Winning your sixth Lombardi trophy calls for serious celebration, and so yesterday after his New England Patriots won Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, owner Robert Kraft broke out the cigars in the locker room.
And not just any cigars—these were Padrón 50th Anniversary cigars, packed inside a special version of the Padrón 50th Anniversary Limited Edition humidor that had been painted with the blue found on the Patriots logo. The word “Patriots” was also emblazoned in silver across the lid, and attached to the inner lid was a plaque that reads “We Are All Patriots.”
The cigars were a mix of maduro and natural, arrayed in a one-two pattern somewhat reminiscent of a piano keyboard. (Kraft and various news reports incorrectly described the smokes as 50-year-old cigars. They are actually commemorative cigars that first hit the market in late-2014 to honor the company’s landmark anniversary, so they can be no more than four years old. However, they are made with exceptionally old tobaccos inside.)
“Are we allowed to smoke in here?” Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman, who posted 141 yards receiving in the game, asked Kraft, as a helper was unwrapping the humidor. (Fox Sports posted a video of the locker room celebration here.)
“Yes,” Kraft said. He bent down, turned the key to the humidor and opened the lid. Then he gave Edelman the first cigar. Edelman quickly asked for a cutter, then thanked Kraft for his generosity.
“One each guys,” Kraft said with a huge smile.” When told he had a 53-man roster, he said “We have a couple underneath.”
Kraft, a 77-year-old billionaire who bought the Patriots in 1994, told Cigar Aficionado in 2017 that he began smoking cigars when he was in his late-20s. “Now, I only do it on rare occasions—like after winning the Super Bowl. … We thought it was special to celebrate a victory with very high-quality cigars, and the players loved it.”
With six Super Bowl victories since 2002, those wins aren’t so rare. Kraft’s Patriots have been the most dominant team of the past 20 years. Kraft passed out Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series cigars in the locker room in 2017 after his team’s win over the Atlanta Falcons, and that move caught the attention of José Orlando Padrón, the founder of Padrón Cigars, and his son Jorge. That’s what led to the creation of this one-of-a-kind humidor.
“Mr. Padrón made this for us. I told him I would hold it for a special occasion,” said Kraft. Making the special humidor took a considerable amount of time; Jose Orlando Padrón died in December 2017 and Jorge Padrón sent the humidor and the cigars to Kraft in October 2018.
“The idea was to just do it as a way to thank him for having given out our cigars at the Super Bowl,” Jorge Padrón told Cigar Aficionado. “He said ‘I’m going to save it, and I’m going to give it out when I win the next big game.’ ”
That win came fairly soon, only two years after the last Patriots victory. This won was a tough defensive struggle, with the Patriots holding on for a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
The cigars Kraft passed out to his team are not only rare, they are superb in terms of quality. Cigar Aficionado rated the natural version of the Padrón 50th Anniversary Limited Edition 94 points. The cigar has a suggested retail price of $40.