With the special anniversary Padron cigar that is about to be made for Famous Smoke Shop, I guess they wanted to get us excited about Padron cigars; so they sent us the Handmade 3000 Robusto to review.
To be honest I may not have selected this cigar for myself upon looking at it; not because it has anything wrong with it, but just because I don’t know a lot about Padron cigars, and because I tend to prefer darker or lighter cigars. It’s a square shaped semi-firm stick with a matte-finish coffee brown wrapper with few veins. Even the natural is pretty dark; more of a Colorado maduro than a Colorado. Peeling off the cellophane revealed a dark toast wrapper note. Padron Naturals are composed exclusively of Nicaraguan puro, Habano-seed, sun-grown tobaccos in their Nicaraguan factory. I understand that all the tobaccos in this stick have been aged for at least two and a half years. It was five and a half inches long, and it measured at a 52 ring gauge.
I found that it cut perfectly with my double guillotine cutter, and the scent when toasting the food reminded me of buttered toast. The first few draws were outstanding. It was chock-full of rich roasted nut flavours. It was toothy. It had texture. I found it quite delightful. The first third took 45 minutes to smoke, revealing a complex, layered flavour that I enjoyed considerably.
I discovered a sweet undertone in the second third, like a little nutmeg perhaps? Or possibly like nutmeg on toast. It was a medium to full bodied cigar and it left a slight tingle of nicotine on my lips. And again, complex. It was sophisticated; a real aficionado’s sort of cigar with subtlety and depth. I find myself fishing for accurate metaphors as I flesh this out from my review notes, but this is what comes to mind: imagine that you have decided to make a piece of cinnamon toast. You start with a piece of raisin toast, and you layer on butter and a pinch of sugar; but instead of the cinnamon you decide to experiment with using nutmeg instead. Smoking this cigar was like eating that piece of toast. The toasty flavour was consistent, but sometimes it was darker and sometimes lighter. Sometimes there was a little scrape of butter and sometimes a heavy pat. Some bits were more sugary or more spiced than others. And sometimes you got a raisin and sometimes you didn’t.
It’s also worth mentioning that this cigar produced a truly impressive ash. It was a good two inches in length by the time it finally fell off, which was about five or ten minutes into the second third; and it was perfectly white and cylindrical. For those reasonably new to the hobby, this is considered a mark of superior construction by aficionados, because the length of the ash indicates consistency and proper air flow, and the colour indicates a lack of impurities in the tobacco. If you get grey ash, it indicates additives in the tobacco, which might be chemical flavourings, infusions, or most commonly, additional nicotine (which is one reason why cigarettes burn that weird colour.)
Unfortunately the cigar went out not long after that. Because I was eager to enjoy the rest of the smoke I was quite frugal with my restorative clip, and there was still a small burnt circle at the center of the cigar when I re-lit it. So the first couple of draws after that tasted a bit like blackened toast. Still good if you like that sort of thing! And it settled out quickly after that, maintaining that consistently complex flavour throughout the last ten minutes I salvaged from the second third, and the remaining 35 minutes thereafter. At that point it went out and was no longer in a position for re-lighting, and I was buzzing a little from the nicotine.
Well, I have to say that my first acquaintance with a Padron left me with a good taste in my mouth, if you’ll pardon my literal use of a figure of speech. They seem to build customer loyalty too; Famous Smoke’s customer reviews were spotted with titles such as “I keep coming back to Padron,” “the backbone of a wonderful product line,” and “the best cigar on the market right now.” I’m sure I’ll be back too!
This is a reasonably-priced stick for what you get. Famous Smoke Shop, who kindly sent us this fine smoke to review, offers it for $6.30 USD for a single, $25.20 USD for a four-pack; $126 USD for a pack of 20; or as part of a special box of 26 for $163.80 USD. A company called Absolute Cigars, which I’m not personally familiar with, is currently offering a slight deal for the 26 box, at $154 USD, and they guarantee international delivery, so that may be a bit more accessible for our Canadian readers. And Thompson Cigar offers the 26 box for the same price that Famous Smoke does, or they offer a ten pack for $63 USD.
That’s a lady’s perspective!