Let the Lion Roar! Ernesto Padilla, owner of Padilla Cigars, ramped up production this year by introducing some exciting new blends at the IPCPR. These include:
- Padilla Corojo
- Padilla Criollo
- Padilla San Andrés
each of which hails from Raíces Cubanas in Honduras.
Padilla offers these blends in three vitolas:
- Robusto (5 x 54)
- Toro (6.5 x 54)
- Double Toro (6 x 60)
Padilla cigars presented me a sample pack of robustos when we spent time with them at the IPCPR and today will review the Padilla San Andrés.
As soon as you pick up this cigar you will notice the San Andrés wrapper that is just gorgeous – dark and waxy and emitting a sweet and peppery aroma. I like how it feels between the fingers as it doesn’t have that typical sand paper feel to it that many San Andrés wrappers do. I fully expect it to oil up nicely during its short but delightful journey to ash.
The second thing you will notice is the band. The Padilla San Andrés is adorned with 1 large band that looks like 2. The top is a black and gold with the Padilla logo in the center and the words Padilla Reserva surrounding it on top and bottom. It includes the dates of 1932, 1965, 1972, and 2003 on the sides of the logo the dates are important to the Padilla family as they represent the year Ernesto’s father Heberto was born 1932, the year Ernesto’s brother Carlos was born 1975, the year Ernesto was born 1972, and finally the year Ernesto and his brother Carlos incorporated Padilla Cigars 2003.
Below that is the words San Andrés identifying the blend. The very bottom of this large band is white with the poetic Spanish words of his father Heberto, who was a Cuban Poet.
That incredible San Andrés wrapper drapes a blend of Nicaraguan Aganorsa filler leaf and is rolled using the traditional entubado technique and finished with a well applied triple cap that slices off easily presenting a pre-light draw that is open with some early fruit and cocoa flavors.
As I toast it up I am actually surprised with the mellow start. No pepper shot on this beauty – just a hint of dried fruit. It doesn’t take long for the oils to show up on the wrapper. Maybe we can harness the oil from this leaf to solve the oil problem in the world. Less fracking and more tobacco.
The fruit is joined with a back-note of cedar and a touch of chocolate that stimulates the taste buds. The smoke is full and creamy filling the palate and the retro-hale is smooth as silk.
As it gets towards the half way mark there is a coffee component the enters the profile and now there is nearly a half-inch of shiny wrapper and an amazingly straight, solid ash. Incredible! Not every cigar has this much oiling. I lean back and just savor the flavors at this point, enjoying the moment and admiring this creation.
A bit of added citrus develops and there is a mouth-watering nutty aroma filling the air around me. This is the point where it starts to get interesting, I was expecting the flavors to have blended together by now, but no, Ernesto gives you even more flavor. It is like he wanted to serve up an italian espresso (Coffee, Sambuca, and Lemon Peel). There is definitely notes of anise or to some it may be licorice and together with the citrus which is akin to lemon peel and the coffee, you get that Italian beverage I enjoy so after dinner or on weekend afternoon on the back deck. It just makes me want to eat a cannoli or some of those cookies I used to get from the little Italian bakery near my childhood home.
The burn has been perfect so far and the ash is holding tight still with no signs of breaking. Near the end of the second third, there is an added spice component that I can only describe as exotic. I can not put my finger on it but is adds a nice background to the already delicious flavor that the Padilla Andrés is delivering.
The spice builds up as it moves into the final third delivering a delightful final few puffs.
Overall the Padilla San Andrés robusto should be regarded as a welcome addition to the Padilla lineup. It is a medium-full strength cigar with impeccable construction and extremely delightful flavor transitions.
I highly recommend the Padilla San Andrés as an addition to your collection and we know this is in contention for our top 25 this year.