Cigarmaker Ernesto Padilla has turned to A.J. Fernandez to produce his newest cigar brand, Padilla Poética, a literary homage to his father—the late Cuban poet Heberto Padilla, who was imprisoned in Cuba for criticizing the Castro regime. Poética is also a nod to traditional cigar culture in general.
“I’ve been wanting to do an iconic cigar, but I didn’t want to do a special project just for the sake of doing a special project,” Padilla told Cigar Aficionado. “I came to A.J. because he has a tremendous amount of quality aged inventory. He doesn’t cut corners and respects the cigar business.”
Blended to be medium- to full-bodied, Padilla Poética will be made with dark, high-priming Ecuador Habano wrappers along with Nicaraguan binders and fillers grown on Fernandez’s farms in Nicaragua.
The new brand is slated for three box-pressed sizes: a 5 inch by 52 ring gauge robusto; a 6 by 52 toro; and a 6 by 60. Padilla said the cigars (which will come packed in 20-count boxes) should retail from $10 to $14 apiece, a price range that he calls “not cheap, but approachable.”
Now that Padilla and Fernandez have finalized the blend, production is set to begin in Nicaragua this month, but Padilla doesn’t expect Poética to hit retail shops until late summer.
The bands will be made in the Netherlands by Vrijdag Premium Printing, the 115-year-old lithography company responsible for such ornate and complex bands as Fuente Fuente OpusX and the holographic Cuban Cohiba. Above is a preliminary sketch of the Padilla Poética band, which will be colored, embossed and gilded. While the top portion of the design is full of allegorical symbolism, the bottom portion shows lines from the poem “El Justo Tiempo Humano,” written by Padilla’s father.