Padilla’s Vintage Project

Padilla’s Vintage Project

Ernesto Padilla's latest project is impossible to ignore, a massive crate of 100 cigars branded with the phrase "those who dare, win" in English and Latin. Inside are 100 smokes made from tobacco the factory didn't want to give him.

The project, which sells for an eye popping $4,750 per crate (or $47.50 a cigar) is called Padilla 1932 Millisime. Translated from the French, Millisime means vintage, for the tobaccos inside are old.

How old? Padilla doesn't want to say. He feels vintage years have been overused and abused in the cigar industry and putting a year on it would have minimal impact. He will say that the tobaccos inside the cigars, which are all Nicaraguan and all grown by the company Aganorsa, are special leaves that the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras didn't want to use.

"Every factory I've worked with always has bales they don't want to use in blends," says Padilla as he fires up one of the Millisimes. It's opening day of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show in Las Vegas, and the crate of Padilla 1932 Millisime cigars is behind glass. "Tobacco they call their queen bales."

The tobacco is not only old, it's been aged in tercios, which are large, palm bark-wrapped bales used for aging fermented tobacco in some factories. (The method dates back to Cuba.) You see it today with some cigars, but it's quite rare to have the wrapper aged this way, which Padilla did on this project. The tobacco, says Padilla, "Is not only the oldest, but the most select" from the Aganorsa farms.

The project certainly is up to the saying, for releasing such an expensive smoke is a dare in a market challenged by FDA regulations.

The packaging is a take on what you would find in a crate of fine wines, the name Padilla branded into the light colored wood, along with that saying and the Padilla lion logo. But as good as the packaging is, Padilla is hoping what will most attract consumers is the cigars packed within.

Each crate has 100 cigars, 20 of each in five sizes: Toro, measuring 6 inches by 52 ring gauge; Double Toro, 6 by 60; Robusto, 5 by 50; Figurado, 7 1/4 by 54; and Churchill, 7 by 48. The cigars are expected to be on the market in September.

"To answer your question--Padilla 1932 has been around for some time. This particular project is an extension of the Padilla 1932 brand. The 1932 in the brand name does NOT refer to the age of the tobacco inside the cigars, but is there to honor the birth year of Herberto Padilla, the Cuban poet who was father to Padilla cigar brand owner Ernesto Padilla. There are other Padilla 1932s as well, and they do not have tobacco from 1932 either. Thanks for the question, I hope the answer clarifies the issue for you. " —September 1, 2017 10:40 AM
"Wait, let me get this straight: the cigar is called "Padilla 1932 Millesime" but Mr. Padillia won't say how old the tobacco is because the "vintage years have been overused and abused in the cigar industry"? So he names the cigar with a vintage year and then says that vintage years are overused and irrelevant? He is directly contradicting himself! What am I missing? " —September 1, 2017 10:23 AM