Well I don't get a lot of opportunities generally to smoke so when I have a free Saturday night, the first thing I want to do is hang out at my favorite watering hole and pull out...a Padron.
I will say that the ONLY reason I would be smoking this cigar today is this contest and to have a bit of fun. Not that I would never revisit the cigar but it wouldn't be today. Or this year. Or next year. I have about a dozen of these left from my early days of cigar smoking and knowing nothing about anything. I cut my teeth on NC cigars as it was the easiest to access information on and seemingly dummy proof as far as you didn't need to worry too much about fakes.
My original info on these was that they are highly rated by many, full bodied, expensive and supposedly aged years before they make it out for sale. My personal early history with these is that they are harsh, one dimensional and really hard to get through. In my mind, an expensive, strong piece of crap. But let's give it another go!
I searched high and low for a smaller version of this cigar in the humidor. I swore I had one left but alas, I am stuck with something that looks like a corona gordo (?). They are weirdly shaped for those who have never had one. I suppose it is a box press? After a "generous" cut from the cutter, away we go.
The first bit is surprisingly tame. I am used to a slap to the face from this cigar. The flavor is still one dimensional but not unpleasant. Getting through the first one third was actually not a chore. By this stage of the previous samples of this cigar it feels like I am 2 days in to a strep throat infection. I wouldn't call it mild by any means but not an in-your-face strong as I was expecting. I might even go as far as to say that I was "enjoying" it. The draw was a little loose but still quite good.
The second third is starting to turn more towards the strong guy I used to know. Still not harsh. I wouldn't say that I am enjoying the second third. Not feeling the need to chuck it though. Still one dimensional but more bland and dull flavor wise. Construction is awesome as you can see.
It got to a point where this was becoming the longest ash I ever had so I thought I would see how long I could go. It dropped shortly after the picture as I finally lost patience waiting for a server.
Getting down to the last third, the flavor actually came back a bit more like the first third. First of all, me actually getting this far on a cigar this size that I knew I disliked is a win and something I did not think would happen. Even this cigar's little brother that I have smoked a few times, I will chuck after reaching the start of the second third. Once I lost the long ash the rest of the ash became flaky and would drop quickly. I am only now starting to realize how strong this cigar is. Feeling a bit of nicotine nausea. Not overwhelming but just something I notice.
Overall - This has to be the best burning cigar I have had in the last 1-2 years. I literally did not have to touch this up once and it was a razor sharp. Perfect construction and easy draw. This cigar kicked my a$$. I normally will want to light up soon after I put one out if I have the time as I do now. I couldn't do it with this one right away and had to wait a good 40+minutes and a few glasses of water to get going again. I don't know if I will ever want to light one of these up again but I can see the allure if a person is looking for a low maintenance nicotine bomb which seems to be popular in some circles. For me, I will stick to the more mild QdOs of the world