Padron Family Reserve 46 Years Maduro Review

September 8,1964.

That’s the date in which Jose Orlando Padron set up shop in Miami, Florida.  Since then Padron has been in business for over 48 years making some of the finest cigars from Nicaragua.  While they are fortunate enough to have made it this far to create celebratory lines such the the 1964 Line (created in 1994 for 30 years of business), Millenium Series (created in 2000) or 1926 Line (2002 Release), Padron wasn’t always a big company.  Jose Orlando Padron came to “Little Havana” with a few dollars and a dream.  However, Padron Cigars wouldn’t be where they are today without “The Little Hammer”.  With that hammer given to him by a friend, it allowed Jose Orlando Padron to use his carpentry skills for work, eventually saving enough money to open Padron Cigars….in 1964.  He still has that hammer

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Family Reserve 44 Years  “6 x 52″  (2008 Release, Natural only)
Family Reserve 45 Years  “6 x 52″  (2009 Release, Natural/Maduro)
Family Reserve 46 Years  “5 1/2 x 56″  (2010 Release, Natural/Maduro)
Family Reserve No. 85  “5 1/2 x 50″  (2011 Release, Natural/Maduro)

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There are currently 4 cigars released that are part of the Family Reserve collection with most of the tobacco aged at least 10 years prior to rolling.  The first three are to commemorate the companies 44-46 years in existence.  However, with Jose Orlando Padron’s 85th birthday in 2011, the company decided to “rename” the 47 Years, No. 85.  This is in contrast to the 80th Anniversary cigar (2006 Release) which falls under the Padron 1926 Line, hence the reason why it’s not listed with the Family Reserve.  The same goes for another special cigar, the Padron 1926 40th Anniversary (2004 Release).  Keep in mind, the 1926 Line was created to celebrate Jose O. Padron’s 75th Birthday.

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Padron Family Reserve 46 Years Maduro Review
Wrapper:  Nicaraguan Sun Grown Piloto Cubano
Binder/Filler:  Nicaraguan Sun Grown Piloto Cubano
Size:  5 1/2 x 56
MSRP:  $26.00
Cigars Smoked:  2
Time In Humidor:  1 year 6 months
Date of Manufacture:  5/2011
Smoke Time:  2 hrs
Drink:  Water

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The wrapper on this cigar is dark chocolate in appearance, virtually uniform in color and fairly toothy.  The veins are smooth and the box press shape is done well.  By that, I mean I couldn’t detect any soft spots on the cigar which occasionally happens with a press shape.  I probably shouldn’t expect to find many if any, imperfections on this cigar considering only the most qualified torcedors are rolling them.  The Padron Family Reserve 46 Years has good weight in my hand and has a well done cap.  While the cigar has 3 bands, the top two overlap each other while the lowest band outlined in maroon with gold filling signifies the year.  The upper band designates the cigar as a Family Reserve and the year 1964 with a “little hammer” in between the 9 and 6.  The band underneath it has a serial number which is done to prevent counterfeiting.

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I made a straight cut on the first cigar smoked for review but switched to a 9mm punch cut for the second.   While the draw was “good” on the first, I think it near perfect with a punch.  Because of the large ring gauge, it makes it much easier to get a draw with a smaller opening.  The burn never needed a touch up or correction and one or so relight.  This cigar puts out a solid amount of smoke, it looked very smooth coming off of the foot..  The ash has a mellow white color lasting almost 2 inches.

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The aroma from the box was quite intoxicating and I figured that carry on with the cigar itself, but that wasn’t the case.  The wrapper had very subtle notes of cedar and sweetness but not bold and rich like the smells from the Padron Box.  The foot had a mix of aged tobacco and slight pepper but nothing that would give away the type of experience I was going to have.  The first few draws had a fairly large dose of pepper up front lingering to the finish.  There was a bit of cocoa but and wood but the pepper really dominated the flavors.  The pepper settled down as I entered the first third and I immediately notice a cherry note with dark chocolate flavors.  The pepper is still there but the cherry is so distinct, I can’t help but focus on that.  The dark chocolate notes definitely help to balance out the flavor profile.  The richness and depth of the flavors are very good and even the strength is a medium, it’s already ramping up.

The next third continues with the richness of the dark chocolate while the cherry tartness takes a step back.  Cocoa and nuts fill in the middle of the flavor profile with pepper on the smooth finish.  This cigar feels like a full bodied vitola just a step away from full for strength.  The last third continues with the dark chocolate up front with a compliment of wood/nuts in the middle while the finish continues to be peppery, but a step stronger.  The tart notes are still there but are much more subtle as compared to the first third.  Full body, full strength, I can’t argue.

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Final Thoughts:

  • If I had my choice, I probably wouldn’t make many large ring gauge cigars.  But, the blend here works very well.  Using a 9 mm punch for the second cigar made a difference in my enjoyment factor.  I think a V-cut will work just as well but a regular guillotine cut leaves too much of a draw.
  • The box presentation is excellent and the background/history of Jose Orlando Padron on the inside only contributes to the “aura” of the Family Reserve line.  The cigar’s construction was excellent, the burn was very good and the draw exceeded my expectations.
  • The flavors in the Padron Family Reserve 46 Years Maduro are rich, creamy and complex.  But what makes this cigar a bit better is how the flavors were balanced and in tune with each other.  From the tart cherries to the rich of the dark chocolate followed up by the “pop” of the pepperiness, no one flavors dominates the cigar through it’s entirety.
  • Which one would I choose between the 4 Family Reserve Cigars?  I haven’t smoked enough of any of them besides the 46 Years to make a decisive choice but my experience has been without a doubt, very good with all of them.
  • At $26 dollars, it does come with a high price tag.  But, I certainly believe it’s worth purchasing a few of them, if not a box.  This cigar will tell you to take a step back and relax saying, “This is one of life’s small pleasures, enjoy it.”

Rating:  93

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