Cigar Reviews

Padron Family Reserve No. 44

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So this week I kicked off my new job! It’s been quite a whirlwind week but so far everything is going awesomely and the change was a great idea. Now on Monday I decided to do a little celebrating and squeeze in a review while I was at it. I peeked around the humidor and figured it was as good a time as any to light up the Padron Family Reserve No. 44.

Now this is a very special line made by Padron Cigars to honor their many great years of quality cigar production. It remains a family owned business so you can see where the name comes from. This line is amongst the best cigars ever to come from the Padron factory. Only the top quality tobacco leaves are used here and as with most of their cigars, all the tobacco leaves are exclusively Nicaraguan. On top of that, each leaf is aged a full 10 years before being rolled into one of the limited edition cigars.

Similar to some other limited cigars on the market, these blends are released annually, usually landing in September, and each year brings a new vitola and some different names. The name here, No. 44, commemorates the 44 years of successful cigar manufacturing by the Padron Family. This particular blend/vitola was released in 2008.

I fully plan on taking my time and enjoying this one, as you can see below, the price isn’t exactly cheap. The price, along with Padron name on the band, sets some pretty high expectations as I head outside to light this cigar up. I’m hoping it can live up to my expectations now. Let’s get to it!

Cigar: Padron Family Reserve No. 44 Years
Drink: St. Ambroise 2011 Special Reserve Extra Strong Imperial Stout
Vitola: Box Pressed Torpedo (6 x 52)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: About $30
Burn Time: 1.5 hours

• First thing I noticed when I picked up this cigar was the subtle toothiness on the wrapper, there’s tons of little spots on it and it’s super oily to boot, damn tasty from an outsiders perspective
• The oily wrapper also has a super dark chocolate tone to it that just adds to its appeal
• Now the springiness on this cigar is almost non-existent, it’s a pretty solid box-pressed stick from end to end with no soft spots
• The cigar is a little bumpy but there are almost no veins above a “small” size here and it’s got a very silky feel to it
• The cap actually looks pretty poorly applied considering the special edition here, it’s kind of a crescent shaped tapered cap
• The foot is understandably well packed but despite being such a solid stick it actually feels pretty light in your hands
• After an easy cut, the draw was a little bit tight but not too bad. I didn’t want to cut much of this pricey stick so I’ll work with this

• This cigar lit up with ease, within a few seconds the whole foot was glowing evenly with minimal effort
• Through the first inch I’m getting a super tight, razor sharp burn that is going very well so far
• This section is gonna be pretty short, the Padron 44 years is smoking wonderfully without any needs for touch ups at all
• It’s also letting me smoke it slowly and enjoy it without having to take a bunch of extra draws to get it going again

Smoke & Ash:
• The smoke from each draw isn’t overly thick but it’s not thin either, I’d say its a nice balance right now
• The first bit of ash is coming along nicely, keeping tight together and fairly clean with only one kind of split on the side
• The resting smoke was fairly light and gave off a sweet cedar type of aroma, very pleasant
• The ash held on strong to an inch before I gently tapped it off into the ashtray
• The ash has a nice light grey color to it with thin black lines creating a nice zebra stripe effect
• The second ash stayed nice and strong and clean up until I tapped it off at about the one inch mark

Tasting Notes:
• Wrapper is pretty much aroma-less, can’t pick up anything except for the slight cedar smell of my humidor
• The foot brings some more interesting aromas including cinnamon, a touch of sweetness and bit of coffee too
• Pre-light draw brings just a touch of cedar flavors to my tongue, not much else here though
• Right off the initial draw you get a super flavorful mouthful of cocoa, coffee, baking spices and a wonderful sweetness, what an awesome start!
• Within the first inch the cigar quickly ramps up from an initial mild body to getting near the high end of medium
• The retrohale started off with a light cedar finish and now I’m getting nice spicy bite to go along with it
• As the body builds at this early point, so does the spice. It has changed from being baking spices to more cooking spices in the range of white pepper and even paprika while still keeping the cedar, cocoa and coffee
• As quickly as the body and spicy flavors came, they are now gone and I’m back to the sweet and tasty cocoa, coffee and cedar. So much action in just the first third!
• The coffee and cocoa are dominating right now and it’s so damn tasty, there’s just enough spice and cedar in the background to make it interesting
• I should also note the body came down a bit towards the low end of medium after towing the line of becoming a full bodied stick before
• As I get into the last third, the cedar and spice started taking charge, leaving the sweet cocoa and coffee notes aside
• I also started picking up some tasty almond flavors and an interesting flavor I can only characterize as “red wine”. I’ve never got this before and I’m pairing it with beer so that really caught me off guard!
• Flavor and body picked up a little intensity towards the end but it never got harsh and I enjoyed it right to the nub!

Final Thoughts:
These are obviously super limited cigars and I’m very glad I had a chance to try one. The first thing everyone will look at is the price. It is way up there for sure and I don’t think I could justify a whole box but it was definitely worth having a couple to try. The flavors, construction and burn were all top notch and worthy of the price it carries, especially considering the rare tobacco that goes into it. The Padron family has a huge reputation to live up to so chances are, when you pick up a special edition cigar by them that it’s going to be a good one. Having said that, the Padron Family Reserve 44 years lived up to that legacy for me.

I picked up this brew while on a trip to Ottawa. We crossed over into Quebec where the selection of beers far outweighs what we have here in Ontario, and they are cheaper to boot. At the local stores here I can only find the oatmeal stout by St. Ambroise and I really enjoy it so I figured I’d give this special edition a try. It is a 2011 Special Reserve Extra Strong Imperial Stout. Now what a wonderful brew this turned out to be. It’s got a smooth creamy texture that is so darn tasty. The amount of malt in here is damn near staggering and it’s paired with some awesome coffee flavors and a touch of cocoa. To round out the mix, it is aged in Bourbon barrels and the bourbon flavor definitely shines through, but it’s not overpowering, just a nice hint. It is a strong brew coming in at 9.5% alc./vol. but it paired perfectly with the Padron Family Reserve 44 Years. Other good pairings here would be my port of course or maybe a good strong coffee.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter


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