Padron Series 5000 (Comparison Review)

Padron Series 5000 - Natural and Maduro

Skip the fluff and jump straight to the review!

Cigar Stats
Brand Owner: Padron Cigars, Inc. – Miami, FL (website)
(distributor operates under the name Piloto Cigars, Inc.)
Factory: Tabacos Cubanica, S.A. – Esteli, Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Centroamericanos, S.A. – Danli, Honduras
Model/Vitola: Padron Series 5000 (Natural and Maduro)
Size: 5.5 x 56 (robusto)
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Filler & Binder: Nicaragua
Body: Medium to Full
Strength: Medium to Full
Average Retail: $6.77 USD
Cigar Insider/Aficionado Ratings: Consistently high 80s to low 90s

Fourteen other vitola sizes are available in the traditional Padron Series along with one which was recently discontinued.

Frontmark

Length x Ring

Shape

2000

5.0 x 50

robusto

3000

5.5 x 52

robusto

4000

6.5 x 54

toro

5000

5.5 x 56

robusto

6000

5.5 x 52

torpedo

7000

6.25 x 60

toro

Ambassador

6.875 x 42

lonsdale

Chicos

5.5 x 36

discontinued

Churchill

6.875 x 46

churchill

Corticos

4.25 x 35

short panatela

Delicias

4.875 x 46

corona extra

Executive

7.5 x 50

double corona

Londres

5.5 x 42

corona

Magnum

9.0 x 50

giant

Palmas

6.25 x 42

long corona

Panetela

6.875 x 36

panetela

All sizes come in lacquered cedar boxes of 26, packaged with cellophane sleeves on individual cigars. Many vendors list a box size of 25. I am not entirely sure why that is. It may be that Padron changed the box count since the initial release. The Corticos are the exception packaged in boxes of 30 or tins of 6.

From the Padron website …..Jose Padron, Sr.

“We deliver only the finest, handmade, complex cigars with the flavor of the Cuban heritage out of which the Padron recipe was born. Our primary mission is the exceptional quality of our product, not the quantity produced. As a vertically integrated, family-owned company, we pay personal attention to every detail throughout all steps of our tobacco growing and cigar manufacturing process. Because we strive to give you, the smoker, the confidence that each cigar is the same … perfect.”

If you are interested in more KOTF info on the Padron Story, you can read it here.

The Keepers of the Flame Padron Series Roundup

Cigarfan & Lucky7

This comparison review is one in a series on the original Padron line of cigars. When we have completed reviews on the entire line, a vertical tasting for each wrapper will be published. Each review will be an amalgam opinion of cigarfan and lucky7 along with that of the guest reviewer(s). Our guest reviewers for this vitola are:

Ironmeden - The Velvet Cigar

Scott - Cigar Command

Padron Series 5000 – Natural and Maduro

Of the three robustos produced for the classic Padron Series (the others are the 3000 and the 2000) the 5000 has the largest ring gauge. While it is dwarfed by the 7000′s ham-fisted 60 ring, the 5000 at 56 still feels “fat” in the hand. 5000 Natural and Maduro - Actual SizeIt still falls within the general dimensions of the “robusto” range, but it’s definitely on the wide side.

Natural

As with many other cigars in the Padron series the natural selection is no looker, but it makes up for its lackluster appearance with decent construction. Ironmeden’s initial assessment of the 5000 natural was that

…the construction of the cigar was solid… with a slight give, but it felt packed. The wrapper was a medium brown in shade which was quite veiney with a blotchy look to the wrapper.

Lucky7 and cigarfan found the cigar to be lumpy and bumpy — large veins in the binder leaf produced small ridges on the surface of the cigar that didn’t detract from its appearance superficially, but were a tactile distraction. Scott didn’t find much to crow about here either:

I am a little less than impressed with the way it looks. There are a few large veins running the length of the stick, and the wrapper is blotted and a little odd looking… I don’t really like the way it looks.

The prelight draw on the 5000 natural varied from “loose” to “very loose” to “too loose.” Cigarfan in particular had issues with the loose draw and suspected that it may have caused the cigar to burn hot and underperform in general. The sticks were all quite firm and did not feel underfilled, so perhaps there was a problem with the bunching.

Most of us found the cold taste unremarkable but pleasant — a simple sweet tobacco flavor, with the standard scents. Scott, on the other hand, had a prelight revelation: coffee, cocoa, chocolate and leather. And that’s before he even lit the cigar!

It took us a while to get the foot toasted and burning properly, but once going it proved to be a little bit rough for the first half-inch or so, gradually mellowing out into a slightly tannic woody flavor. Ironmeden found that “the taste was light and had an enjoyable smoky aroma. There was a bitterness to the cigar for about the first inch highlighted by a woody taste.”

Ironmeden's Famous Reviewing Stand
Ironmeden’s Famous Reviewing Stand

Lucky7 discovered the trademark flavors of the Padron Series: toasted wood and leather, along with “an aroma of strong tea with a twang,” and notes of vanilla, spice and fruit. The flavors that Scott sensed before lighting up returned in the first third as well:

As I lit up this cigar, the experience was much the same as the many other Padrons that I have enjoyed in my smoking career. The flavor was very good, with lots of leather and coffee right off the bat, with the chocolate flavor muted a little bit in the background.

Ironmeden's 5000 Natural - 1st Ash
Ironmeden’s 5000 Natural – 1st Ash

Despite the loose draw the 5000 natural burned well, if not perfectly. The burn line tends to waver a bit, and as Ironmeden noticed, the veiny binder leaf leaves its traces in the ash. Appearances aside, the medium-gray ash holds strong for almost three inches.

Lucky7's 5000 Natural Ash
Lucky7′s 5000 Natural Ash

The 5000 really opened up for Scott and Ironmeden in the mid-section. For Scott, “…the leather flavor faded into the background and the coffee and chocolate flavors made themselves prominently known… I am really enjoying this smoke, and I am usually a Maduro fan.” And Ironmeden went so far as to invoke the holy of holies, the Padron 1964 Anniversary: “The light flavors coming from the cigar were reminiscent of the Padron 1964 cigar…at this point the cigar was still mild and relaxing without the noted bitterness at the start of the cigar.” Lucky7 and cigarfan didn’t find anything quite so superlative, just a short crisp finish with a “note of toasted wood and a hint of pepper.”

The flavor continues to build into the last third, dropping any pretence at sweetness and becoming more serious. Some coffee flavors linger in the background, but the focus turns to burnt wood and char with “major pepper” in the last inch. Ironmeden notes that “just over the halfway point the light flavors seemed to disappear which led to the bitter taste again. This lasted all the way to the end of the cigar.” Scott observed that it was still burning cool for him and the coffee and chocolate flavors were still prominent. And the most telling detail of all: “I puffed all the way down to the nub.”

5000 Maduro - Wrapper Grain

Maduro

The 5000 Maduro is quite distinct from the Natural, in appearance as well as character. It is several shades darker than the natural and displays all the qualities typical of well fermented tobacco leaf: more oils, prominent grain, and an earthy prelight scent. Scott noted coffee and leather as prelight scents, while Ironmeden found it to have an almost chocolate appearance and remarked, “It looks good enough to eat.”

It’s not quite as lumpy as the natural, and the draw provides more resistance. Once again it takes some a little effort to get this one started, but once going it seems to be a bit smoother than many of the other maduros in the series. While most of the maduros we’ve reviewed so far have opened up with a peppery prelude, the 5000 launches straight into classic maduro flavors: chocolate, coffee, and their familiar sweet overtones.

5000 Maduro - Double Cap

Scott and Ironmeden’s first-third impressions are very similar to their thoughts about the natural, except that Scott found the maduro to be a little harsher. Lucky7 and cigarfan found the flavors to be sweet and woody with some cocoa in the mix, and by comparison with other maduros in the line, the 5000 is considerably smoother.

And like the natural, the maduro version builds a nice strong ash and the burn is basically even, with two reviewers reporting a tilting burn toward the end of the cigar.

Lucky7's 5000 Maduro Ash
Lucky7′s 5000 Maduro Ash

The mid-section brings more coffee flavors to the fore while toasted wood continues in the background. The aroma grows a bit sweeter and picks up some char. Scott’s notes:

As I puffed on this cigar, at this point I was about 50 minutes into the enjoyment, and the coffee flavor faded into the background and the leather flavors made themselves prominently known. …I was really enjoying this smoke, and the longer it lasted, the better! The smoke was still very abundant, and began to have a nice sweet smell to it similar to the natural. I am realy enjoying this smoke, more than I enjoyed the natural.

The last third turns up the heat and the flavors become more carbonized — burnt wood, burnt coffee with a sharp sweet tang, and a peppery char that eventually turns bitter. Lucky7 reported that the last third was unusually hot — we’ve had this experience with the smaller ring gauges in this series, but not the larger ones. Scott liked the maduro just as well as the natural — a little more in fact — and “smoked this one to the point where my lips were burning.”

On the other hand, Ironmeden felt the maduro 5000 was a bit of a let down:

The taste from the cigar, like the Natural, was bitter but it was more harsh. The aftertaste in my mouth wasn’t pleasant. Again I noted a chocolate flavor from this cigar. The bitterness lasted through the first 2 inches and at times was quite unbearable. I did start to get the “Padron” flavor but it was so light due to the harshness of the cigar… I was expecting as I went through the cigar that it would ramp up in flavor, but it never did.

Now to make sure I didn’t get a bad cigar I went to two different cigar shops where I purchased a 3000 and 6000 and both of them were not as harsh, but the bitterness was there all the way through both sticks. I think it might just be me, but my palate just didn’t groove with the Maduro wrapper.

Conclusion

Based on our widely varying experiences it is difficult to conclude that the 5000 is better in one particular wrapper; Ironmeden loved the natural and disliked the maduro; cigarfan loved the maduro and disliked the natural. Lucky7 and Scott liked them both, but lucky7 gave a slight edge to the natural and Scott gave a slight edge to the maduro. It’s not easy to find a consensus here.

5000 Maduro with quarter for comparison We can’t reasonably conclude that there are quality control issues at play because both reviewers who had negative reactions went out and bought extra cigars to test them independently, and both came away with the same opinion after smoking cigars from these different boxes. If it isn’t inconsistency, what is it? Operator error, perhaps?

The draw on the natural 5000 was by all accounts extremely loose, and the maduro was only slightly better. We think this may have contributed to the bad experiences because a very loose draw requires a different smoking method, and it could very well be that neither reviewer modified their smoking “style” to compensate for this flaw in the cigar. The result was a hot burn and a bitter taste.

But this is only a theory. At the end of the day, cigar smoking is an art, and the beauty (as well as the bitter) is in the palate of the smoker. Some of us have found a great robusto in the 5000 natural and others in the maduro, and some of us may simply opt for other vitolas — I suspect this is why Padron makes so many of them.

Our thanks to Ironmeden and Scott for participating in the Padron Roundup. This has been a great experience for everyone, and we look forward to more of Scott’s forthright reviews at Cigar Command and the tobacco tales of Ironmeden at The Velvet Cigar.

… cigarfan & lucky7

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7 comments on “Padron Series 5000 (Comparison Review)

  1. Matt says:

    Very intriguing results on this one. Good job guys. I have to say this project is turning out even better than I anticipated and I had high expectations to begin with. I’m looking forward to seeing this thing come to fruition but at the same time it will be a shame to see it end.

  2. Ricky says:

    I agree with Matt. This has turned out way better than I thought it could. You guys are doing a fantastic job.

  3. lucky7 says:

    Thanks guys for the endorsements. With 9 of 15 vitolas posted and the end in sight, I have to agree … some mixed feelings. It has been a real pleasure working with you all. As cigarfan and I formed up the project plan, we could not have imagined how much fun this would really be. Work yes … but with so much gratification. Only one thing could be better. A giant herf with everyone in attendance. Now wouldn’t that be something!

  4. Sam says:

    Nice reviews, thank a lot for it! I have one in my humidor waiting to be fired up I got in a sampler pack.

    How does one get invited to be part of these types of reviews?

  5. lucky7 says:

    @ Sam — Glad you enjoyed the review!

    For the Padron Series Roundup we used the blog roll on KOTF as a basis for inviting guests to participate in this particular tasting. Seeing as it is our first one, we are learning as we go.

    Not sure what the future holds but keep checking back. There just may be an opportunity for others to participate if we do this again.

  6. Les says:

    I have to agree with Ironmeden I really prefer the natural wrapper over the maduro and I am normally a maduro guy… This is a common smoke for me and one I have extra of in case someone needs a smoke…

    Keep puff’n

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