Padron Series 4000 (Comparison Review)

Padron Series 4000 Natural & 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 4000 (Natural and Maduro)
Size: 6.5 x 54 (corona gorda)
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Filler & Binder: Nicaragua
Body: Medium to Full
Strength: Medium to Full
Average Retail: $6.77 USD
Cigar Insider/Aficionado Ratings: 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:

Inspector - Cigar Inspector

GeorgeE - The Stogie Guys

Padron Series 4000 – Natural and Maduro

cigarfan's Padron Series 4000 - Natural (left) & Maduro (right) - Actual SizeThe first vitola roped in for the Padron Roundup was the mammoth 7000 toro, so it seems fitting that the last is the slightly smaller 4000 toro. In terms of cylinder volume, the 7000 is the largest in the line, followed by the Magnum (which is almost equal to the 7000) and then the 4000.

At 6.5 inches by a 54 ring gauge, the 4000 is a hefty stick that takes between 90 minutes to two hours to smoke at a leisurely pace. As George E. says, “You might wonder at first whether it came out of a humidor or a box of Lincoln Logs… this Nicaraguan puro is not just a smoke, it’s a commitment.”

Natural

The Padron 4000 Natural has a dark, relatively consistent milk chocolate brown wrapper that is barely distinguishable from the Maduro 4000. There are a few small veins, but by comparison with other natural wrappers in the line, this one is more refined. The roll is a little lumpy. The single caps are applied well in a flat “Cuban” manner. Some samples showed the ghost of a box press, while others were completely round.

Padron Series Band - Front & Back

Two of our reviewers had comments about the band, something we haven’t really touched on during the course of the Roundup. The band Padron uses for the classic line is a very simple, fairly small, two toned image of the island of Cuba embraced by two branches or leaves, over which is the name Padron. Inspector describes it as “ a minimalistic band that makes me think of Montecristos.” And George points out an additional attribute:

A small point, perhaps, but one that I think speaks to Padron’s attention to detail is that the band popped easily off the cigar — a pleasantly common occurrence with Padrons.

George noted that the prelight scent on the wrapper of this cigar was “a mouth-watering and inviting mint,” while lucky7 reported “very light barnyard” on the wrapper and “slightly sweet tobacco” on the foot.

Inspector's Padron 4000 Foot - Maduro & Natural

Inspector remarked that it took “a real physical effort” to cut this cigar. Cigarfan experienced this as well when he botched the cut — he had to cut his first cigar twice when the first cut was too shallow. Inspector's Padron 4000 Natural - Wrapper DamageThis resulted in the wrapper at the head unraveling a bit after 20 minutes of smoking. He employed a punch on the second stick with much better results.

The draw on these varied from perfect (according to three reviewers) to loose on one sample.

Our reviewers were greeted by a spicy initial kick with a little harshness on the throat upon lighting up the 4000. Inspector noticed a “tingling sensation on the lips” while cigarfan and lucky7 found the familiar peppery flavors settling after a half-inch or so into earthy tobacco, toasted wood, and the first indications of cocoa. The aroma is woody with a touch of caramel. Inspector related that the first third included “considerable amounts of spice, mixed with tobacco flavors, cork oak, and strong tannins.” The finish at this point is short and dry.

The burn is pretty good; it wavers a little bit, but never strays too far from home. The 4000 produces a large volume of thick white smoke and a gray ash with black flecks. George credits the torcedor who rolled the cigar for the conical cinder it creates:

When I knocked the ash off I noticed a nice cone burn, which I often take as a sign of the torcedor placing tobacco correctly while rolling the cigar. The burning cone was consistent from beginning to end.

Inspector's Padron 4000 Natural Ash

Both Inspector and cigarfan noticed that the flavor starts to sharpen up a bit after the first third, but then evens out again. In Inspectors words, “the flavor first becomes very astringent then smoothes out.” After that, he tasted roasted coffee bean and a few sugary notes; lucky7 and cigarfan independently verified the coffee flavors.

Into the last third, the flavors get toastier and finally move into leathery territory. Lucky7 found that there was little transition here. In his words, the last third was “uneventful, unchanging,” while Padron 4000 Natural with quarter for comparisonInspector found increasing intensity of leathery flavors. Cigarfan thought the last section was inelegant and strong, but unmuddied.

George concludes:

Overall, I would say this was a strong cigar with relatively straightforward taste, primarily that of nice consistent tobacco. Though that was occasionally mixed with some light leather and wood, it was not a complex cigar. There was little change from start to finish, though it did seem to smooth out a bit in the final third.

Maduro

The appearance of the Maduro 4000 is almost identical to the Natural. The wrapper might be a little oilier and slightly rougher, but that’s all. The Maduro seems to be more tightly packed than the Natural, and our reviewers found that the draw was consequently a little tighter, but not problematic.

Inspector's Padron 4000 - Maduro & Natural

George and lucky7 reported prelight scents that are if not unusual, at least unexpected. Lucky7 found barnyard on the wrapper, but “fishy tobacco” on the foot. (And it’s not the first time: he found the same scent on the 5000 maduro. Which reminds me, I gotta tell lucky7 to stop storing his cigars in the tackle box.) And in George’s words,

The most remarkable — and consistent — feature of this mildly dark cigar was peanuts. I smelled them when I ran the wrapper beneath my nose, I noticed them on my tongue when I tested the prelight draw and I tasted them throughout the length smoke.

Of course, that’s how the song goes, isn’t it? “…Buy me some Padrons and Cracker Jacks / I don’t care if I never get back.”

Lucky7's Padron 4000 Maduro Ash with Grain Bumps

Inspector held his cards close and simply said that the prelight aroma was “sweeter and more pronounced” than the Natural. After fifteen vitolas in natural and fifteen more in maduro, cigarfan said he was tired of sniffing cigars and lit up his 4000 Maduro blind.

Like the majority of cigars in the classic Padron Series, this one starts up with a little bite and quickly settles after half an inch or so. Inspector said it was a “similar and perhaps a little bit more powerful beginning.” Cigarfan found an initial earthy flavor, followed by leather and pepper, but thought it was “not very maduro-like for the first inch.” Lucky7 remarked that there was “not quite as much sweetness on the nose as some of the other Padron Series Maduros, but it’s smooth with a small twang.”

After the initial bite, the 4000 settles into toasted wood and coffee flavors. Lucky7 also reported “notes of fruit (there are those raisins again)” and sweetened cocoa on the short, crisp finish.

Not to be outdone by reviewers with extraordinary olfactory discoveries, cigarfan noted a cereal-like tobacco flavor at the start of the second third. Flavor intensity increases at this point and brings with it earthy flavors and, as Inspector notes, a “typical maduro flavor profile with a lot of sweet, spicy and coffee aromas.”

Inspector's Padron 4000 Maduro Ash

Everyone seemed to agree that the Maduro did not burn as well as the Natural. Cigarfan found he had to correct the Maduro early on, as did lucky7; Inspector reported no problems with his, but George added that  “the burn line also was not as sharp on the Maduro.” Otherwise, George continued,

the burn displayed a similar cone to the Natural, but it flattened out at about the halfway point and remained that way to the end… Smoke production was full and thick, a great complement to the flavors that shifted throughout. The aroma as it swirled around my head was pleasant as well. I would rate the Maduro a medium-to-full bodied smoke, a tad lighter than its Natural sibling.

The final section of the 4000 Maduro is quite strong tasting, bringing bittersweet chocolate, char, and finally pepper to the table. Cigarfan thought it tasted like Connecticut broadleaf more than Nicaraguan Habano, while Inspector said that it was “definitely full-bodied. The spice dissipated to give way to cocoa undertones.” Lucky7 reported “plain tobacco with undertones of dark chocolate” and bitterness at the nub.

Lucky7's Padron 4000 Maduro Ash

And to conclude, let’s check with George in the peanut gallery:

The first few puffs generated a spicy undertone to the peanuts, with leather taking over about an inch into the cigar. The spice came back stronger and lasted another inch or so when I detected some cedar and leather again There was some bitterness — the unpleasant back-of-the-throat kind rather than the sometimes intriguing flat bitter taste — for a little while about halfway down. But that subsided as the peanuts returned. All in all, the cigar repaid attention with subtlety and intricacy.

Conclusion

Once again, our reviewers split down the line in terms of preference: everyone had complimentary things to say about both versions, but George and lucky7 favored the Maduro slightly, while Inspector and cigarfan chose the Natural.

In one corner, wearing brown trunks, the Natural scored points for balance and smoothness. In the opposite corner, also wearing brown trunks (with some darker streaks), the Maduro got votes for complexity and flavor. Inspector opined: “I prefer the Natural version, probably because it is more balanced and elegant than the Maduro which just tastes too ‘raw’.” George countered that “the taste of the Maduro was, for me, more satisfying than that of the Natural. It was generally smooth and complex.”

Cigarfan agreed with both of those statements, but found that the sheer brawn of the Maduro after the first half overpowered the flavor dividends it disbursed. The Natural, while not as complex as the Maduro, maintained its balance throughout the smoke and dispensed enough flavor to keep the party going for an hour and a half.

Lucky7 wraps it up:

One of the aspects of cigar smoking that I really enjoy and use as a discriminator is aroma (or nose as I like to call it.) Not the aroma in the room but rather my olfactory senses. These two cigars have got it. That wonderful aroma that I enjoy while smoking and think about when I’m not. Each vitola was easy going after the initial bite subsides and scrumptious for the first two-thirds. For slightly more than $4.00, I say you can’t go wrong.

I give a very slight edge to the Maduro in terms of preference but actually, I liked both quite a bit and will be spending time with the 4000 many times in the future.

Thanks to Inspector and, once again, to George E. for contributing their considered opinions to the Padron Roundup. Inspector is the founder and chief architect of Cigar Inspector, and George reports the news and writes reviews for The Stogie Guys.

And a final note of thanks to all of the fine folks from the blogs and forums who took part in the Padron Roundup. Your participation made this a truly balanced and — we hope — sincere evaluation. Coming up in a few weeks will be our vertical review of the entire Padron Series. We hope you’ll come back and let us know your thoughts.

“Don’t even talk about life without cigars.”

–José Orlando Padrón

 

… cigarfan & lucky7

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6 comments on “Padron Series 4000 (Comparison Review)

  1. [...] see the result in the group review at Keepers of the Flame, which is part of the Padron tastings. Check it out! (No Ratings Yet)  Loading [...]

  2. [...] Around the Blogs: Keepers of the Flame continues its vertical tasting of the Padrón line with the 4000. Stogie Review reviews the Java by Drew Estate. Cigar Jack lights up a Cuvee 151. Cigar Spy smokes [...]

  3. Kevin says:

    Thanks again for doing an excellent job on such a complex undertaking. Really good stuff. – K

  4. [...] Around the Blogs: Keepers of the Flame continues its vertical tasting of the Padrón line with the 4000. Stogie Review reviews the La Riqueza. Cigar Jack lights up a Gurkha G5. Cigar Command checks out [...]

  5. William Jennings says:

    I really enjoy my padrons. I buy the local by the box and love to smoke them with Makers Mark. I havent found any cigars that go with Makers any better than my pardon 4000 my wife hates them and I love them. Ha Ha she buys them for me…. She’s the best

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