The Padron Family Reserve 45 cigar is a special release cigar that was made from some of the oldest leaves in the Padron Family’s warehouse. The ‘Family Reserve’ cigars usually are not sold retail and almost always kept within the family for special occasions. In this case, this cigar was to mark the 45th anniversary of the 83 year old patriarch of the family, Jose Orlando Padron, coming to the United States. A cigar like this should be the finest and the best the family could blend, and in some circles and some reviews, was touted as the best cigar of 2009. I decided to really give this cigar a very critical inspection.
Draw and Construction
This cigar has a nice firm feel to it, and was made with a medium dark Maduro wrapper
. The cap
did not look very good with some noticeable folds, gaps and wrinkles. The cap would not punch with a 7mm nor 9mm punch
. I had to us a guillotine cutter
to clip the end of the cigar, and the cap was already cracked and pealing. Looking at the end of the cigar, I could see two large veins near the center, and was anticipating this might be a problem later. The draw was average and a little tight, much tighter than a normal Padron 1964. The cigar lit fairly easily but burned marginally uneven. The ash was a dark grey with black lines and burned incredibly slow, which was very noticeable because the ash fell off after 2” of the cigar had been smoked, and this was already a full hour into the smoke. More on that later. The triple bands (a trademark of the Padron special blends) were loose, making them easy to take off without damaging the wrapper. Half way through the cigar, the end swelled, tightening up the draw even more to a point where I was picking out bits of tobacco from my mouth. I eventually pulled out the swelled leaves, which were the two places that had the large veins. After that, the cigar’s draw did lighten up. I know I am being very critical, but this is a very pricey cigar and you expect nothing but excellence at this level.
Flavor and Aroma
The pre-lit aroma and taste was very earthy, which carried on into the smoking of the cigar. There was also a slight grassiness to both as well, and a hint of coco and coffee. I really do mean a hint because the flavors were so mild that I could barely taste anything. A friend sitting across a 4 foot table from me could not smell the aroma at all. Even though the cigar was smooth, it may have been that way because the taste was almost not there. There was very little smoke, which I feel was the reason for not much aroma. I will admit that it was one of the smoothest smoking cigars I ever had, but was that way only because of the lack of body. Some reviewers have said that this is a bold cigar, but I just did not feel that way.
When you pay $25 for one cigar, you should expect nothing but the finest in smoking experiences. This was not a great cigar, but even with all my criticism, it was still a good cigar. What about the value? That is an interesting question, and I will now go back to my earlier comment on how slow it was burning. I only relit the cigar once, but while I sat at my local cigar club in Albuquerque with some of my friends, they all smoked two or three cigars to my one. Yes, quite to my surprise, I put this cigar down with about 2” left, and I had been smoking the cigar for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
B.L.U.F. (military term for bottom line up front): Not worth $25 a stick. I usually don’t base my reviews on only one cigar but again, at $25 a cigar, I expected better.