Padron Series Londres (Comparison Review)

Padron Series Londres - 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 Londres (Natural and Maduro)
Size: 5.5 x 42 (corona)
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Filler & Binder: Nicaragua
Body: Medium to Full
Strength: Medium to Full
Average Retail: $2.65 USD
Cigar Insider/Aficionado Ratings: Consistently high 80s

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 reviewer for this vitola is:

GeorgeE - The Stogie Guys

Padron Series Londres – Natural and Maduro

Padron Series Londres - Actual SizeThe Londres is the third corona in the classic Padron series, but unlike the others this one is a true corona. While the Palmas is long and slightly underweight and the Delicias is stubby and a little chubby, the Londres fits the corona standard exactly.

Cuba’s La Corona factory was the largest of its kind in the late nineteenth century, and it has been suggested that the name corona was first made popular by the La Corona Coronas made there. As time wore on, the term corona became central to the industry, spawning gran coronas, petit coronas, double coronas, etc., and eventually became the standard against which other vitolas were compared.

The appellation “Londres” can only mean that the corona was as popular in London as it was everywhere else. Maybe this was the perfect size to smoke in the drizzle under the gas lamps of old London, but is it the perfect size in the Padron series for our smokers today?

As our panel found out, maybe not.

Natural

The Natural wrapper imparts a familiar rustic appearance to this cigar: it’s ruddy, bumpy and wrinkled with a slightly grainy texture. George noted an uneven cap that threatened to unravel the cigar upon cutting (he was surprised when it didn’t) and a wrapper “marred by numerous small tears.”

Londres Natural with a vein spike - ouch!

Lucky7 smoked a sample with a special new design feature: a vein spiking through the wrapper right on the edge of the head. Maybe that allows the smoker to gain a tighter purchase on the cigar in a strong wind.

On the bright side, the roll is firm and the draw is free. It produces a nice volume of smoke with ease and exhibits no burn problems. The prelight scent and cold flavors are typical of the line: grassy tobacco with a hint of the pasture.

The Natural Londres fires up quickly and offers a grumpy greeting: lucky7 called the first inch “raspy”, while cigarfan noted a mild bite. The aroma is sweet and somewhat nutty; lucky7 compared it to “strong sweet tea with a twang.” After the peppery and slightly harsh prelude, there are notes of cocoa, coffee, and leather. There is a touch of sweetness on the palate.

The mid-section marks a turning point. The flavors begin to intensify and turn from slightly sweet to slightly bitter. The nose twang starts to wane. It is solidly medium-bodied with a moderately long finish and slightly ashy flavor. It is imperative to smoke this cigar slowly or it will burn hot and get mean.

The final stage of this cigar is bitter and strong and was not met with applause by any of us, least of all George. Cigarfan and lucky7 found some merit in the first two-thirds of the Londres, even if they were not terribly impressed by cigar overall, but George’s opinion speaks for itself:

From the start, the Londres natural was not enjoyable. It was hot, no matter how much time I allowed between puffs. I’m a fairly slow smoker generally and with both of these I made an extra effort to slow down even more. It seemed to make little difference, with the natural burning particularly rapidly.

And while it produced copious amounts of smoke, the taste was acrid and the finish long and sharp… Unlike the maduro, the natural got harsher as I continued to smoke. I continued smoking, occasionally tapping off the gray black ash, and Londres Natural with quarter for comparisonhoped for some positive developments. But at about the two-inch mark I gave up, my taste buds overwhelmed by the bitter taste and disappointment.

Maduro

The maduro Londres rated a little bit above average in appearance for this line. While still roughshod in general, the caps were applied well (with one exception), the roll was firm and without soft spots, and there were no protruding veins. As with the other sizes, the maduro Londres is only a few shades darker than the natural.

The prelight characteristics are similar to the natural version: straightforward tobacco; additionally, George reported a minty prelight scent in both natural and maduro wrappers.

The flavors and smoking characteristics of the maduro were very similar to the natural: a spicy and somewhat harsh introduction followed by a medium-bodied smoke with a foundation of leather and toasted wood. Substitute a slightly heavier dose of chocolate for the natural’s cocoa and it could be the same cigar.

Lucky7's Londres Maduro - 1st Ash

Once again, the Londres tends to get bitter and smoke hot starting in the second third. The aroma is pleasant and the flavor begins to intensify, though perhaps in a way that isn’t entirely laudable.

The last third continues down this precarious road to an inhospitable conclusion: hot and finally acrid. George sums it up:

There was a little spice in the beginning that dropped off after about a half-inch as the bitterness increased. Although I didn’t find the finish particularly dry, I did notice that when I drank a lot of water after about the first third the bitterness seemed to subside somewhat. At that point, the cigar devolved into just a sort of bland, boring smoke with some unpleasant tones.

Of the two, I preferred the maduro Londres, if for no other reason than the bitterness and harsh finish subsided before the end of the cigar.

Conclusion

There is a moment for the Londres after the initial harshness subsides and the subsequent bitterness begins when this is a flavorful corona with all of the traits we expect in a Padron cigar: a rich woody flavor with hints of leather and cocoa or chocolate that goes exactly where you’d expect a Padron to go. The problem with the Londres is that this flavor is only momentary.

Like the Delicias, this cigar can be enjoyed up to a point. As lucky7 puts it,

This is a very straight forward little corona which has some nice flavors in the first half, then turns mediocre over the second. There is some unpleasant bitterness associated with the final third which will definitely turn some folks off. Even with the low price point, I do not consider the Londres the best value.

George concludes with suspicions about the quality standards employed in rolling this cigar:

Though there were many similarities in the natural and maduro, both were sharp and harsh, presenting almost no complexity. Even the taste of the tobacco was unpleasant. It’s hard not to assume Padron rolls this line from leaves that didn’t measure up to the quality standards for any of its other cigars.

As a Padron fan, I find it hard to be so negative about any of their cigars. but having had, probably, six or eight Londres over the past few years, these two reinforced the reactions I’d had before.

We all agreed on one point: while this is an inexpensive cigar, there are better options to choose from in this line.

Thanks to GeorgeE for his candid contribution. To be cruel is to be kind, in this case to our readers and to the cigar consumer at large. Be sure to check in to the Stogie Guys for daily cigar news and George’s always frank and incisive reviews.

… cigarfan & lucky7

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5 thoughts on “Padron Series Londres (Comparison Review)

  1. I’ve always liked the Londres, but as a complete cigar — from start to finish — it didn’t hold up very well for us. I will still pick these up from time to time as a quick smoke, but I can’t say I’ll be nubbing them.

  2. Jason — I am relatively new to the Padron Series but I have many friends who, like you, have an affinity for the Londres. In speaking with them, I was expecting much better when I sampled the Londres for this review. Candidly, I think the Corticos smokes better and for less money. For a short smoke, that’s where I would go.

    Now the 6000. That’s a fine smoking cigar. Keep an eye out for our upcoming review on the one and only Padron Series Torpedo!

  3. Celso – Padron Londres is a medium bodied nice cigar for me. But not 100% reliable. From the last box I have smoked a few had a harsh unpleasant finish (know in Brazil as “morrinha”), usually due to problems in fermentation. The sensation is almost the same of smoking too quick. However, most of Padrons Londres are strong, well built, full of nice flavours and just a hint of an agreable bitterness. A good change from Cuban and Brazilian small cigars.

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