My First 80th

I’d been waiting for this moment since last year, when the Padrón family gave the world a tantalizing glimpse of its new cigar, the Padrón Serie 1926 80 Years, at the Las Vegas Big Smoke. We just call it the 80th Anniversary for short, but that shouldn’t be confused with the company’s 1964 Anniversary Series. The cigar has been made to commemorate the 80th birthday of the company’s founder, José Orlando Padrón, one of the real giants in the hand-rolled cigar industry.

The occasion for the smoke was a private luncheon with my boss, Marvin R. Shanken, and a guest of his. Mr. Shanken offered the Padróns as the after-lunch smoke. The guest would generally consider himself a Cuban cigar lover, and doesn’t regularly smoke Padróns. The box-pressed, perfecto style cigars were maduros, but not as dark as some that I’ve seen in the market.

I won’t go on about this cigar too much. It was great. Like most Padróns, the buzzword for the character of the 80th would be smoothness. It is simply a full-flavored, medium-body smoke where each element – texture, flavor, aroma – come together in harmony. It's too soon to be handing out non-blind scores on this cigar, but in the Cigar Insider released on December 4, the panel gave it 95 points.

And, we all acknowledged, no finer cigar is being made in the world today. There are many that match it from Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
But the Padrón Serie 1926 80 Years ranks up there in the pantheon of the world’s best cigars.

If you can find one, go get it. It’s a way to treat yourself during the holiday season, when all the other gift-shopping, party-going and general
family dramas take over our lives. A Padrón 80 Years is a way to get away from the hoopla for an hour or two.

"I'm not sure I completely understand the hype surrounding this cigar. It's a nice addition to the line but for me, it smokes like any other Padron 1926, which is to say, very well. So what makes it special? The visual appeal of the perfecto shape? The limited availability? My feeling is a little bit of both. Rating it "blind" must have been next to impossible -- after all, how could anyone at CA look at an unbanded 80th and not know what it is? I smoked it, I liked it very much, but when they're all gone, I'll happily reach for any other vitola in the 1926 line and enjoy it just as much. It would be nice to see Padron come out with a holiday cigar every year, though. I doubt they'd have a hard time selling out of it. " —December 18, 2007 16:07 PM