Padilla Reserva Maduro
Well first off, this is the first Padilla brand cigar that I’ve ever smoked. I haven’t seen them around locally too often, I typically see them online and I see their ads in CA when I’m thumbing through. They’re hard to miss with the giant lion head as their logo. I’m always afraid it’s going to jump off the page and eat me. Ok not really, but it’s still quite an intense face. I think part of the reason I wanted to smoke this cigar was because I recently went and saw the off broadway production of the Lion King ( the fiance bought tickets), but none the less it was pretty awesome. So after seeing that I looked in my humi and this Padilla Reserva Maduro was staring right at me. So I just had to pick it up and burn it down!
Currently the Padilla site is going through some construction so I wasn’t able to find out much information about this cigar. I was hoping to learn more about their entire reserva line. Apparently, the Padilla cigars are made in the Oliva factor down in Nicaragua. Blended by Ernesto Padilla, they’ve been around for quite a while. You don’t need all the background information anyway, you just want to know how it tastes right? Well that’s at the bottom of the page.
The first thing you notice about the Padilla Reserva Maduro is the giant lion head, as I mentioned above. This cigar comes with a double band. It has to because the lion head is so large it takes up the majority of the main band. I love the colors, a nice deep crimson with outlines of gold and black really make this band stand out. Especially if you’re looking for it in the humidor. It’d be pretty sweet if they could place tiny speakers that would play lion roars when you walk by. Might be a little gimmicky, but hey it’d make people notice them right? I also love the top band because it has a large P right in the front, facing you it has an old english style font that is very regal, just like the lion head that stands above it.
The second band on this cigar is similar to a special edition band. It tells you exactly what the cigar is, the Reserva Maduro. It is also a deep crimson background with gold trimming, however the writing is in white to give some contrast to the band above. Very classic and it looks exceptional.
The San Andres wrapper on this Padilla Reserva Maduro is a nice dark rich brown. To me, this is the color that a maduro wrapper should be. Its right on the verge of being an oscuro wrapper, but its not. So it’s nice and ripe and ready to burn! When I picked up this cigar at UPtowns I made sure to get the toro. I didn’t want the big ole 60 gauge stick, I wanted something slightly smaller. So I went with the toro 5 3/4″ x 50, it’s one of my favorite sizes and I figured hey, since they have it in this size that’s the one I’m going for!
Because I got to hand select this cigar from my local shop, I was able to perform the pinch test right there when I purchased it. I picked up two or three different ones to find one that was perfect. It was nice and firm and little bounce back to it. When I got it out of the humi about a week or two later to smoke it, I checked it again, and it was still perfect. After looking up and down the barrel, I couldn’t notice any obtrusive veins on this stick so it was time to nip the cap off and take it for a test drive.
There was a nicely placed triple cap on this Padilla Reserva Maduro. It came off very easily with one swift pinch of my double bladed guillotine cutter. I went to go try the dry draw and noticed a slight stiffness to it. So I took another 1/8″ or so off. Then it was drawing a little bit better, so I decided whats another 1/8″ gonna hurt? Then it was drawing perfect! Sometimes it just takes a couple snips, but then we were off to the races.
Once I got this stick drawing well I was ready to light it up. I was sitting out on my front porch with a clean and clear night sky and I was ready to pollute it with cigar smoke. I held up the foot of the Padilla Reserva Maduro to my butane torch and really gave the foot a nice toasting and then it was off and running. It had a nice amount of smoke coming off of it. Unfortunately I was downwind and it kept hitting me in the face. Now I’m all for having a little smoke come towards me so I can try and pick up on different aromas, but this smoke was just punching me in the face. So I had to switch chairs and hold my cigar downwind from me. Minor inconvenience, but not that big of a deal.
The first third on this cigar smoke perfectly. It had an incredible burn line, the ash held on for more than an inch and a half. Honestly, thats about as long as I want to keep an ash because there are really only two options when it gets that long. 1) It’s gonna fall in my lap and I have to clean it up, or 2) It’s gonna fall on the front porch and I’m gonna have to clean it up. So I made sure that it found it’s way to the ash tray before any of that happened.
The second and final thirds of this stick continued to burn perfectly. There would be minor issues with the burn line, but then it’d correct itself and all was right with the world! So, can’t really complain about that. The only issue I had was about half way through the final third, I had to cut a little more off the head of the cigar because I had drinking too much water and was slobbering (disgusting I know), but it had saturated the head of the cigar and it was having issues drawing. *Tip, don’t cut a wet cigar with a capped back cutter, because the part you cut off will stick underneath the blades and become very difficult to get out. Trust, me I’ve done this too many times and it’s a pain in the ass.
So all of this sounds great thus far, but the taste, that’s what we all care about right? I guess I’ve been on a maduro kick lately and that’s what led me to the Padilla Reserva Maduro. Typically, with maduros you get a nice pronounced sweetness to them, but recently I haven’t been able to pick that up as much. On the pre light with this cigar I was picking up the sweetness in the aroma, I got a nice dose of molasses and some sweet syrupy notes. Very pleasant aromas to say the least. However, when I went to draw it, I picked up quite a bit of spice on the tongue and not much sweetness.
The first third of this cigar brought out a slight spice on the tongue. It was mainly black pepper that I picked up on. Especially on the retrohale, that’s where the black spice was more noticeable. Not much sweetness at all with this cigar just yet.
The second third brought out a nice creamy smoke to it, followed by some more of the black pepper. I was starting to pick up on some earthiness, and some slight notes of savory, but the black pepper was the most dominant note still.
On the final third of this Padilla Reserva Maduro I began picking up some bbq and savory notes that complimented the black pepper very well. Still not much sweetness, I could still pick up on the earthiness, but the savory / meaty notes had taken over and the black pepper was lingering around in the back of my throat. The spice mellowed out on my lips, but was still very aware in the retrohale.
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes, I think so.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Not for me.
Would I Buy a Box?
Overall, this was a good cigar, it just wasn’t in my wheel house in terms of flavor. It didn’t really wow me. I gave it an 8/10 because it has exceptional construction and burning qualities, I just wasn’t a huge fan of the flavors that I was able to pull out of it. I thoroughly enjoyed smoking it though and will definitely look into other Padilla cigars to find a blend that I love, but it’s just not this one.