Originally this line was called “Padilla Miami 8/11” but at some point it seems to have lost the cross streets. These are made in Pepin Garcia’s Rey de Los Habanos operation in Little Havana, which of course is located near the intersection of 8th street and 11th Ave. This line has gotten a lot of positive feedback in the last couple years, making it one of the best known and most sought after boutique cigars on the market.
Padilla Miami cigars are Nicarguan puros, bunched by hand and rolled by only ten experienced torcedors. The tobaccos used are first-generation cuban seed corojo and criollo grown in Nicaragua. The wrapper is corojo, and the filler is a blend of the two. As noted elsewhere, these particular varieties of tobacco are even more hygroscopic than your average black tobacco — they absorb the humidity more readily and in an excessively humid environment will not draw as well as they should. For this reason these cigars are best stored at a lower relative humidity than the typical 70-75%. The low 60’s is usually recommended.
These are not easy cigars to find. I finally managed to snag a five-pack on an auction site for a reasonable, though still substantial price. It’s a nice looking cigar and I noticed right away how well balanced it feels in the hand. The wrapper is a smooth dry natural color with maybe a touch of colorado. The prelight scent is not as spicy as I expected — simple sweet tobacco with an overtone of cedar.
Construction on these is a little bit questionable, just because they all seem to be rolled pretty tight. Two of the five I had to toss halfway through the cigar because it had become more labor than pleasure. The rest were better, but if held to the highest standard these are going to take a hit in the construction department.
On the other hand, these are some of the best tasting, most flavorful and complex cigars I’ve experienced from Don Pepin. They start out with Pepin’s trademark peppery prelude and slowly grow into a powerful smoke with a woody foundation. The aroma is the best that corojo has to offer — a sweet, lightly spiced caramel that starts out with some edges but then mellows after an inch or so and shows up some cocoa and coffee bean.
After a couple inches I’m ready to buckle up and settle in for the ride. Despite its size, this is a powerful cigar. In strength I’d rate it with the Opus X petite corona, though I think this is a superior smoke in terms of flavor. More than anything the flavor reminded me of a Montecristo No. 4 I was gifted a few weeks back, though not as smooth.
Construction problems aside, this is probably the best cigar I’ve smoked this year. I enjoyed the hell out of these, and even though I ended up paying around 6 dollars a stick (which is a pretty good deal, actually) I’d say they’re worth the standard retail 8 to 10 bucks a stick. It’s not an everyday cigar, but when you want to really concentrate on an intense and complex smoking experience, a Padilla Miami will not disappoint.