Published on March 27th, 2014 | by Siz2
Padron Family Reserve 85 Years Maduro
Padron is certainly a brand that needs little to no introduction. Padron comes to mind whenever I think of a consistently excellent “celebration cigar”. Though they do offer the x000 line that is more in $5 range, most of their cigars, from the 1964 Anniversary and up, start at $10 and go up from there. Even so, this is one brand that you will usually get what you pay for, in this case, a top-quality cigar!
The Family Reserve 85 Years Maduro is part of the Family Reserve line that started in 2009. Prior to that, the 75 Years was released in 2002 to honor the founding father of the company, Jose Orlando Padron, 75th birthday. The 85 Years honors, well, you guessed it, his 85th. All the tobacco used has been aged for at least 10 years. The cigar only comes in this box-pressed, robusto vitola in either a natural or maduro wrapper. They are sold in boxes of 10.
While I have smoked a handful of other high-end Padrons over the years, I have not had this one nor do I usually spring for one of these without good reason. In this case, good ol’ Siz decided to reward me for all the hard work I’ve done submitting reviews for the site. Such a tough life I have, right? As usual, donations will not affect the outcome of the rating.
I could save a lot of typing here and just say “this is a gorgeous cigar”, but that would be too easy. The two most notable features on the Padron Family Reserve 85 Years Maduro are the beautiful, dark chocolate wrapper and the perfect box-press shape of the barrel. There are barely any visible veins, and those that are look to be flattened well into the leaf. The seam lines are almost entirely invisible. The only “flaw” I can find is the cap, which has a semi-jagged edge and a small tear near the head. An expertly constructed cigar indeed!
There are three bands on this cigar. The top band is burgundy with the Padron Family Reserve markings in gold print. Under it is the signature Anniversary/Family Reserve series serial number band that is white and gold. Below that is the 85 Years band that is also burgundy and gold. Both slide off easily without damaging the wrapper. Very classy and complimentary to the cigar.
The Padron Family Reserve 85 Years Maduro not only looks well constructed but feels like it too. The lines of the box press are very clean and the barrel feels well packed. There is literally no give when squeezed. The wrapper is super smooth, with only a very slight tooth.
The foot has aromas of earth, pepper, and molasses. The barrel smelled of pepper, hay, and season salt. I will have to say that smelling season salt may be a first for me on any cigar.
I debate on whether to punch or clip the cap on this one. I decide to cut it with my CRA cutter. The draw is a little too open. I get some pepper, earth, and hay notes from the draws.
The Padron Family Reserve 85 Years Maduro was not an easy cigar to light. I used my single flame torch and it took a while to get it fully lit. The middle didn’t want to ignite. I also burned a small run on one side of the wrapper. My bad! Once I do get it lit, it quickly evens out. The burn stays mostly even for the rest of the smoke.
Like the pre-light, the draw is a little open. I am able to get tons of smoke, and therefore, flavor, which is good. The downside is that the cigar burns a little too fast. This is one I wanted to last a little bit longer, so a tighter draw would’ve been fine. I guess I should have gone with the punch!
The ash is mostly gray with some white. Like many box pressed cigars, the ash is a little loose. It does hang on for about ¾” but is flaky too.
Now, for my favorite part: the flavor! When I think about Padrons, I usually think black pepper, cocoa, and coffee with some cedar. Will the Padron Family Reserve 85 Years Maduro follow suit or will it go in a different direction? Let’s find out!
In the first third, I am greeted by a very strong spice that is both white and black pepper. It is white pepper on the draw and retrohale, black pepper on the finish. Honestly, the first few retrohales are a bit hard to take. As it goes along, I pick up a little cream, wood, and floral/grassy notes. As they come in, the spice starts to dial back a bit. Though still spicy, the floral and wood notes start to come to the forefront.
In the second third, a creamy tangy flavor emerges. The pepper is now almost all white, with wood and floral notes as well. The creaminess is now becoming more of an herbal butter, which is very nice. I even get a bit of mint every now and then. Near the end of this section, wood starts to take over, leaving a slightly dry finish.
In the final third, the floral/herbal cream and wood have blended together nicely. There is still a nice white pepper that has settled in. All of these notes take turns being the most prominent until the end, where the wood takes us out. There is a slight bitterness at the very end, but we’re talking the last ½” because I nubbed it as far as I could.
The Padron Family Reserve 85 Years Maduro was full flavored/medium-full strength. It was rather complex and certainly not what I have come to expect from the top-end Padrons. I was very pleasantly surprised by it and only wish it had burned a little slower. Smoke time was 1 hour 10 minutes.
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes, but probably only on certain occasions. It’s little out of my regular price range!
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Not for me. I would have to win the lottery! Even so, it might be a little too much spice for certain days/times of day.
Would I Buy a Box?
If I had the money, certainly. Since I don’t, no.
The Padron Family Reserve 85 Years Maduro is a delicious, spicy, floral cigar that was different from the other Family Reserve cigars I’ve had from them. The flavors were a nice departure from what I’ve come to expect from them. Even so, I still think the 80 year is probably my favorite. Regardless, I don’t think you can go wrong with any Padron in the 1964 or 1926 series. If you are looking for a great celebratory cigar or can afford to get boxes of high end cigars, look no further than this cigar.