Padilla Studio Tobac Special Edition Figurado

Drew Estate

I’ve been saying it for a while: If you’ve gotta make a 6 x 60, make it in a shape that’s comfortable to smoke. Say for example, a flattened box press, or in the case of the Padilla Studio Tobac Special Edition Figurado collaboration, a girthy figurado. Heck, I’d even try a cigar with the dimensions of a tuba, provided the the head tapered down appropriately. (Once, anyway. Somebody should get on that. You could call it “El Abuelo”. Or “Hewitt”.)

Ordinarily I avoid reviewing cigars that aren’t readily available, but I’m making an exception here, because I found these late, and still see them around. Ernesto Padilla handled the distribution and has confirmed that they’re sold out now, but there are still some to be had if you look hard enough. Also, they’re good looking cigars and I felt like taking some pictures of them. As long as I have the camera out, I might as well do a review.

Here for few of the details, are excerpts from the March 2011 press release:

Today Studio Tobac’s Jose Oliva announced that The Studio will make a cigar for The Padilla Cigars Company. The cigar will be a full bodied, Nicaraguan puro. It will be a figurado shape grown from Habano seed. Production will be strictly limited to 1000 boxes of 10 cigars each.

“I’ve closely watched Studio Tobac’s work for the last few years; going all the way back to the launch of Nub in 2008” said Ernesto Padilla. “I’ve been very impressed with Nub, Cain, and Studio Tobac’s general ability to bring real, lasting innovation to the premium cigar industry.”

Studio Tobac’s Jose Oliva commented: “Ernie Padilla approaced the Studio Tobac Executive Board to collaborate on a limited release Nicaraguan Habano. After much deliberation, The Board approved the release of a figurado limited to 10,000 cigars…”

Studio Tobac’s John Gazerro states “Even though we’ve existed for the last few years, Studio Tobac just became know to the public; so we’re very protective of the brand. This type of joint venture isn’t something we take lightly, and we’re not getting in the business of making private label cigars for anyone. Working with Ernie (Padilla) makes sense because he has been a friend of Studio Tobac for years…”

…the goal is to have the cigars released by August of 2011. Expect pricing to be about $14 per stick. As with all Studio Tobac brands, the cigars will be maufactured by The Oliva Family Of Cigars. For this project only, distribution will be handled by The Padilla Cigars Company.

Before I get into the review, a couple of things. The first being that between the press release date and actual release of the cigars (a little later in the year than August, I believe), they changed their mind about the Special Edition Figurado being a Nicaraguan puro. The end product features an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper. Also there have been rumors of further collaborations between Padilla and Studio Tobac in the future. The press release certainly doesn’t rule it out. Maybe we’ll find out more as we near IPCPR.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 x 60
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 1/4 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $14

The Pre-Smoke
The Special Edition Figurado is a great looking smoke, even if the bands seem a little mismatched. (Which I suspect is meant to highlight the collaborative nature of the cigar.) The milk chocolate colored wrapper is traced with mostly finer veins, and has an attractive sheen. Once in the hand, the cigar is consistently very firm, and heavy feeling. I only found a couple flaws in the sticks I smoked for this review: the nippled end of one had split and unraveled slightly, and there was a small nick in another just below the bands.

The wrappers had an interesting aroma, chocolate, hay, and maybe a touch of fruit sweetness. Though there wasn’t much of a cold draw (which isn’t a surprise considering the shape), I was able to pick up an interesting combination of flavors, including chocolate, leather, hay and molasses.

The Burn
For the most part, the Special Edition Figurado burned like a champ. I saw a lot of solid, even, immaculate long ashes, a good draw, and a decent volume of smoke. There were a few occasions where the cigar burned unevenly, but it usually corrected itself. The only problem I had reminded me of why I’m not a fan of cigars with a special foot. No matter how well I lit the nippled end, most of the time it went out as it began to burn into the bulbous end.

The Flavor
The Special Edition Figurado started off pretty leathery and earthy, as it burned through the nipple and up the rounded end. As to be expected, the profile blossomed as cigar burned into it’s widest point. I began to pick up a syrupy sweetness, pronounced almond, cedar and even a little pepper in addition the leather that started things off.

Around the beginning of the second third, there were pleasant notes of sweet cinnamon, and even some graham. The cigar continued to be both very leathery and syrupy sweet. The almond flavor lingered and there were elusive puffs of dark chocolate. A little way in, the sweetness developed into caramel.

As the cigar burned into its final third, I began to notice it had a little kick that sneaks up on you, especially if smoked on an empty stomach. By now the majority of the sweetness has faded, and an earthiness moved into it’s place. The leather was once again prominent, but almond, cinnamon and cedar still played minor roles.

The Price
It’s a spendy one, particularly for an Oliva product, though not as much for a Padilla cigar. But it bares mention that this stick is both a limited edition and a large, hard to roll vitola. I don’t feel shortchanged, but if it were a few bucks cheaper, they’d be a lot harder to find right now.

The Verdict
The Padilla Studio Tobac Special Edition Figurado is a great smoke that really shines if you take your time with it. In fact, time is an important consideration, it’s a slow burner, and if you try to rush it to fit in with a schedule, you’ll only be cheating yourself some of the cigar’s complexity. As for me, I’d love to smoke more of them, and the next time I see them, I’ll definitely pick up a few sticks. And who knows, if I came across a full box, I might even spring for that. (The fact that they’re only ten to a box makes the decision easier.) If you have the chance, and the time to indulge, pick one up and let me know what you think.

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

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

Ortega Cigars