Back in 2008, I referred to the Padron Principe as my favorite cigar and scored it 100. I said in actuality it was a 94-96 but since it was my absolute favorite it deserved a perfect score at the time. Earlier this year, I smoked the Atabey which was the first cigar to receive a 100 rating here at The Cigar Authority.
According to Padron, “The Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series line was introduced in 1994 to commemorate their company’s 30th anniversary. This line consists of eleven sizes that are all available in sun-grown natural and maduro wrappers. All tobacco used in this limited production series is aged for four years, creating a smooth and complex flavor. In honor of the age-old Cuban tradition of box-pressing cigars, the 1964 Anniversary line was introduced as a box-pressed series. For the protection of their customers they have introduced measures to safeguard against counterfeiting with a specially designed double band featuring an individually numbered guarantee label. The Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series is consistently ranked by industry experts as one of the top brands in the world.”
So the question is, would I still consider the Padron 1964 Anniversary Series a 100 rated cigar. It is my Christmas eve smoke, so let’s take a look.
Cigar: Padron 1964 Anniversary Series
Size: 4.5 x 46 (Principe)
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Natural Sun Grown)
Source: Two Guys Smoke Shop
The Look: While the cigar is small in stature I know what I am about to experience and I can’t help but notice how the industry has changed. From small cigars to 70 and 80 ring gauge cigars. I liken the wrapper to rum, and filler to coke. The large cigars are like having a bartender give you a rum and coke in a larger glass and asking him to top it off with coke. But I digress, lets return to the cigar which is a box pressed masterpiece that is flawlessly executed. It’s firm to the touch and it has a nice weight to it.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Padron 1964 Anniversary has notes of cedar and slight sweetness it while the foot mimics the cedar portion to the nose.
Lighting up the cigar the notes of cedar are quickly overtaken by the sweetness of cocoa that is smooth and refined. I smoked this cigar for review when I wrote for another website at the foot of the beach with the sounds of the ocean in the distance. But even today smoking it on a cold damp rainy day in New Hampshire it is obvious that this cigar is still special to me.
Around the mid way point of the cigar some pepper notes begin to develop especially on the retrohale but none of them are over powering, in fact they compliment the cocoa notes creating an yin and a yang as a salty nut like note decides to join the party.
The last third of the Padron 1964 Anniversary picks up some notes of cedar and a hint of vanilla while the cocoa and nut remain right through to the end with a delicate short finish.
The Burn: The Padron 1964 Anniversary performs as you expect a Padron would with a perfect draw. The burn line was thin and crisp. The ash which was light in color was a tad weak as it wound up dropping off every half-inch or so, but the cigar is a thinner ring gauge so that is to be expected.
The Finish: Is this still a 100 rated cigar? Had I not smoked an Atabey cigar there would be no question in my mind that it is, however that changed things for me. So the question is where does the Padron rank, can two cigars get a 100 rating. My answer in this case is no, but they are damn close in my mind. The Principe size, specifically the Natural will always be a go to cigar for me personally as I love the size.