Padron Damaso No. 8
Finding time between the rain storms, beer festivals, and fall events around time I squeezed in some “me” time with a Padron Damaso paired with a bottle of Ommegang Hennepin.
The Good Stuff:
The Padron Damaso is the first Connecticut wrapped cigar to enter the Padron Family’s portfolio. Not only is the wrapper a first for Padron, but the Damaso is also the first all round format released to date. The name “Damaso” comes from Damaso Padron, the grandfather of current owner Jose O. Padron. The blend features an undisclosed Connecticut seed wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The Padron Damaso is offered in four sizes, each of which is named after the ages of each of Jose Padron’s grandchildren: The No. 8 (5 1/2 x 46), the No. 12 (5 x 50), the No. 15 (6 x 52), and the No. 17 (7 x 54). The Padron Damaso comes packaged in boxes of 20 running between $12.50 and $17.50 a stick. They were recently released and have bene slowing trickling into shops around the U.S. I picked these up from out good friends over at 2 Guys Smoke Shop.
Size: 5 1/2 x 46
Pairing: Ommegang Hennepin (Saison 7.7% ABV)
The Padron Damaso starts out with a very consistent, light brown wrapper. The wrapper carries a very oily, silky smooth texture with absolutely no sign of tooth. There is some mild veins running through the length of the body and some very small, slightly darker webbed areas running through the wrapper leaf. The cigar itself feels pretty light, yet very tightly compacted and hard with no soft spots whatsoever. The wrapper is very thin and delicate. I actually cracked one of the cigars I smoked when I was squeezing softly, inspecting the foot. The Padron Damaso is capped off with a beautiful, round double cap. The Damaso is polished off with a beautiful white version of the gold and maroon anniversary band we have all grown so familiar of. There is a secondary white, maroon, and gold band with the word “Damaso” located just below this one.
The wrapper on the Padron Damaso gives off a very oaty/grainy aroma with just a bit of sweetness while the foot of the cigar is much more potent leading with strong spice, tobacco, and cedar scents. The cap cut very clean and easily using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw on the Padron Damaso is way more bold than I expected leading with a very strong spice and malt with some great cedar flavors and a bit of pine.
The Padron Damaso lead into the first third with some mild black pepper, spice, cinnamon, cashew, and cedar with just a touch of sweetness. The flavors are pretty subtle, but preform well as a whole. The draw is flawless. Each little puff pumps out a good mouth of thick, white smoke while the Padron Damaso gives off almost no stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is razor thin and dead even leaving behind a very tightly compacted trail of black and dark gray has which held on for a little under an inch before giving way.
Into the second third of the Padron Damaso and the body has began to simmer down quite a bit. The cashew and cedar now lead the way with some slight spice, pine, and sweetness in tow. The retrohale actually brings a lot more life into the cigar as it coats my nasal passage with a good amount of sweetness and strong cedar. The Padron Damaso is still burning dead even and razor thin while I close out the second third without any sign of nicotine whatsoever.
The final third of the Padron Damaso finished much of the same. The cigar carried a decent amount of cedar and cashew with mild spice and pine. The sweetness was absent in the final third. There was a bit of a resurgence in the pepper department, but that too was short lived. While the Padron Damaso hasn’t been a very bold cigar, one thing it does have going for it is it’s incredibly smooth and creamy. The while cigar took me a little over 45 minutes to take down to the nub and I experienced absolutely no harshness, and no extra heat. If anything, the cigar became more smooth and more creamy as it progressed especially into the final inch.
If you evet smoked a Padron and thought to yourself “Man, this is great, but I’d really like one that’s not as flavorful, and not nearly as strong”, then this one might be for you. In my case, I was pretty disappointed in the lack of everything that you have come to expect from Padron in the case of the Damaso. The body was lacking, the flavor profile was less than stellar, and the price point was way too high for what the cigar delivered. Not to mention that I really tried to take my time with this cigar, but even then it burned way too quickly. It seriously only took me about 50 minutes to smoke this down to the very nub. What I’m trying to say is that going in, I expected this to be milder than the other cigars in Padron’s portfolio. But I also expected it to be much more than just your standard Connecticut wrapped cigar. I guess with Padron you always expect something special, and that special something wasn’t found in the case of the Damaso.
I know I needed to pair this cigar with something that could compliment it, while raising some of the body, but wouldn’t overpower it at the same time. That perfect mixture came from Ommegang’s Hennepin. Hennepin is a 7.7% ABV Belgian style Farmhouse Saison brewed in Cooperstown, New York. Hennepin leads with some bold wheat flavors, lots of spice and cinnamon, some slight sweetness and a very light mouthfeel before finishing crisp and clean with malt, citrus, spice, and pine. It’s obvious why I chose this cigar for this pairing as the flavors matched up extremely well. The flavors in the beer were much more dominant than the ones I found in the cigar, but since they palates were so similar it helped bring the lacking body in the cigar up into a new level. Alternate pairings for this cigar would be a nice Belgian golden ale, a light marzen, or just your standard black coffee.