Padilla Artemis Toro
Taking a break from all the holiday cheer my wife is already bringing out this year, I settled down to enjoy a Padilla Artemis.
The Good Stuff: The Padilla Artemis was amongst the crazy amount of cigars released at this year’s IPCPR show in Las Vegas. I’m openly a Padilla fan. Ernesto is one of the people in the cigar business who constantly hit it out of the park with just about every blend they make. The Artemis is handmade in Honduras at the Raices Cubana factory using Cuban-seed Nicaraguan fillers and binder, wrapped with Cuban seed, Nicaraguan grown, Criollo/Corojo I’ve read that these will be a limited release, but I haven’t really seen any official word on that. The Artemis will be available in four sizes, all boxed pressed: Robusto – 5 x 54”, Toro – 6 x 54”, Torpedo – 6.2 x 54, and the Double Torpedo – 6.7 x 56 and range $10 – $13 a stick.
Size: 6 x 54 – Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo/Corojo – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan
Prelight: The Padilla Artemis is a beautiful boxed pressed format cigar. I’ve always come to expect great construction from anything that carries the Padilla name. The wrapper is this silky smooth, and sports this crazy calico color palate. It goes from medium to dark brown, parts of incredibly dark brown, and even spots of orange before coming to a perfect, round, triple wrapped cap. The band carries a gold and brown Padilla lion crest, followed by a brownish orange “Padilla” Shield as well as a smaller, orange, secondary band with the words “Padilla Artemis” embossed on it. The cigar feels incredibly firm, and gives very little when I squeeze on it, but the wrapper feels really thin and delicate so I didn’t want to handle the cigar too recklessly. The only soft spots I found were right around the foot of cigar.
The wrapper of this cigar smells like old shoe and burned paper. It’s not very welcoming at all, but as I said before, some of the worst smelling cigars end up being the best tasting. The foot of the cigar gives off some nice sweet tobacco and spice aromas. The Artemis cut clean using my double bladed cutter. The cold draw was really interesting. I got some of the sweet tobacco flavor as well as a little of the spice, but then there was this strange cardboard flavor. I took a few more draws just to make sure that was the flavor I was picking up before writing it down, and sure enough it was in there. Let’s hope it’s just a cold draw glitch.
First Smoke: The Artemis light up with ease using my single flame butane torch. I am glad to report, there was no cardboard flavor in the first few puffs. What did surprise me though was the amount of pepper this cigar started out with. The Artemis came out with both pepper guns blazing only to defuse the pepper completely a minute later. The pepper was replaced with some nice tobacco flavors, soft hints of spice, and some really ripe earthy/grassy flavors. The draw on this cigar is excellent pumping out tons of thin smoke while leaving behind a perfectly even and sharp burnline. The ash however, isn’t as pretty. It’s a very flaky medium grey with some darker areas. The ash held on for an inch before giving way.
Halfway There: Into the second third of Padilla’s Artemis and the flavors really haven’t changed up much. There was the introduction of some very slight cedar, but that also came with a pairing of what tasted like some charred paper. Outside of that the tobacco and grassy/earthy flavors have remained the same. The Artemis does however give off some mean-cedar smelling stationary smoke as well as a hell of a sweet cedar priming on the retrohale. The burnline is still absolutely perfect and at this point I am not feeling anything in the nicotine department.
Finish: A little bit of clove sneaked into the flavor mix in the final third of this Artemis, but not much else. It’s still this grassy/tobacco/burned paper mixture and holding solid at that. The burnline has been awesome in this cigar though, perfect from start to finish with absolutely no touch-ups or relights. I am feeling just a very slighting bit of nicotine, even into the final third of the cigar. All in all it took about an hour and a half to smoke this cigar down to the nub. I had to put it down a little earlier then usual though due to the fact that it burned extremely hot into the final inch.
Overview: Is it wrong to say that the only thing I really liked about this cigar was the size? Ok, that’s not entirely true. It’s not a terrible cigar, I guess I have just learned to expect a little more from premier companies such as Padilla. The cigar fell flat for me, it was quite bland, and really lacked complexity. Nothing really stood out. Minus the construction, which was absolutely perfect. That being said I think this cigar would be alright if it carried a price tag half, or even a quarter of what it does now. Needless to say I probably won’t be buying anymore of these in the near future. Don’t let that stop you though, keep in mind this is just one man’s opinion. Read my tasting notes, maybe it might appeal to you.
Pairing: The pairing I chose actually brought some life into the cigar. This week I decided on Samuel Adams’ Chocolate Bock. I haven’t seen these for sale by themselves yet this year, but I wouldn’t doubt it if they started appearing. This was part of the annual holiday pack which Sam Adams puts together (and I am sure to purchase) every single year. This beer weighs in at 5.8% ABV and is brewed, along with all the other Sam Adams beers, in the Boston Beer Companies brewery in Boston. The chocolate bock, as it says, is a nice double bock with a hint of chocolate. And when I say “hint” of chocolate I really mean a whole crapload of chocolate. It’s not overpowering though. The chocolate blends in perfectly with the nutty, caramel, malt flavors of the double bock. This beer tastes a whole lot like Mackeson Triple stout, which I absolutely love, but cannot find anymore. Needless to say, this beer gave a little bit, much needed dimension to the Padilla Artemis.