Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series (Nicaragua)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Draw: Exceptional

Burn: Exceptional

Construction: Superb

Consistency: Excellent

Flavours: The draw and initial flavours are woody with twigs and dry leaves, leather and a smoky note (think smoked meats) with a maduro rich finish, the slight bitterness of green olives and a mild oiliness. More roasted ground coffee, nuts and very dark chocolate evolves with each puff, with olive leaf undertones and dried oregano. This is an absolute classic cigar, one of the best burns and draws I’ve encountered in a cigar. Beautiful. I want a box of these. The tobacco has, apparently, been aged for four years and this is certainly noticeable in the complex yet smooth flavours offered by this box pressed cigar. Some tweezers might be advisable, because I found myself puffing it until it reached the width of my fingers!

Origin: Nicaragua

Format: Robusto

Match with: Savour with espresso and a teaspoon of raw sugar, ginger beer or a Spanish style rum (Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros immediately comes to mind) or a Navy style rum such as Pusser’s Blue Label. It also pairs particularly well with an old cognac, with rancio notes in the eucalyptus and umami spectrum (DEAU Louis Memory).

ACID Nasty (Nicaragua)

ACID NASTY

Score: 78/100

Draw: Excellent.

Burn: Excellent.

Construction: Poor, despite a careful cut the wrapper unraveled badly on one.

Consistency: OK.

Flavours: This is an intense oily cigar, offering notes of leather and thick medium-rich tobacco with bitter dried rose buds and tarry notes that matched the film of floral oils that lingered on the lips.  It did not however keep my interest and a quarter into the cigar I had lost my desire to keep smoking it – now that ain’t good! By no means is this a “nasty” cigar, but it left me underwhelmed in terms of its flavour profile despite its intensity.

Origin: Nicaragua

Format: Pyramid

Matched with: This cigar matched nicely with an espresso with a dash of Cognac and brown sugar, or some orange liqueur such as Cointreau. The brown sugar with brandy or citrus notes in the liqueur cut through the intense oily notes of the cigar, which complimented the bitter coffee lying beneath the sweetness.