At a glance, the stick looked great. It was a nice, Cuban-style perfecto roll with a tiny nipple at the tip of its bulbous foot. The cigar had a beefy look and feel to it, and the Ecudorian Habano wrapper leaf was absolutely flawless with a medium-dark brown color perfectly even throughout. After snipping the pointed cap, I got some of the most interesting pre-light notes I had ever experienced. Sweet cedar and pine mingled with anise for a taste that was reminiscent of a candy-like sour apple. I was so taken aback by this that I spent a little more time than usual taking cold draws, just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. Sure enough, the Jolly Rancher flavor was real, and didn’t weaken at all. After several dry puffs, it was time to fire this thing up.
Initially, this cigar completely betrayed its pre-light impressions, with its first flavors conveying straight-forward notes of pepper and leather. The draw was firm yet efficient, and the burn was pretty straight, considering the odd shape of the foot. Further puffs revealed the heavy woody notes of sweet cedar and pine, backed with some baking spice and a super-smooth creamy vibe.
As I burned into the 2nd third this stogie only got smoother, with creamy cedar and a faint dried fruit sweetness rounding out the mix. During this portion of the cigar I was met with a rotating cast of the aforementioned flavor notes, almost like they were taking turns being the most pronounced. Every so often I caught a whiff of the very cool apple note I had noticed in the cold draw. Tasty.
In the last stretch the leather and anise kicked in strong, and hints of cocoa and sweet spice surfaced. The final third, while still smooth and creamy, definitely came across a little stronger body-wise than the earlier parts of the cigar. The flavors remained steady, and at this point I noticed that despite the fact I had just smoked almost an entire 6×60 cigar, there was little to no aftertaste in my mouth. This stogie was a slick one, leaving almost no trace of having swirled around my palate for over an hour.
Contrary to its imposing look and feel, I found the Padilla Studio Tobac to be pretty laid back, both in terms of body, and flavor. The taste notes were bold and easily identifiable for the most part, but just so damn smooth that it’s hard for me to call it “full-flavored”. Given the elements at play here, this cigar was surprisingly mellow. The flavors weren’t crazily complex in my opinion, but they were definitely pleasant and consistent. This stogie was a solid, relaxing smoke, and is worth the price, especially when you factor in the limited, 1000 box run. I’m thinking of tucking a few of these away for a couple years, as I think they will be even better with some age. This is a cigar that I would definitely re-visit, and on this go-around I give it a winning grade of B+.
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