Padilla Edicion Especial Achilles

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There is a curious term Homer uses to describe Achilles: ainaretes. It isn’t easily translated, but it means something like “terribly excellent” or “darkly brave.” I read classics as an undergrad and now, whenever I hear the name of this powerful and tragic figure, I think of this term. I’m not sure why Ernesto Padilla chose to name his special edition cigar in this manner– maybe Homer has nothing to do with it — but for me there is something dark and brooding and yes, powerful, about this blend which might bring Achilles to mind.

As with his Padilla Miami 8 & 11 and his Signature 1932, this cigar is blended by Ernesto Padilla and executed by Jose “Don Pepin” Garcia. Unlike the other two, which are made in Garcia’s Miami factory, the Achilles is produced in his Tabacalera Cubana in Esteli, Nicaragua. Distribution is exclusive to Cigars International, as far as I know, and the production has been limited to 60,000 cigars in one size only: a 6 x 50 toro.

This is a Nicaraguan puro with a Nicaraguan corojo wrapper. It’s a handsome and solid looking stick. The wrapper is very smooth and slightly glossy, and the head is finished with a beautiful triple cap. From start to finish this cigar has great construction: an easy draw, a fine white ash, and a mostly regular burn. (I let these stabilize for a month in the humidor after receiving them, which is a good practice with any of Don Pepin’s smokes.)

It starts out with pepper on the palate and begins to mellow after the first half inch or so. It gets creamy with leathery undertones for the next couple of inches and then the pepper returns. The aroma from this corojo is fantastic. I think the wrapper is the secret to all of Pepin’s cigars, and this one is no exception. There is a caramel and bread-like aroma here that I have found only in Havanas and in Garcia’s cigars, which is probably what so frequently earns his cigars the title “Cubanesque.” I would mark this one down on just one point: there is a slightly greenish, astringent quality to the tobacco which to my palate indicates some young leaf. It isn’t overpowering, but it is present and persistent. The combination of sweet caramel breadiness and this astringent quality is what makes this cigar smoke “dark,” I think. But again, this is not unusual for a Pepin produced cigar. He seems to be making cigars not just for today, but for years to come.

Padilla’s Achilles is a medium to heavy bodied cigar that packs a decent punch, like the warrior who shares its name. Smoke them slowly with a cool drink after a good meal. These won’t be around forever, so you’d be wise to pick up a few mazos now, try a few, and put the rest to sleep in a deep dark pleasantly humid place where they can mature in peace. A couple years down the road and I bet this will be a classic.

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11 thoughts on “Padilla Edicion Especial Achilles

  1. I love this cigar, and now it’s gone. I have twenty left and am torturing myself almost daily. “Do I smoke one of my favorites and run out, or smoke something I like less and leave my favorite for another time?”

    I know companies “bring back” brands. BRING THESE BACK!

  2. These are back on cigarbid. Since Padilla and Pepin have parted ways, are these the old blend or some new blend by Padilla?

    I really liked the old ones.

    Ernesto can surely get good Nicaraguan tobacco and should know the blend that Pepin used. I hope they are the same, or very close. (I just bid and won 10 of them!)

  3. Tim — The “new and improved” Achilles is most definitely a new blend and probably tastes much different than the old one. The old one bore the stamp of Pepin — a Nicaraguan puro with a corojo wrapper. The new one is a three country blend with a Habano wrapper.

    But Ernesto makes good cigars, with or without Pepin. Let us know how you like it!

  4. I decided to try one Sunday afternoon. It’s been so long since I had the original ones I don’t remember the exact flavor profile. But, this was not a bad cigar at all. It did not have the classic “Pepin flavor” so, like cigarfan said above, it’s not made by Pepin. Still, not a bad cigar at all. I did a quick review with a pic on my blog. You can check it out if you like. I’ll give these a little more humidor time before trying them again.

  5. After having the majority of what I won I have concluded these are at best so-so cigars. They just don’t have the spice and pop that the old one’s did. I’m disappointed they are not closer to the originals than they are. They’re not crap, but since the others were so good these are at a huge disadvantage when compared to the originals. They are a decent $3 cigar.

  6. My gal’s dad gave me one of these a few months ago. I wanted to see what I was in for before smoking- I was underwhelmed by the Padilla Obsidian- and I’ve not had any Pepins yet…

  7. If you liked the older Achilles better than the newer Padilla blended sticks, you might want to check out the Blue Label cigars by Gran Habano. Similar but better, and more complex, in my opinion. Vanilla, wood, a touch of spice and a mild sweetness.

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