If you were lucky enough to purchase a Padrón 50th Anniversary Limited Edition a year or two ago, you may recall that the cigars that shipped inside the white humidors wore sequentially numbered, anti-counterfeit bands, printed in red ink. Those "original release" cigars are a rarity to find in shops these days: the majority of the limited-edition cigars have all been smoked or snatched up by collectors. Today, the average consumer is more likely to find the Padrón 50th Anniversary "refill" cigars at retail.
According to Padrón, the refill cigars are the exact same blend as the original Limited Edition Natural and Maduro cigars that shipped inside the Anniversary humidors, only now the 6 1/2 inch by 52 ring gauge cigars wear non-sequentially numbered bands printed in black ink. The company says the cigars are still rolled with tobaccos that have been aged ten years.
"In terms of blend, the refill cigars are exactly the same as the original release humidor cigars," Cesar Gadea of Padrón Cigars told Cigar Aficionado. "Only the bands are different. The red ink was to signify that the cigars were part of the original set that shipped with the humidor."
The 50th Anniversary is rolled with all-Nicaraguan tobaccos, available in both Natural and Maduro formats with a suggested retail price of $40 per cigar. The cigars first started shipping to retailers in December 2014, nestled inside sequentially numbered, white humidors. Only 1,000 humidors were produced. At launch, each humidor had a suggested retail price of $5,300.
"All of the humidors have been sold," Gadea said.
Consumers (or retailers) who purchased a Padrón 50th Anniversary humidor are entitled to purchasing a minimum of five humidor refills (50 cigars each) of Limited Edition Natural or Maduro cigars. They can also purchase a mixed refill of both: 25 cigars in Natural, 25 in Maduro. All refill smokes wear numbered bands in black ink. Consumers should note that refills are fulfilled through the retailer who originally purchased and sold the humidor, not directly from Padrón. Each refill has a suggested retail price of $2,000.
"The first set of humidor refills shipped out at the end of September 2015," Gadea confirmed. "This [second set] started shipping at the end of September, early October."
In a Cigar Insider blind tasting of both the Padrón 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Natural and Maduro, the cigars scored 94 points and 93 points, respectively. Before unbanding the 50th Anniversary cigars for the blind review process, the cigars wore black ink bands, designating them as humidor refill cigars. (The Padrón 50th Anniversary cigar is not to be confused with the Padrón Family Reserve 50 Years, a 5 by 52 robusto-sized cigar that launched in September 2014, with a different blend from the 50th Anniversary cigar.)
Padrón 50th Anniversary cigars are rolled at Tabacos Cubanica S.A., Padrón's factory in Nicaragua.
This article first appeared in the January 24 edition of Cigar Insider.