In 2016, Padrón Cigars released two line extensions in its Padrón 1926 Serie line to commemorate the late Jose Orlando Padrón‘s 90th birthday. The cigars were appropriately titled Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 and were released in both a natural wrapper and Maduro wrapper. There were a couple of unique thins about the release of the Padrón 1926 Series No. 90 line extensions. First, these are rounded vitolas – 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 was 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. Back in May, we took a look at the No. 90 Maduro. Take we take a closer look at the Padrón 1926 Series No. 90 Natural.
While Padron is known for its box-pressed offerings, there have been 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 shop-exclusive limited edition Padron 1964 Anniversary – Draper’s 125 Anniversary Edition – a limited 1964 Anniversary blend for W. Curtis Draper came in a rounded format. These are the first regular production rounded offerings in the Padrón 1926 Serie line.
The Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 is one of several birthday cigars for José O. Padrón. The 1926 Serie itself commemorates 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 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.
The No. 90s were not the only Tubo offerings by Padrón. After the release of the No. 90,Padrón Cigars introduced two new sizes of the Padrón 1964 Anniversary line packaged in square-sized Tubes with the 1964 Anniversary Presidente and 1964 Anniversary Soberano.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural 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. This carries over for the No. 90 line extensions.
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 Natural has a medium brown color to it. I didn’t find much in the way of oil on the wrapper’s surface. This was a wrapper that was slightly bumpy to the touch, There were some visible veins exposed on the wrapper. Any visible wrapper seams were on the thin 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 Padrón 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 212779.
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 Natural had a cream color with text in gold font. The No. 90 Natural has red 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
I commenced my cigar experience of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural with a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered a mix of cedar and dusty earth. Overall this wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but given the pre-light experience is not factored into our numeric score or value rating, there is no loss of points here. At this point, I was ready to light up the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural and enjoy the smoking experience.
The Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural started out with notes of cedar, natural tobacco, and a tangy red pepper note. It didn’t take long for the cedar notes to emerge as the primary note. The other notes moved into the background. In addition, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
Toward the later part of the first third, there was an increase in the natural tobacco and by the start of the second third, the natural tobacco joined the cedar in the forefront. While the tanginess and red pepper remained present in the background, I found some of the tanginess now made its way on the retro-hale. It was also during this stage of the smoking experience an earthy note surfaced. This earth note increased in intensity throughout the smoking experience. Toward the later part of the second third, the red pepper notes increased.
By the last third of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural, the flavor profile had a mix of earth, natural tobacco, cedar, and red pepper. Of these four notes, I didn’t find there was a dominant note. I also found there was still a touch of tanginess in the background. This is the way the smoking experience of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall, the burn of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural performed quite well. While the burn line wasn’t the prettiest at times, I still found it low maintenance when it came to keeping a straight burn line and straight burn path. The resulting ash was gray with some darker blotching mixed in. This wasn’t the firmest ash, but it wasn’t a loose or flaky ash either. The cigar maintained an ideal burn temperature, however it did burn at a slightly faster burn rate than I prefer.
In terms of a draw, I found the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural to be on the looser side. This required the cigar to be smoked at a more controlled rate. While I didn’t have any combustion problems, I still found I had to pay more attention to my smoking pace. This was most likely why the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural smoked at a faster rate and why it produced quite a bit of smoke.
Strength and Body
When it comes to the Padrón 1926 Serie Natural blend, I have found the different vitolas can vary in the intensity of the strength and body. Overall, I found the No. 90 Natural to be a medium to full strength, medium to full-bodied smoke from start to finish. For the No. 90 size, I found the intensity level of the strength and body to fall into the medium range of what I have seen on a Pardon 1926 Serie Natural.
There was a slight increase in intensity of both attributes along the way, but overall both attributes remained in the medium to full range of the spectrum. Throughout the smoking experience, the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
There is a popular debate of Natural versus Maduro when it comes to every one of the Padrón lines – and the No. 90 line extensions to the 1926 Serie were no exception. In the court of popular opinion, it seemed like many gravitated toward the No. 90 Natural. In my book I still give the nod to the No. 90 Maduro over the Natural. I’ll also state that I don’t think the rounded format of the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Natural stands out over the traditional box-press. At the same time, these items should not be considered negatives as the No. 90 Natural is still a good cigar, there are just other 1926 Serie releases I put ahead of it.
Given this is a somewhat of a bolder Padrón, I would probably steer this to a more experienced cigar enthusiast. At the same time, I would not discourage a novice who wants something in the medium + range. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again. It’s one I would recommend for a cigar consumer to purchase.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Cedar, Red Pepper, Earth, Tanginess
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Value: Buy One
News: Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 Debuts at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show
Brand Reference: Padrón
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop