Padilla Cazadores Robusto

You don’t need me to tell you times have been a bit tough lately. In fact, you’re probably tired of hearing the news about unemployment statistics, home foreclosures and all the other the-sky-is-falling headlines. But the fact is, fewer discretionary dollars and higher tobacco taxes makes it more difficult for many that enjoy a fine cigar to light up.

But there is a reason to cheer up a bit. The silver tobacco lining to the economic thundercloud is that many manufacturers are adjusting to the times and producing cigars for people with tight budgets and high expectations. For example, a couple of weeks ago, Jerry and I gave high marks to the new budget-friendly CAO La Traviata. This week I hope to discover another inexpensive hit with the Padilla Cazadores Robusto.

I don’t know all that much about the Cazadores, other than these less expensive Padilla smokes were introduced at this year’s IPCPR along with the Dominus and it comes in all the most common vitolas: robusto, torpedo, churchill and toro. The shortage of information isn’t too surprising, the Padilla website is currently under construction and that Dominus is an attention grabber. And of course, the yet to be made Nub Miami still has a lot of people speculating. But now it’s the Cazadores time in the spotlight. Let’s light it up.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: MSRP $5.00

The Pre-Smoke
In spite of being just a bit more than half the cost of the Dominus, the band on the Cazadores would not be out of place on a cigar of the same price. The visual similarities don’t end there, the wrapper leaves are also very similar in appearance, though to my eyes, the Cazadores seems slightly darker in color. Taking a closer look at the Cazadores, I found it did have a couple of larger, but attractive veins on each stick. The only cosmetic flaw I found was a very small wrapper hole midway up the cigar.

Most of the sticks smoked for this review were uniformly firm and well packed with tobacco, but I did notice one was softer and less uniform to the touch than the rest. It seemed to be slightly under-filled near the head and midway down the length of the stick.

The scent of the wrapper was a very pungent and slightly savory compost and the cold taste provided sweet molasses and just a hint of pepper.

The Burn
Overall, the Cazadores had reasonably good burn. The ash was grey, but not always very solid. For the most part the cigars burned evenly (though all sticks had points of unevenness and required a relight) and I had no issues with the draw. That is, with one exception.

Unfortunately, the soft spots I mentioned earlier foreshadowed some serious burn problems for one cigar. It burned unevenly, had a very loose ash, and was difficult to keep lit past the half way point. Ultimately, I gave up on it about two thirds of the way in.

The Flavor
The cigar with the burn problems also had issues in the flavor department. It became clear to me that it was simply a bum stick, and as such, it is not represented in this section. (It’s an organic, handmade product, it happens. And it’s why I never smoke just one for a review.)

The initial puffs of the Cazadores were nutty, slightly sweet and really left a nice coating of flavor in the mouth. As the cigar progresses it got noticeably creamier, picked up a velvety cinnamon flavor, and the sweetness seemed to take on a faint lemon characteristic. By the end of the first third I also picked up creamy coffee, chocolate and pepper.

In the second third the flavors were richer and a little fuller. Creamy coffee, chocolate and more prominent pepper were present. The smoke continued to have that a creamy mouth feel that added to the richness and duration of the flavor after each puff.

The coffee and pepper seemed to be more pronounced and less sweet and creamy in the final third. As the cigar burned to it’s conclusion the coffee was joined by an pleasant almond flavor, and body seemed to lighten a bit.

The Price
I have nothing but good things to say about the price. As I discussed earlier, now is the right time for more five dollar cigars.

The Verdict
It’s not a fair comparison, but it’s one you just have to make. How does Cazadores compare to the Dominus? Well, the Dominus I smoked in my first impression video has it beat hands down in all departments except the price. But the Cazadores is no slouch either. It smokes like a quality cigar, has great flavor, and though it did have burn trouble (even with that bum stick eliminated from consideration), it definitely holds its own, especially in the five dollar price range. And it was simply an enjoyable cigar to smoke.

I’m comfortable recommending the Cazador to both Padilla fans who are watching their wallet (heck even those that aren’t will want to try it), and to those who have wanted to try one of Ernesto’s cigars, but haven’t been willing to pay the Padilla premium.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.