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Padron 50th Anniversary Cigar review Introduction. These cigars were released late 2014/early 2015 to commemorate 50 Years for the Padron brand. These were released in Natural and Maduro versions. 1000 humidors in total. Learn more here: http://padron.com/50anniversary/more-details-padron-50th-anniversary-cigar/ This cigar came to me via an epic bomb by some friends in Winnipeg. Now. On to the review! Date: Thursday December 17, 2015 Place: Huatulco, Mexico, Secrets Resort Specifications: Vitola: Toro Extra Length: 6.5 RG: 52 (box pressed) Serial# 022623 Prelight Notes Claro wrapper, light veins, box press, some hard and soft spots along the cigar. Surprising at this price point. Foot has hints of cocoa & chocolate; wrapper has a slight barnyard aroma Took Credo punch to head, wrapper cracked a bit but held together throughout. Evidence of a Cuban style divot in the head where I made the punch. Nice touch. Cold draw is smooth and easy. Reviewers Notes: My style of cigar reviewing is “open”. I try to jot down what I’m experiencing with every draw. When you see a “//” consider that a break in between puffs. What I leave out in fancy prose is made up with observation. Consider each segment a play by play. This style works for me. I hope you enjoy it. Start Time: 2:22PM First Third Easy to light // Initial flavour is “wheaty” // Hints of pepper // Decent burn line // Lots of creamy smoke // Burn goes askew almost immediately // Light cocoa // Burn starts to correct itself // Slightly bitter finish in most draws // Toasty tobacco // peppery finish // cocoa // wheaty again // not too much going on besides pepper finish // chocolate // mild to medium bodied thus far // ash firm and holding strong // excellent construction // Smooth, but not very exciting thus far. Second Third Cocoa // more of the same // Ash falls on its own // More toasty tobacco // cocoa now and then on the next handful of puffs // Medium bodied pepper subsidies // Toasty tobacco // Burn goes askew again after being straight // nutty flavour changes things up a bit // Creamy coffee // strength picking up // Oily mouth feel // Rich tobacco on the next two draws. Final Third Strong tobacco flvavour // cocoa // sweetness now and then // strength crept up over time on this cigar, but flavour did not // getting the “brain swims” // Toasty tobacco // hints of cocoa, charry, hickory/BBQ taste now // back to toasty tobacco // light headed a bit // this final third definitely showed off the strength of the cigar. Very sneaky. Similar to a La Escepcion Selectos Finos that way, sadly, minus the complexity. End 4:35PM Conclusion Easy smoking cigar. Burn corrected itself for the most part, only one touch up needed. Last third had a bit more flavour but nothing to warrant the price tag. I get more range from a low end Partagas than this. I don’t smoke many Padrons but so far their top tier offerings haven't impressed me as much as their low end 1000's series. It makes me wonder if aging the tobacco leaf then rolling it is such a great idea. Maybe take that tobacco, roll it, then aging the cigars over time before release would yield more impressive results? I look at the Hunters & Frankau Ramon Allones 225, which used two year old tobacco which was rolled, then aged for a minimum of two years. The result was a glorious tasting cigar. Expensive mind you, but it still sold out within weeks of release. I’m betting if the Padrons used that approach, the result would be a far better cigar in terms of flavour range. I’m definitely a Cuban puro fan but I’m not bullheaded about an NC being as good or better given the right blend. For instance, I found the Davidoff Geneve 100 to be excellent. As good or better than many of the top Cubans I’ve smoked. Unfortunately, that’s a ~$100 per cigar too. Similar to the price point of this Padron. But after smoking that, I felt the experience was worth it. The blend reminded me of the few Cuban Davidoff’s I’ve smoked. This Padron did not make me feel the price point was warranted. Score: I can’t think of giving this more than an 85 in terms of points. This should have been a real treat given the exclusivity of the release. In cigar rating terms, 85 is considered to be on the “low” side. But it is not hopeless. I’m hoping the next time I pick one of these up, the cigars will have settled down a bit, the oils between the wrapper, binder and filler will have melded a bit and will add some flavour complexity. Anyone else have the chance to try one of these or the Maduro version? Thanks for reading.