--> Cigar Coop: Cigar Review: Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cigar Review: Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural

Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural
In 2009, Padrón Cigars released the second release of their Family Reserve Series - the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45.  The Family Reserve series was launched in 2008 with the release of the Padrón Family Reserve No. 44.  The significance of the 44 and 45 correspond to the anniversary of when Jose O. Padrón founded Padrón Cigars (1964).  As with most Padrón releases, the line is released in a Nicaraguan natural and Nicaraguan maduro wrapper.  In the case of the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45, it is the Maduro (which won Cigar Aficionado's 2009 Cigar of the Year award) that gets most of the attention.  With the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural, this cigar is often overlooked.  Recently, I have had an opportunity to smoke the No. 45 Natural - and without a doubt, this ranks as one of the best in the entire Padrón portfolio.

The Family Reserve series is highlighted by using some of the best tobaccos the Padróns have.  The tobaccos have been aged a minimum of ten years.   Since the release of the No. 44, there have been four iterations of the Padron Family Reserve series - each in a Natural and Maduro. Following the 2009 No. 45 release, there would be 2010's Family Reserve No. 46 release.  In 2011, the name was changed the the Padrón Family Reserve 85th to commemorate Jose O. Padrón's 85th birthday.   According to our good friends at Toasted Foot, there are no plans to resume the series until 2014 - which would be the company's 50th anniversary.

Without further adieu, let's analyze the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

The Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural is a Nicaraguan puro - consistent with both the natural and maduro cigars in the Padrón Family Reserve series.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

Both the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural and Maduro are available in a single size - a box-press 6 x 52 toro.  The cigars are packaged in boxes of ten for both the natural and maduro.

Appearance

The Padrón Family Reserve 45th Natural is highlighted by its light coffee bean colored wrapper.  The box-press is well packed with no soft spots  The wrapper has some visible veins and void of wrapper seams  I would not categorize the wrapper as oily.  The surface looks slightly weathered but still smooth.

There are three bands on the Padrón Family Reserve 45th for both the Natural and Maduro.  The first band is the classic maroon and gold Padrón Family Reserve 1964 band.  It has the Padrón logo in gold with the text "FAMILY RESERVE" below it.  Below that is the Padrón hammer surrounded by "19" and "64"

The second band has a white background.  It rests just under the first band and serves as a band of authenticity for the Padrón cigars - which are often subject to counterfeiting.  It features the scripted Padron logo in gray and the text "AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED BY JOSE O PADRÓN" in a gold(ish) font.  Each Padrón Family Reserve 45th has a unique serial number located on that second band in black font.  My serial number was 953253.   

Located below the first two bands is a third band. That third band is red and gold like the first.  It features the text "45 Years" in gold font on a red background.  There is also gold and black striping on that band.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my smoke of the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural, I went will my usual choice of a straight cut.  Once the cap was removed, I started the pre-light draw.  The dry draw notes I detected were wood, pepper, and natural tobacco.   Overall I considered this a satisfactory pre-light draw.  At this point, it was time to light the foot of my Family Reserve No. 45 Natural and see what the overall smoking experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Family Reserve No. 45 Natural started with a mix of pepper and natural tobacco. In the first five percent, there was a short blast of the pepper. Once the pepper subsided, the No. 45 Natural settled into a combination of pepper, wood, and coffee.  No flavor emerged as the dominant flavor.

As the smoke of the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural progressed to the ten percent mark, the flavor profile continued to evolve and get more complex.  At that point, the primary flavors were pepper, floral, and coffee.  There were wood and citrus notes that were close secondary notes.  The pepper was also very present on the retro-hale.  As the cigar continued to move through the first third, the pepper took on more white pepper characteristics.

By the end of the first third, citrus notes surfaced and took over as the primary flavor.  The coffee, white pepper, floral, and wood notes were now secondary.  In the second third, the white pepper joined the citrus as a primary note.  Some bread notes joined the other secondary notes in the background.

The flavor profile held until the end with the pepper and citrus notes alternating as primary flavors. The bread flavors remained secondary while the floral and wood notes dissipated. The close to the cigar had some spice, but was not harsh.  The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft to the touch.

Burn and Draw

Overall the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural had excellent construction and this was reflected in the attributes of burn and draw.  The burn line remained straight from start to finish requiring only an occasional touch-up.  The resulting ash was white and tight in color with only occasional flaking.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

The draw was outstanding - making the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural a joy to smoke.

Strength and Body

The Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural surprised me in that it had a lot more strength than I was expecting.  I assessed this cigar as having just enough strength to qualify as a full strength smoke.  As for the flavors, the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural had bold and robust flavors. This cigar easily qualified to be a full-bodied cigar.  Both the strength and body have a nice equilibrium creating nice balance between these two attributes.

Final Thoughts

The Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 easily ranks as one of the best natural wrapper blends made by Padrón.  However as I said at the beginning, this cigar also ranks as one of the best cigars Padrón has made overall.  The flavors, complexity, and construction to this cigar are second to none.  If you are looking at a cigar that has the potential to be a hall of fame smoke, this one fits the definition.  This cigar is priced around $25.00 and while we don't factor price into our assessments, we mention this for awareness purposes.  While this cigar might have a little too much strength and body for the novice, an experienced cigar enthusiast will appreciate everything this cigar brings to the table.  In my book, despite the high price point - this is a cigar that is box worthy in my book and one I would easily smoke again.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Full
Body: Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: Memorable
Score: 95

Source: The cigars for this assessment were gifted to me by a friend.

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