Ernesto Padilla will soon be celebrating what would be his father’s 88th birthday this year with the soft launch of a new cigar, the Padilla 88 Aniversario.

He will be releasing 100 five-packs of the robusto vitola via his website in the coming weeks, with the line getting its full release in March via retail stores. When that happens, the line will also be released in a toro size and a 6 x 60 figurado vitola. Pricing will be between $11-$14 per cigar, before taxes.

The line uses a high priming Ecuadorian habano wrapper, a double binder of Nicaraguan criollo and corojo leaves, and Nicaraguan fillers grown by AJ Fernandez that includes corojo, criollo and pelo de oro, according to Padilla. The line is being made at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. in Estelí.

Padilla told halfwheel that 88 Aniversario is a continuation of his 1932 line, which is named for the year that his father, Heberto Padilla, was born. The first cigars to wear the 1932 name were introduced in 2006, and it has since been used as part of a number of projects.

Heberto Padilla was a noted Cuban poet and critic of the government, and it was that criticism led to his imprisonment by the Castro regime in 1971. He and his family were also tobacco growers in the town of Puerta del Golpe in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province, owning a farm called El Colmenar. He died in 2000.

When the line gets its full release in March 2021, it will come in boxes that feature an image of his father alongside Ernest Hemingway.

Image courtesy of Padilla.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.