At one time or another, usually not long after one has taken an interest to the cigar hobby/lifestyle, they are introduced to the de facto top-tier smoking experience: Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series. The cigars were famously introduced at the peek of the great cigar boom, commemorating 30 years since José Orlando Padrón opened shop in Miami in 1964.
Since this time, Padrón has debuted equally acclaimed smoking experiences (1926 Serie and Family Reserve), as well as many expansions to the 1964 series itself. The latest additions came in the summer of 2017 with the Soberano and Presidente—both representing the first tubo releases for the famed 1964 Anniversary Series. These releases followed in the footsteps of Padrón’s 1926 Serie No. 90 tubo cigars from the year prior, only the 1964 cigars retained their box-pressed shapes; boasting a pronounced and unorthodox box-shaped tubo presentation.
1964 Anniversary Series Presidente Maduro Breakdown
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun-Grown (4-year-aged)
- Binder: Nicaraguan Sun-Grown (4-year-aged)
- Filler: Nicaraguan Sun-Grown (4-year-aged)
- Factory: Tabacos Cubanica S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 6″ × 50 “Presidente” (Toro)
- Price: $15.50 (MSRP)
The Soberano (5″ x 52) and Presidente (6″ × 50) were the primary focus for Padrón at the 2017 IPCPR trade show. While the cigars are the same blend as the traditional 1964, they mark two new sizes for the brand. At the time of release, we wrote:
Previously, the closest to these vitolas were the Belicoso (5″ x 52) and Torpedo (6″ x 52) vitolas, but these both showcased figurado-style heads. The unique aspect of this release is that both cigars are presented in square-shaped tubes, rather the traditional, round, aluminum containers used for tubo cigars. Nearly every Padrón cigar, with the exception of releases within the last two years, have been box-pressed and the Soberano & Presidente highlight this quite nicely.
Obviously it is the metal containers that set this cigar apart visually. This is a very classy presentation, showing a golden top piece that slides off of a cream-colored bottom. The look closely resembles the beloved 1964 band, complete with an intricate pattern to match the counter-fit-proof sub-band (albeit without the numbering found on a standard 1964 band). These tubes are fairly thick and feel more substantial than an ordinary tubo cylinder. My only real gripe is the same as with the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90 tubo: that the cigar’s are celloed and that there is no cedar lining on the inside of the tube. This is certainly not a deal breaker, but it seems like a missed opportunity to further set the cigars apart as an upgraded experience.
Tube removed, the cigar looks identical to any former 1964 Maduro (i.e. no new sub-bands, etc.). There is the familiar box-pressed shape and dark, chocolatey hue. The wrapper leaf has a muted/matte sheen to it, with a velvety texture between the fingers. There are dark and easily visible veins, some random color variations, and well-placed wrapper seams. The toro feels slightly light in weight, with what looks to be a medium bunch. From head to toe, there are perhaps a few soft spots on one of my smoking samples. It’s a nice size, one you’d expect would’ve been a staple in this classic series since the get-go.
The maduro shows classic notes of leather, animal musk, and medium-roast coffee on the wrapper. There are added aromas of mocha, loads of brownie batter, and a touch of terrarium on the cigar’s foot. With a straight cut, I found a medium/firm pre-light draw and notes of leather, cocoa, and a long-lasting menthol burn on the back of the throat.
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The first few puffs from the Presidente Maduro are not what I had expected. Where the cigar is often sweet and full of flavor, these flavors were of wild herb, raw peppercorn, and almost in “harsh” territory. Thankfully, this settles only moments later, replaced with white pepper spice in the retrohale, chocolate, coffee, and cream on the finish. But it is perhaps the raw tobacco against the tongue that is the standout experience up to this point—with the perfect amount of tartness to keep the tongue engaged.
The draw is around medium-plus (7/10), which is close to perfect but maybe slightly too firm at times. This makes for a medium-plus smoke output—slightly above anticipated and very much welcomed. In the cigar’s early stages, there are signs of a stark white ash (flakey, with medium-gray layers) and a wavy burn line that appears to be burning right on schedule. The cigar’s profile is medium in strength, full in flavor, and medium-plus in body.
With notes of mineral/rain, stone fruit, deep chocolate, coffee, and vanilla on the finish, flavor output is huge. The cigar seems to be firing on all cylinders as it transitions from the first to second third, with unmistakable flavors that even the ardent “anti-intangible-flavor” snob couldn’t deny. Behind the obvious notes mentioned, there are background components of corn chips and dark fig pudding that help round out the experience as the initial white pepper spice begins to dwindle.
As the cigar progresses, the chocolate flavors darken and strengthen, with an intense blast of flavor that is like rich chocolate cake with mocha frosting. The cigar’s midsection shows sweet and creamy coffee, backed by powdered sugar on the finish and contrasting flavors of mulch and mineral. In the final portions of the smoking experience, I found the spices of the cigar’s beginnings once more. Flavors of earth, nostril-zinging horseradish, clove and red pepper abound. But there are still touches of custard and sweet coffee as balance as the final smoke-filled draws come to a close.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Whenever, wherever. Sometimes, as with beer, bourbon, and other craft indulgences, the big names have earned themselves a reputation for a reason. This is clearly the case with Padrón, a brand that is found in nearly every walk-in humidor in the country, and an example that few premium cigar smokers would deny. But because we enthusiasts are on a constant hunt for the latest and greatest, sometimes it takes an act as simple as a slight vitola tweak—thereby making the name new once more—to reintroduce the palate with an old favorite. I must admit, I’d slowly steered my palate towards the 1964 Natural over the years (where I originally preferred Maduro), but the Presidente Maduros smoked for review were some of the finest I’ve had from Padrón to date.
While the Presidente Maduro was definitely on the strong side, the cigar is still flavor-forward. I’d suggest smoking after dinner and onwards late into the night. It’s expensive, but is well worth every penny, in my opinion.
- 1964 Anniversary Series Presidente Maduro was the last new release from Padrón before its patriarch, José Orlando Padrón, died on Dec. 5, 2017.
- Padrón was not the only company to introduce a square tubo at IPCPR 2017, with AVO Cigars debuting a square tubo as well, albeit with more rounded corners.
- The 1964 series has all but been confirmed to use a Mexican San Andrés wrapper. As Padrón still officially lists the blend as Nicaraguan puro, we use this information in the breakdown.
- Flavor: Full
- Strength: Medium-Plus
- Body: Full
- White Pepper
- Stone Fruit
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Bourbon, Root Beer, Barrel-Aged Stout, Medium-Roast Coffee (black)
- Purchase Recommendation: Box Purchase (as many as possible)
- Extremely rich and full flavors
- Good strength to compliment intense flavors
- Lively tartness of raw tobacco on tongue
- Missed opportunity to have cigar cedar-lined inside tubo
- A couple touch-ups
- Slightly harsh first few puffs