Padilla La Pilar Series No. 4
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
On the heels of my review of Padilla’s Reserva San Andres, I now bring you another of the company’s newer and lower priced lines. Like the San Andres, La Pilar is intended to bring to the smoker an affordable, yet high quality cigar. Utilizing an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, they come in three box-pressed sizes: Robusto 5 x 54; Toro 6 x 52; and Churchill 7 1/4 x 57. Prices run between $5.50 and $7.10. Hopefully, Padilla will get its website up one of these days or at least post an email contact, so I don’t have to search all over the internet and/or contact retailers for accurate info. I obtained a handful of the Robusto size from our friends over at Cuenca Cigars, and want to thank Ana Cuenca for confirming the sizes.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua Jalapa and Esteli
Size: Robusto 5 x 54
Smoking time: One hour, eighteen minutes.
Pairing: Unibroue Don de Dieu (ABV 9%)
The Padilla La Pilar No. 4 is draped in a medium brown wrapper with reddish orange cast and streaks of darker brown throughout. A few very small veins are apparent, the fairly smooth surface has a light oily sheen, and the boxed roll is firm but not hard. For some reason, though, the cigar feels like it’s more of like a 52RG than 54. I suppose that’s just the way it goes with box pressed sticks. The rather large primary band is bright gold and red on a white background, while the secondary band is gold on black and reads “No. 4 Craft Batch Series”. The wrapper scent is of light barnyard with a bit of tang, while the foot shows mossy earth and natural tobacco.
The Padilla La Pilar immediately gives up a good mouthful of smoke, showing wood, earth, and pepper laden spice. The pepper quickly recedes and there is a brightness on the retrohale that I can’t quite place, along with something akin to a smoked roasted nut. The burn has started out pretty thick and wavy, requiring a quick and painless touch-up, and the ash, while a bit flaky, holds on for a good inch before dropping into my ashtray. The nutty flavor has backed out, and some light roasted coffee notes come and go.
Entering the center portion the cigar, the La Pilar is holding to a solid medium body with no nicotine strength. The burn line continues to waver, but any corrections are very quick and easy. Wood and earth still the main flavor components, while black pepper pungency (but not the bite) and a bit of yeasty bread show on the retrohale. A slight amount of char is also showing, which seems to be a recurring theme in many of the cigars I’ve been smoking lately, so that’s probably more a reflection of my palate than the cigar. As the cigar moves toward the latter part of this section, the body has risen beyond medium, but not quite to medium-full.
Into the final third of the Padilla La Pilar No. 4, the pepper has begun to make a comeback, both in flavor and on the lips and tongue, while the other flavors have pretty much remained static. At this point the cigar has displayed a tendency to want to go out and I notice a bit of tunneling. That doesn’t last long though, and it is soon back on track, and a brighter, almost citrus note has emerged to mingle with the darker flavors. The La Pilar smokes cool and firm down to the nub with little harshness, ending up at a medium-full body and just a very slight nicotine kick.
I very much enjoyed the two La Pilars that I had smoked prior to this one, and although this one wasn’t quite up to the level of those, it was still a solid smoke. I didn’t have the burn problems with the others that I encountered on this one, and I actually picked up some added sweetness and depth in those that weren’t present I this particular cigar. For $5.50, it’s not the most complex cigar around, nor would I expect it to be, but this is a slam dunk to pick up on and try out, and I will certainly be getting more of them after I get through the two that I have left.
It’s been quite a while since Unibroue’s Don de Dieu has been featured here at Casas Fumando, but this is an outstanding Canadian brewed triple wheat ale that sports a great combination of sweetness, citrus fruit, malt, and overall balance in an effervescent mouthful. Don de Dieu means “gift of God” in French, and refers to the name of the ship that Samuel de Champlain was on board when he arrived to establish the city of Quebec in 1608. Its presentation hides the 9% ABV sneakily well, and it’s a great companion to just about any medium to medium-full bodied cigar, so the match-up was everything I expected of it. The Padilla La Pilar No. 4 would also go very well with a strong ale or Scotch ale, a red wine, a fruity bourbon, or sweet rum.