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José O. Padrón 89 Birthday Blend Maduro

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On Jan. 29, Padrón released two cigars celebrating the 89th birthday of its founder and patriarch, José Orlando Padrón, during an event at Florida-based Smoke Inn. Though the man turned 90 this year, the cigar was named the José O. Padrón 89 Birthday Blend, a 6 x 46 corona extra was available in both maduro and natural wrappers packaged in boxes of 10. Only 200 boxes released between the two wrappers in unspecified numbers and sold out very quickly.

Both vitolas were round instead of box-press and featured a numbered band underneath a special black version of Padrón’s basic band that is found on the company’s Thousand Series releases.

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Here is what I said in my original review back in February:

Padrón has produced quite a few different blends for various special events and anniversaries, and one thing that seems fairly universal between all of those releases is the fact that they are rarely better than what the company already produces with the Serie 1964 and Serie 1926 lines. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with the José O. Padrón 89 Maduro as well. Although the cigar is a very good smoke overall, the drop off in the profile between the first and second thirds was noticeable, and really hurt the overall score. In the end, the José O. Padrón 89 Maduro is a very good cigar, but I would still rather smoke a Serie 1964 Exclusivo any day of the week making the tracking down of this cigar a bit more challenging to recommend.

  • Cigar Reviewed: José O. Padrón 89 Birthday Blend Maduro
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacos Cubanica S.A.
  • Wrapper: n/a
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Extra
  • MSRP: $16.50 (Boxes of 10, $165)
  • Release Date: Jan. 29, 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

As with the cigars in the first review, the wrapper is a deep espresso brown color that is very close to black and is sandpaper rough to the touch, although this newest sample has a noticeable curve to it.  There are a number of obvious veins running up and down the length as well as some obvious oil, and the cigar is quite firm when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of pungent barnyard, earth, leather, hay, roasted coffee beans and oak, while the cold draw brings flavors of leather, cedar, grass, sawdust, generic nuts and slight dark fruit sweetness.

The José O. Padrón 89 Birthday Blend Maduro starts out quite earthy, with other notes of creamy cedar, leather, hay, dark chocolate and anise. There is a significant amount of both black pepper on the retrohale and spice on my tongue in the beginning, making the first few puffs a bit of a challenging experience, although both seem to fade a bit as the first third continues, replaced by a wonderful caramel sweetness that is quite distinct. The halfway point brings a much more balanced amount of black pepper on the retrohale, along with new flavors of roasted coffee beans, peanut butter and a touch of floral, all of which continue to make themselves known throughout the second half.

jose-o-padron-89-birthday-blend-maduro

Construction-wise, a simple straight cut leads to a wonderful draw, with just the right amount of resistance for me, and while the burn had some issues early on that forced me to touch it up, it evened up nicely at the start of the second third and remained that way until the end of the cigar. Smoke production is quite high from the start and while the overall strength progresses from a high mild to a point slightly higher than medium by the time I put the nub down with about an inch left.

92 Overall Score

As my original review stated, I really enjoyed the José O. Padrón 89 Birthday Blend Maduro the first time I smoked it. The seven months between then and now have done wonders to the blend. The drop off in the flavors between the first and second thirds has been almost totally eliminated, while the berry sweetness has been replaced by a distinct caramel note that is now present throughout the smoke. While the spice and pepper were quite strong in the first few puffs before calming down noticeably, both attributes remained a major part of the profile, and did a good job enhancing other flavors that were present. Not every cigar Padrón makes improves with age, but the José O. Padrón 89 Birthday Blend Maduro certainly did.

Original Score (February 2016)
90
Redux Score (October 2016)
92

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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