Padilla Miami – El Rey de los Habanos Made

Padilla Miami - Pepin MadeBrand: Padilla Miami
Vitola: Corona
Length: 5.50 Inches
Ring Gauge: 42
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Corojo
Filler: Criollo
County of Origin: USA
Price Per box of 20: $156.00

Brand:
The Padilla Miami was released in 2005 and immediately began gaining positive attention from industry publications. One such publication, Cigar Afficianado, rated the Padilla Miami as a top cigar of the year as well as awarded it high ratings on several other occasions.

This boutique cigar is blended by the famed Don Pepin Garcia and crafted in the El Rey de los Habanos factory in Little Havana. A recent announcement from Ernesto Padilla has made the industry aware that this cigar, along with all other Pepin blended Padilla cigars, will no longer be created by Pepin and will be made in the new (not yet open for business) Padilla factory in Little Havana.

As numerous articles suggest, the newly blended cigars are expected to be the same in the flavor department and will have tighter quality control standards.

Pre Light:
Padilla Miami -2 - Pepin Made
As I pulled my Padilla Miami corona out of the plastic five finger bag, which the cigar was shipped to me in around a year ago, the first thing I noticed was the soft sort of broken in leather texture of the wrapper. The wrapper leaf has a few veins running throughout, all of which protrude slightly and give the stick a mild lumpy feel. When pinched I found the stick to be uniformly soft from head to foot with a light spring when compressed.

The aroma on the wrapper was that of a mild, yet deep caramel and tobacco mixture while the foot produced a slightly heavier aroma of the same characteristics. After making quick work of the cap with my Xikar scissors, I found the draw to be free with little resistance. The flavor on the cold draw was a unique spiciness, along the lines of pumpkin, that got my attention right from the start.

First Third:
Padilla Miami -3 - Pepin Made
After a quick and painless toasting and lighting session I had my Padilla Miami evenly lit and producing loads of smoke. From the start your taste buds are greeted by a full bodied smoke with a smooth finish. Once the smoke was expelled from the mouth I noticed a quick, sharp spiciness on the palate which gave the cigar a nice little zing.

The very first few puffs produce a mild spiciness, just like I experienced on the cold draw, which grabs your attention. Beyond the mild spice I was getting a nice savory flavor in the background as the rich natural tobacco flavor took center stage.

The ash was light in color while being firm and compacted. The burn line was marginally thick with a bit of waviness about it. After ashing the first time the waviness began to slowly correct itself while the burn line thinned out. The burn rate was a little faster than I prefer but well within reason. The draw remained free and produced a very generous portion of thick and flavorful smoke.

Second Third:
Padilla Miami -4 - Pepin Made
After about fourty minutes I found myself into the second third of my Padilla Miami. From the start I have enjoyed the direction this cigar has taken and this portion of the cigar is no different. The body moves steadily up the full spectrum and never seems to slow down. The palate is continually nudged with each and every puff all while the smoke remains smooth. The aftertaste continues to have a quick spiciness to it that zings the tongue and sinuses now more so than before.

As the body steadily climbs, the richness of the flavor does the same. Each puff puts out a very rich and complex smoke that makes you salivate and almost crave the next puff. The base flavor remains that of rich tobacco with a nice savory component. The mild pumpkin like spice has faded considerably and it difficult to distinguish at this point.

The burn rate is a little fast paced for my liking, which may in part be caused by the soft feel, but wasn’t totally out of line. The draw remains free and continues to produce lots of thick smoke which is easily passed through the sinuses.

Final Third:
Padilla Miami -5 - Pepin Made
After a total elapsed time of sixty five minutes I found myself into the final third of my cigar. At this point I realized that while opening up the head of my cigar I left a thin flap of binder cover the open head of the cigar. Once this flap was removed all of my burn problems practically disappeared and can be blamed on user error.

Once the head was properly opened up, naturally the burn rate increased. Even with a faster burn rate the cigar continued to put off a cool and smooth smoke. The draw remained free with little resistance. The body continued on with its steady build while the finish remained smooth and zinged the palate with a quick spice.

The base flavor remained primarily a rich natural tobacco flavor while the secondary component was becoming that of caramel and wood. The new flavor combination was very enjoyable and left me craving more each time I rested the cigar in the ashtray.

The ash was light in color as well firm and compacted. The ash held on for about an inch before being easily tapped off into the ashtray. The result was a nice cone shaped foot with a thin crisp burn line.

My Thoughts:
I keep thinking to myself that this cigar tastes similar to a Don Pepin Garcia Cuban Classic in a generic flavor sort of way, but is on a completely different level in terms of character and complexity. With the price point of around $9.00 at the local level it is a little out of my comfort zone, but definitely worth the price in regards to the enjoyment I received from it.

Each and every puff delivered more body and complexity which I found very enjoyable. I would most definitely recommend picking up one or two to try, even if you plan to hold on to them for a special occasion.

Happy Smoking