padrón. The 1926 Serie pays homage to the year José O. Padrón was born. In 2007, Padrón released the iconic Padrón 1926 Serie 80 Years, a long perfecto line extension of the 1926 Serie for Mr. Padrón’s 80th birthday . In 2011 came the Padrón Family Reserve 85 Years – for Mr. Padrón’s 85th birthday, Early last year, there was a very small batch release called the Padrón No. 89. It was a cigar pair that made an appearance at an event thrown by Smoke Inn for an early celebration of Mr. Padrón’s 90th birthday, however since Padrón was 89 at the time, it was called the Padrón No. 89.
While the No. 90s represent the first Tubo offerings by Padrón, it doesn’t seem like it will be the last. We do know that last year at InterTabac 2016, Padrón showcased two new sizes of the Padrón 1964 Anniversary – with each size packaged in an aluminum square tube.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The blend for the Padrón 1926 Serie consists of 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos in both the natural and maduro blends.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan (Maduro or Natural)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacos Cubanica S.A.)
Except where noted, each of the vitolas of the Padrón 1926 Serie are available in a sun-grown natural or a maduro wrapper. All are in a box-press shape except for the No. 90. Below we list the national (including TAA) releases of the 1926 Serie. Shop exclusive editions are not included on this list.
No. 90: 5 1/2 x 52 (Rounded)
No. 48: 5 1/2 x 60 (2016 TAA Exclusive)
No. 47: 5 1/2 x 50 (Originally a 2015 TAA Exclusive)
No. 1: 6 3/4 x 54
No. 2: 5 1/4 x 52 (Belicoso)
No 6: 4 3/4 x 50
No. 9 5 1/4 x 56
No. 35: 4 x 48
40 Years: 6 1/2 x 54 (Torpedo)
80 Years: 6 3/4 x 54 (Perfecto)
The wrapper of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro has a chocolate brown color to it. There is a light coat of oil on the wrapper’s surface. While there are some thin visible veins and thin visible wrapper seams, I also found this to be a wrapper that was on the bumpy side.
The Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro has three bands. The primary band has an antique white background and features the maroon and gold Padrón logo. Just below it is a maroon quadrangle with the text “1926” in white. There are two thin gold leaves flanking the quadrangle. Below the quadrangle is the text “SERIE” in maroon font. On the left side of the band is the text “HAND” in gold font. On the right side of the band is the text “MADE” – also in gold font. There are gold stripes to the far left and far right that come together when the band is closed. The band also features gold trim.
The second 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 Padrón 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 Padrón 1926 has a unique serial number located on that second band in black font. My serial number for the cigar photographed is 524677.
The third band is gold with maroon-colored font and trim. The text “No. 90” is at the center of band with the “90” much larger. To the left and right is the signature of José O. Padrón
The tubo for the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro has a dark red color with gold font on it. The No. 90 Natural has a cream colored tubo with gold font. These tubes are not lined with cedar. Instead the No. 90 wraps each cigar in cellophane.
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 Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw produced a mix of earth, bittersweet chocolate, and cedar. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro started out with a decent blast of cedar. Once the cedar subsided it was joined by some notes of black cherry. There also was a subtle earth note that surfaced. Meanwhile the retro-hale delivered an additional layer of cedar and black pepper.
As the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro moved through the first third, the black cherry and earth moved into the forefront. Both of these notes alternated at different levels of intensity. The cedar settled into the background where it was joined by a dark chocolate note.
By the midway point, the earth notes surfaced as a primary note. The black cherry receded into the background joining the cedar and chocolate. There also was a black pepper note that surfaced no on the tongue.
The last third of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro saw the cedar and to a lesser extent the pepper notes increase in intensity. While there was a spike in the spices, it never got overpowering. During this stage, I still picked up some chocolate in the background. This is the way the No. 90 Maduro came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro maintained a straight path from start to finish. There was a slight bit of jaggedness on the burn line, but in most cases this didn’t warrant any additional touch-ups. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. This wasn’t the tightest ash, but it was not a loose and flaky one either. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
A couple of observations I have on the the No. 90 Natural is that it had a very loose draw and it burned fast. I didn’t find this to be as much of a problem with the No. 90 Maduro. This was a draw that was more on the open side and it didn’t result in a fast burn.
Strength and Body
Depending on the vitola and the amount of aging, I find the strength and body can vary on the 1926 Serie blend – especially the Maduro. In the case of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro, I found this to be one of the bolder smokes. As a point of reference, the No. 90 Maduros used in this assessment had about four months of age on them.
This is a cigar where the flavors started out medium to full-bodied. By the last third, I found there was a slight spike in body and the No. 90 Maduro was in full-bodied territory. As for the strength, it started out medium and gradually increased. By the second third, the strength was medium to full-bodied. As the No. 90 Maduro entered the final third, this was a cigar in full strength territory. There was definitely a kick at the end of this cigar.
In terms of strength versus body on the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Maduro, I found the body had the edge early on. As the strength increased, the tide turned and in the second half, it would have the edge over the body.
As I mentioned up front, my feeling is the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural got more of the accolades than the Maduro. However, the No. 90 Maduro does not disappoint. I liked the flavors produced and I liked out each of the notes complemented each other. The No. 90 Maduro also proves the 1926 Serie blend can work in the rounded format.
Given this is a bolder Padrón, I would probably steer this to a more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again. At nearly $20.00, it’s more of a special occasion cigar, but one I would get a box of.
Key Flavors: Earth, Cedar, Chocolate, Black Cherry, Black Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Strength: Medium (1st Third), Medium to Full (2nd Third), Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Debuts at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show
Brand Reference: Padron
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop