Cigar Aficionado

Padilla Restructures Entire Brand Portfolio

Boutique brand maker Ernesto Padilla made a pivotal decision last November—he stopped production of his signature lines. The Padilla Miami, 1932, Dominus and Artemis, cigars that put his company on the map, have all been cancelled. Padilla discontinued them quietly and has since been restructuring his entire company portfolio.

Today, Padilla is looking for a fresh start, and he’s preparing to introduce three new cigar lines this summer at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show in Orlando, Florida.

“The other cigars were becoming too discounted in the catalogs,” Padilla explained in an interview about his decision. “I wanted to be a true boutique brand, and this wasn’t the direction for Padilla to go in.”

The four brands had last been rolled in Honduras at the Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S. de R.L. factory, and made only with tobacco grown by agricultural conglomerate Aganorsa S.A. But Padilla’s change of direction lead him to two new factories.

El Titan de Bronze, a quaint Miami operation, will be producing the new Padilla Miami 8&11 Maduro and the Padilla Invictus.

For a larger scale, regular-production line, Padilla has turned to Tabacalera Oliva S.A. (makers of Oliva Serie V and Serie G cigars) to roll Padilla Reserva, a Nicaraguan cigar that will come in both Ecuadoran Habano and Maduro varieties. After his positive experience with the Padilla Studio Tobac Figurado, which is also made by Oliva and scored 93 points in Cigar Aficionado, Padilla enlisted Oliva for the new Reserva line.

In a further development, Oliva is set to distribute the Padilla brand in Europe. The Padilla Premier Cru is a three-size line made exclusively for the European market and will consist of Nicaraguan tobacco and an Ecuadoran Habano seed wrapper. Distribution is scheduled to start in September.

For more in-depth information on the new blends, brands and the future of Padilla cigars, see the next issue of Cigar Insider, published next Tuesday.

"I absolutely love the Padilla Reserva, great collaboration by these two brands. " —September 11, 2012 15:10 PM
"I enjoyed Padilla before he split with DPG. After the split, I found his cigars lacking quality (burn, construction and flavor) when compared to his first batches pre-split. Cigars are priced on how much consumers pay for them, his current "older" labels have been deeply discounted because that's all people will pay for the lack in quality. His "new" blends are better, however still do not smoke at the price point Padilla wishes them to be at. Sorry Padilla Cigars, I am no longer a buyer. Best of luck finding the right balance of price and quality." —August 3, 2012 23:52 PM
"Padilla Miami is my favorite cigar. I also like the 1932. I guess now's the time to buy the product that's in the pipeline and to cherish them for special occassions." —June 13, 2012 12:32 PM
"Learning of Ernesto's decision does not surprise me. He is an eccentric man with a tremendous flair for life. If he felt as though he was loosing control of his brands, or simply that it was time for a philosophical regrouping, Ernesto is not the kind of person who would hold back. He would pull the trigger and get to work. As the second largest purchaser of Agonorsa Tobaccos in the world, I know the quality and beauty of their product. Ernesto has spoke to me throughout the years about his respect for Eduardo and the entire Team at Agonorsa. I imagine that his decision to change course had more to do with his truly artistic trait than anything negative. Ernesto Padilla is an artist and a gentleman. I consider Ernesto not just one of my closest friends in Miami, but one of my closest friends in the world. He is a dude who has been through some tough times and always battled back to success through his cutting edge artistic nature and "true personaly". In addition, he is a warm, caring individual. My mom loves him and always asks if Ernesto is going to be at any party we have at the house in Miami. Whatever the ultimate reasons are for this abrupt change of course, I don't know or care to know - I only look toward the future and want the best for him. The El Titan de Bronze factory in Little Havana is a soulful, spirited fabrica with a lot of Cuban talent. I know the factory intimately and it will be interesting to watch Ernesto play a larger role there as he concentrates from a local perspective. Best, JD" —June 1, 2012 16:17 PM
"What is the consensus amongst you Padilla smokers of (or about) the Dominus, I have been offered a sweet deal and am wondering what smokers of this cigar think of them." —June 1, 2012 01:00 AM
"Bittersweet. I loved the 1932, but if the founder is not happy, the company isn't happy! Best to the Padilla family on their new endeavor!" —May 31, 2012 19:55 PM