Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Padron - 1964 Anniversary - Imperial Maduro
Padron introduced the 1964 Anniversary Line back in 1994 to commemorate the company’s 30th year in business. These cigars have been in demand since their birth, and have become synonymous with the term quality in the cigar community. Be sure not to confuse the 64’ edition with the 1926’s or the Family Reserve cigars. All of these cigars are considered classics, but they are different blends. They are similar in appearance, and in their high cost; but I assure you that they are different blends. Each blend is worth a try….if you’re in that “I deserve a gift from myself” mood.
The 1964 Anniversary Series is a Nicaraguan Puro through and through. Each size is available in either a natural or maduro wrapper. There are also shit-ton of vitolas, so you’ll find your preferred size; as long as its box-pressed. Padron claims the tobacco in this line is aged for at least 4 years. So Padron these cigars have a lot of time and effort in them.
These cigars grace Cigar Aficionado’s Top 20 list all the time and usually have a special case all to their own at the cigar shop. Whether shop owners need to keep a close eye on them because of cost, or Padron has done an excellent job with merchandising……these cigars have a certain allure and dignity to them. I’ve smoked a smaller 1926 series before….but wanted to spring the money for a larger size. Today is the day.
Prelight – I picked up the Imperial Maduro….having been on a small cigar kick lately, I decided to mix it up with a bigger cigar. With that in mind, I figured – “If I’m gonna go big, I might as well go for expensive.” Nothing is worse than having a big cigar that you don’t like. You don’t want to waste your money by tossing it, so you give it a few more minutes; hoping that the flavors will change or that horrid burn will level-out. Most of the time, it doesn’t. A shitty cigar is a shitty cigar.
So to avoid a big shitty cigar, I grabbed a cigar I’ve never smoked, but have always wanted to. The Imperial is a big ass cigar – measuring 6.5” with a 46 ring gauge, this is going to be a long smoke. The wrapper is a rich dark brown (almost black to be honest). The wrapper shines with an adequate amount of oil and the cigar is firm throughout.
Oh no! What the hell…..my cigar has a dent in it! It is kind of hard to notice. Well….its more of a dip than a dent. I hope this doesn’t affect my smoking experience.
Worried about the dent, I clip the cap and am relieved to find the draw is smooth and slightly resistant. I was concerned there would be a plug…thankfully there isn’t. The draw tastes of spicy tobacco.
Sparking it – I’ve been waiting a long time to smoke one of these….. at almost 20$, it took a special occasion for me to break down and buy one. With that in mind, I’m happy to find this cigar produces loads and loads of smoke with every little puff. The cigar tastes really good. I can’t really single out a prominent flavor, but it has a nice complex taste. A good balance between spice and sweetness.
The cigar burns with a razor’s edge for the first third and the ash holds strong. The flavor is consistent and complex, but there isn’t any variation and a little over 2” in. Lets see where this is heading.
Smoking it – I’ve only got about 2” of this cigar left, and I am really enjoying it. The burn has been amazing; I haven’t even thought about making a touch up. The ash is solid and holds patiently until I’m ready to ash. Now I know what all the hype is about. This cigar is great in all aspects.
The only thing I find strange about this cigar is that while it is complex in flavor with regards to what you taste in each puff…..there is not complexity in evolution; or it is so subtle I don’t notice it. Don’t get me wrong…the cigar tastes great, but there is no change in flavor profile throughout. I mean, the flavor became more robust and pronounced as the cigar burned, but was relatively consistent. For the most part, the cigar had a sweet earthy taste…..with notes of spice and coffee mixed in. I’m sure there were a bunch of other flavors I’m didn’t pick up, as the flavoring was blended to perfection.
I haven’t had a cigar burn this nicely in a while. The draw was perfect for such a large cigar, and it produced tons of smoke without any real effort. It took me about an hour and a half to smoke, and this cigar kept itself lit for lengths of time when I took a short rest.
I’ll definitely be smoking one of these in the future, but at its price…..that future may be later than sooner. The Imperial was a great cigar, but for its price, I think I can find cigars that are just as good for a little bit less.
Overall - A