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An Interview with Ernesto Padilla

A conversation with Ernesto Padilla, owner of Miami's Padilla Cigar Co.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Armand Assante, Mar/Apr 2008

(continued from page 5)

A: Maybe 50,000.

Q: How many are you making now?

A: Close to a million cigars. It's not a lot.


Padilla says he makes his cigars to his own taste. Q: Were you happy with that first year's production?

A: Yeah, it was just myself. I would go out there, try to sell to a cigar store, come back, pack it myself, go out and do it again.

Q: What's your philosophy with cigars?

A: I want to be synonymous with traditional cigars. I see people around me making bigger ring gauge cigars. I've never come out with a bigger ring gauge, because I don't think the blend is interesting in a bigger ring gauge. If I were to take that blend you're smoking, the 1932 Corona Gorda, and try to make it bigger, it wouldn't taste the same. And it feels awkward in your mouth. I don't recall ever in the history of cigars, things being that big. The toughest size to make is a lancero. I offer that in every brand I make. I think the blend really rocks in those sizes—it's really harmonious, it blends really well. You can really feel the ligero a little more.

Q: Speaking of sizes, let's talk about the Padilla 1932 La Perla, which is a really small cigar.

A: I haven't smoked one in a while. [He gets up, takes the short walk to his inventory room and comes back with a box of 50.] It's 4 1/2 by 40. This is the perfect example of how a little cigar can have a lot of flavor. It's a punchy little cigar—I really love it. I didn't think it was going to do so hot commercially, [but] this size has been meteoric. [He lights the cigar.] That's going against the current right now. I know the bigger European companies are trying to get guys to smoke cigarillos, but to me it's not really the same thing—this is actually a cigar.

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