If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. The truism is never more apt than in the cigar world. The earnest gentleman on the boardwalk who swears those Cuban Cohibas are genuine and that he’s willing to part with them for only $200 a box? Think again. Most of us are not so gullible, but at the same time we like to think that we know a good deal when we see one. Online vendors use good marketing tactics to take advantage of this natural impulse.
An interesting post appeared recently on The Velvet Cigar questioning this practice, and it’s well worth reading. Like the author of that post, I am a regular and mostly satisfied customer of Cigars International. I can neither confirm nor deny any of Ironmeden’s facts, but from time to time I think we’ve all harbored suspicions about those “exclusive” blends from upper tier cigar makers. The question is unavoidable: why would a reputable producer of premium cigars which normally sell in the 10 dollar range suddenly decide to make a 3 dollar cigar for a discount vendor?
I don’t have the answer to that question, but as an intrepid aficionado of the cheap smoke I’m willing to throw the dice. So here I go again.
The Padilla Miami Maduro “Edicion Limitada” is a Cigars International exclusive, along with three other “small batch” blends that are all packaged together and sold as a sampler pack. The Miami Maduro doesn’t appear to be available apart from this sampler.
There is no official information available on the blend that I could find. It would be highly irregular for a Padilla smoke to be anything other than mostly Nicaraguan, but again there is no official information available. (There is ad copy information on the CI site, but it is as useless as it is trite.) There is only one size, to my knowledge: this 5 x 50 robusto.
At first glance, this cigar has substandard construction. The roll is slightly soft and the cigar is misshapen. The caps on some of them are okay, others are pretty sloppy. One of them was actually peeling off. The wrapper leaf is consistent though, and the burn is even and fairly slow. I can easily forgive some aesthetic flaws if the cigar draws and burns well, so I’ll let those slide. But I seriously doubt that this cigar was made in Miami.
Overall construction: Good.
The Miami Maduro flames up with a peppery assault on the palate, followed soon after by an aroma of dark chocolate on the nose. It’s much better than I expected it to be. After an inch or so this is clearly a full body cigar.
The pepper dies away after an inch or so and the chocolate flavors mellow out to cocoa. Some char is added to the sweet bean flavors, layered over a woody underpinning. There isn’t a whole lot of complexity here, but there’s plenty of flavorful smoke.
The back half of the cigar is more of the same, but the flavor gets a little more concentrated — chocolate and char. It turns somewhat burnt tasting at the band.
The Padilla Miami Maduro is in this formulation a decent smoke, but it lacks the complexity of the Padilla Miami I’m accustomed to. This may be due to the wrapper, or it may be due to the blend as a whole. I don’t think I could distinguish this cigar from one of Plasencia’s better maduros, which is not necessarily a criticism, considering that I paid only two dollars for it. This is one instance where price really does make the difference.
3 thoughts on “Padilla Miami Maduro “Edicion Limitada””
I am thankful for the discussion about the “stories” which one could also call hyperbole or even lies. As you guessed, the $2-cigar was not nearly as good as its expensive cousins.
I should know better, but recently, I bought 50 cigars that somehow had been left aging in their boxes for years, from CI’s cousin, Cbid. Depsite a big white label on the boxes proclaiming “Vintage”, they’re not great-tasting and stop burning frequently.
Besides dishonest claims about flavor & quality, the other annoying thing to read over & over, is that a cigar is made by the same people in the same place that make such & such. General Motors makes Cadillacs; so, is a Chevy the same?
Good points. It serves us well to remember that these folks are in the business of selling cigars, and they’re not above using legitimate advertising tactics to persuade us that a mediocre product is better than it really is. That’s just business, which is why the slogan “buyer beware” is worth keeping in mind.
They’ve been using the old “vintage” ploy for years. They even used it after the “boom” years in the 90’s. Even established cigar makers couldn’t get decent tobacco because upstarts were buying it from the growers at record prices… but somehow these “vintage” smokes were forgotten in a cellar somewhere. Priceless.