The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2008
Padrón Serie 1926 80 Years Maduro
Eighty-three years ago this coming June, José Orlando Padrón was born in Pinar del Río, Cuba. He emigrated to the United States, and in 1964 he founded Padrón Cigars Inc. in an attempt to re-create the beloved Cuban cigars of his youth. The first Padróns were humble, 30 cent fumas sold exclusively in Miami. The cigars were later taken nationwide, largely due to Padrón’s son Jorge, now president of the company. Numbers are important to the Padróns: the 1964 Anniversary Series marks the year the company was founded, and the Serie 1926 line commemorates the birth year of the company patriarch.
This year’s No. 2 cigar celebrates his 80th birthday. It is undeniably an amazing cigar, teeming with complexity and depth that can only be achieved through inventories of well-aged tobacco. The cigar has the signature Padrón flavor: cocoa, coffee, nuts and toast; it also has orange peel, leather and some spice on the finish. It is made with some of the company’s oldest leaves by only one buncher and one roller, who create but 300 cigars per day. It’s a rare find. The Padróns, two-time winners of our Cigar of the Year contest, have never finished lower than third in this ranking. Their long-standing philosophy is that they make cigars to suit their own taste, and sell what they don’t smoke.