I have long considered myself a traditionalist… especially where cigars are concerned. I love the old nameplates like Montecristo, Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta and smoke them proudly. However, I am consistently amazed at the quality of cigars coming out of the boutique houses like Perdomo, Alec Bradley and Padilla. I was a huge fan of the Padilla Habano when it was released a few years ago and my humidor sported plenty of them. But I recently smoked the new Padilla Reserva and was simply blown away.
The reddish brown, Cuban seed vitola from Esteli reminded me of the old Cuban brands I just mentioned. I was warned by Mike Staiber, the Studio Tobac sales rep, that this cigar had a spicy start. Boy was he right! The pepper was evident from the start. What he didn’t mention was that the spiciness continues throughout this medium-full bodied torpedo, but smoothed out to a well-balanced smoke. I detected coffee and nutty notes as I sipped on a Lynchburg Lemonade and settled in to watch the Belmont Stakes. As I mentioned, I love the Padilla Habano… and it pains me to say this… but this new Reserva is better. Much better!!! The flavor is deeper, bolder and more complex. With every puff, I was more and more glad that I purchased an entire box of these beauties.
Even the traditionalist in me has to make more room for this new kid on the block.