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Staff Reviews

Padron 80 Years Maduro Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Padron 80 Years captivates the eyes the second you see it, even if you’re unaware of the brand’s prestigious reputation. This tapering, sharp box-pressed 6.75-by-54 Perfecto radiates distinction with its shimmering Nicaraguan wrapper leaf and impressive shape. Padron 80 Years is not a cigar you’ll encounter regularly. But this illustrious, pricey cigar and its refined appointments rise like a phoenix from quite humble beginnings.

When late brand founder José Orlando Padron fled Cuba with his family in the wake of Castro’s ascent to power, he left behind a tobacco-farming lineage equaled by few. The only asset Padron smuggled away was his cigar-making knowledge. From Cuba, he first attempted a new beginning in Spain. There, Padron begged for food and opportunity and found little. Not long after, he settled in the U.S. in 1961 and sustained his family with odd jobs and manual labor for a period of years, diligently saving what little money he could to resume his destiny as a maker of cigars.

In 1964, Padron Cigars opened for business on West Flagler Street in Miami. The first Padron cigars were rudimentary and made for a local market comprised of scores of Cuban refugees who craved the taste of the fine cigars of their homeland. The brand has evolved considerably in the five decades since its founding, in large part due to Jorge Padron, Jose Orlando’s son, and the driving force behind the brand’s modern growth.

Today, Padron is best known for its 1964 Anniversary, 1926 Series, and Family Reserve editions. Each is made from the company’s oldest reserves of premium tobaccos. Padron 80 Years is technically part of the 1926 Series, but stands out for its especially complicated shape, a box-pressed Perfecto. The cigar is packaged in limited edition boxes of eight cigars. Padron 80 Years retails for $32.50 per cigar.

All Padron cigars are Nicaraguan Puros and are available in both Natural and Maduro wrappers. I am smoking a Maduro. Padron 80 Years wears a classic double Padron band like a tuxedo – the top band identifies the cigar is part of the 1926 Series and the bottom announces the cigar’s specific name: 80 Years. Like many cigars in the brand’s esteemed portfolio, important dates, anniversaries, and birthdays are commemorated with the release of a new cigar. Padron 80 Years marks the 80th birthday of José Orlando Padron.

The toothy and impressive cigar looks as expensive as its price tag. It’s a cigar handmade with the utmost precision from an exclusive recipe of Nicaraguan tobaccos. Cutting the end and taking a cold draw only confirms the cigar’s flawless impression. Cold notes of cocoa, cedar, and baking spices reveal a hint of cayenne with chewy and leathery texture in a superb preamble.

Lighting up Padron 80 Years Maduro is akin to opening a rare bottle of wine with dinner. The age and richness of the cigar’s tobaccos percolate in the senses encouraging one to savor them and not rush. The draw concentrates tremendous flavor on the palate with pinpoint accuracy. Little is there to indicate Padron 80 Years will fall short of any expectation – but that is a given in a cigar of this caliber and price.

The first third unfolds slowly thanks to the cigar’s tapered shape. Tasting notes of coffee beans and nuts emerge with chocolaty complexity anchored by luscious spices. The joy in smoking Padron 80 Years comes from the cigar’s age. It’s a strong cigar, but because its tobaccos have rested for so many years, you can access a wealth of tasting notes that carry no acidic or bitter interruption. You can’t help but push its creamy smoke out through your nose.

A bit more spice layers the palate as the middle of the cigar develops, but it does not abandon any nuance. Silky notes of cinnamon and cedar characterize a nutty amalgam of cashews, almonds, and red pepper. Notes of cocoa persist harmoniously with the cigar’s zesty nature.

As Padron 80 Years narrows towards its conclusion, its construction and taste qualify it as a cigar of the highest order. The impeccable burn and unblemished finish of Padron 80 Years is achieved by a simple quality control: only one or two rollers and bunchers at the Padron factory are trusted to make this cigar. And of course, they are masters of their craft.  While its price may put Padron 80 Years out of the range of a daily indulgence for most, it is absolutely a cigar you should treat yourself to on occasion.

Today, Jorge Padron steers the company with an allegiance to his father’s insistence on quality and preservation of the family name as makers of the finest cigars. For cigar collectors who routinely splurge on Cubans that cost three to four times more, Padron 80 Years is impossible to beat.  


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