01 October 2009

CIGAR REVIEW: Padron, Family Reserve No. 45

Hello fellow lovers of the leaf, I recently returned from overseas, just in time to attend a very special event. I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of meeting Jorge Padron, President of Padron Cigars and son of founder, Jose Padron. I missed the opportunity to meet him last year when he came through Baltimore because I was deployed again so I made sure my schedule didn’t conflict this time, though it was a close one. I had been very much looking forward to this event, not only because it was an opportunity to meet Mr. Padron, but also because he was bringing with him the new Padron Family Reserve No. 45. Ever since reading the posting about them by Jorge Armenteros in the Tobacconist University Forum, I have been anticipating the opportunity to enjoy what was certain to be a fine cigar.

Jorge Padron was an extremely personable man. He had a very genuine smile on his face the whole time and shared several stories with me. Two of my favorites were the stories of when, after graduating college, he told his father that they should replace the plain brown bands on their cigars with something more flashy to increase sales, following which his father put him in his place in no uncertain terms; and of how his cousin, who he says the family just refers to as the “crazy cousin”, defused a bomb someone had placed in their Miami facility about thirty years ago.

So on to the good stuff. The 45 is a Nicaraguan puro made from tobaccos aged at least ten years! Now that’s good anejamiento. It is being offered as a box-pressed, parejo (6 x 52 – Toro vitolla) in both natural and maduro, which frankly can’t be visibly differentiated. The appearance was beautiful. The wrapper was dark and consistent with no visible flaws. Its construction was just right; firm yet slightly flexible, and recovered immediately from the squeeze test, all characteristics of a high quality, well-made cigar. It also had a very interesting feel, not silky but perhaps best described as sleek with a fascinating texture that close examination revealed to cover the whole wrapper. I enjoyed the pre-light aroma very much, which can only be described as subtle and understated with a hint of sweetness.

I made a punch-cut and tested the draw, which was perfect. It offered just the right amount of resistance without effort and the draw-volume was excellent. It lit easily and evenly, signaling that the best was yet to come. From the very first puff the 45 was full-bodied, robust, balanced, and strong, but in no way overpowering. It produced copious amounts of thick, blue-grey smoke, characteristic of quality tobacco, that you didn’t want to blow out as much as let it just roll out of your mouth. It had a creamy overall mouth-feel while producing a spicy tingle all around the tongue. It burned evenly without any problems or even a re-light and produced an attractive, firm and dense, light-grey ash with dark undertones. As it continued to smoke, the flavor and strength mellowed but lost none of the complexity or balance all the way to the end, and I smoked it down to the nub. Jorge told me he smoked about one thousand cigars while trying to reach the right balance and flavor for the 45. It shows because in my opinion, this cigar has umami.

My overall opinion of the Padron Family Reserve No. 45 is that it is an outstanding cigar. I recommend you enjoy it slowly and on a full stomach because the strength in the beginning was undeniable. It is complex and balanced throughout and deserves your attention while being smoked. In my area, after taxes they came out to $27 and change each. I really wanted to buy a whole box and let them continue to age in my humidor but I just couldn’t get away with it right now so I grabbed a handful and will be sorry to see the last one go. Bravo-Zulo to the Padron family for the 45.

I wish you Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.


  1. Excellent review! Your findings track right in line with mine. I was fortunate a couple weeks ago when Jorge Padron was in Colorado to chat with him a few minutes again, and like you, I picked up a couple 45's. I also had my first one thanks to our fearless leader here at TU, and I must say, these cigars are very special. Unfortunately, the Colorado OTP & sales tax combine to make them sell for about $32 here. Still, when I can swing it, they are a cigar I will buy and savor!

    Co-host, DogWatch Cigar Radio

    "The most futile and disastrous day seems well spent when it is reviewed through the blue, fragrant smoke of a Havana Cigar" ..Evelen Waugh

  2. Stephen P said,
    on November 6th, 2009 at 15:57
    This is a cigar I am really dying to try. I haven’t heard a bad thing about it and I have heard a number of people claim it’s the best cigars they’ve ever smoked period, Cubans included

  3. jannskee said,
    on November 7th, 2009 at 02:22
    I was lucky enough to purchase a box of these. You are accurate in your description of this cigar. I was extremely impressed

  4. BonitaSmokeShop (via Twitter) said,
    on November 7th, 2009 at 11:43
    The Padron 45 blew out of here. We’re making a list, first come, first shipped at $250 a box when they arrive. Great cigar!

  5. Rich said,
    on November 9th, 2009 at 15:09
    I am dying to try one these. The PAM 64’s and the 1926 are two if my favorite smokes. The 45 maduro sounds like it would be an incredible smoke.

  6. Arthur Pagano said,
    on November 14th, 2009 at 21:30
    Jim thought this would be blog-worthy. First of all I had not found another cigar that has the complexity of the Padron 1926. So when I started reading the blogs about the Padron family reserve 45 maduro, it piqued my interest. I went to my favorite cigar shop to see if I could find them. As it turned out, they had one box tucked away in the corner of the humidor. The price was a little off putting. I usually don’t spend that much on a single cigar. But having such a great experience with the 1926, I couldn’t resist. I bought two and safely tucked them away for a special occasion. I was telling a friend, a member of my Cigar Therapy Group, of my find. He got very excited and wanted to share the experience together. As I was driving to meet my wife after work, he started texting me. How many can we get? Jim wants in …..Mike won’t spend the money…Mike wants in! I politely excused myself early from my wife’s function and rushed home to meet the guys. Dave generously brought a case of Guinness. It turned out to be a beautiful night to sit outside around a fire. I had already put my firepit and patio furniture in the basement. But this was an emergency meeting of the Cigar Therapy Group Dave and Mike insisted on pulling out my neatly stowed furniture. We sat around the fire anxiously awaiting Jim’s arrival. we could not wait to light up the highly anticipated Padron 45. Jim arrived with his copy of the latest edition of cigar aficionado and his travel humidor. The moment had arrived. Jim was reading aloud about the Padron 45 maduro as I brought out the box with the coveted cigars that the cigar shop have given me when I bought the last three. The box is beautiful. On the inside lid it bears the image and story of “the little hammer”. We passed the box around the circle as part of the ritual each of us smelling the box as we took a cigar. Initially we noticed the powerful spice that almost overwhelmed the palette. It didnt take long to notice the dark chocolate and coca undertones. As we smoked the flavors become more and more balanced. All of us smoked, until we could not hold the stub anymore. We all agreed that this is another great cigar from the Padrons!! Definately to be shared amoung friends. Highly recommended by the Cigar Therapy Group.

  7. Helen

    Join Date: Nov 2009
    Location: United States
    Posts: 1

    Padron Family Reserve No 45
    Awesome review man. Padron 1964/1926s are my favorite sticks. I would do many illicit things to get my hands on such aged Padrons, wether it be an Anni or a thousand series. Ive had a 1926 #1 sitting for a few years but thats my oldest one, I cant not smoke them it seems

  8. jag-z said,
    on October 18th, 2010 at 01:33
    *This was one of the best non-Cuban cigars I’ve enjoyed in decades. It is one powerful muthah! Watch out. Don’t operator heavy machinery or try to drive after smoking this one! Flavorful, smooth, and will knock the socks off you!!!

  9. YJ said,
    on September 11th, 2011 at 07:36
    This cigar is really something. it is to me like smoking a God of Fire except with more flavor and strength. Maybe not as smooth but it is a cigar to you must try. To me it is extremely creamy with mocha taste.