At the 2011 IPCPR show in Vegas, I talked with Ernesto Padilla (of Padilla Cigars fame) about many things, but one of the most interesting tidbit I picked up was that he was reblending the classic Padilla 8 & 11 cigar in a robusto vitola, and that it would be a limited release.

Wikipedia has this to say about the original Padilla 8 & 11 blend:

The (original) Padilla “Miami” was introduced in 2005 as the “Miami 8 & 11,” and was named after the original factory which made the cigars, located near the corner of 8th Street & 11th Avenue in the Little Havana section of Miami, Florida. The blend for this cigar was created by José “Pepin” Garcia and the cigars were originally manufactured at Garcia’s the El Rey de los Habanos factory. Originally the salomons were rolled by Garcia himself. In 2008 production was moved to a Miami factory owned by Padilla. Production was moved again in 2010, this time to a facility in Danli, Honduras. The cigar in its current incarnation is a puro, with wrapper, binder, and filler all hailing from Nicaragua.

One of the most interesting facts about the new incarnation of the 8 & 11 is that it was blended by both Ernesto and a huge up and comer in the cigar industry, Willy Herrera, who since blending this cigar is now working at Drew Estate.

Padilla is releasing only 200 boxes of 20 cigars (so 4,000 cigars total) of the new Padilla Miami 8 & 11, and box prices should be right at (or near) $200. All of Padilla’s accounts should get at least one box, but some accounts will be getting more, for example, Charmed Leaf is getting at least 25 boxes.

Padilla Miami 8&11 Robusto (2011) 1.png

  • Cigar Reviewed: Padilla Miami 8 & 11 Robusto (2011)
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Factory: El Titan de Bronze
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $10 (Boxes of 20, $200)
  • Date Released: October 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 20 Cigars (4,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The cigar itself has a medium brown—what I would call dirty brown—wrapper that is rough to the touch, and has numerous large veins running up and down its length. The triple cap is great and it has the perfect amount of give when squeezed. The wrapper smells of sweet wood, nutmeg and leather. Cold draw notes are interesting, with an aged wood and pepper notes being dominant.

The first third starts with a strong old leather flavor, along with oak and a nice cashew note that continued to get more and more creamy as the third ended. There is also a nice amount of spice on the tongue and retrohale that really adds to the profile.

Padilla Miami 8&11 Robusto (2011) 2.png

The second third had that same great dominant nutty flavor, but adds a sweet floral note that comes and goes throughout the third, never too strong, but enough to identify it and enough to impact the profile. It really went well with the nutty note. There is also a bit more spice on the retrohale by the end of the second third, but not enough to notice anywhere else. Strength is a medium at this point, but does seem to be getting a bit stronger.

Padilla Miami 8&11 Robusto (2011) 2.png

The final third combined all the flavors from the first two thirds into a wonderful conglomeration of flavors that continues until the end, while adding a wonderful sweet carmel note that seems to explode at times—a great ending, and the cigar never gets hot or bitter, even at the nub. The strengths ends at a solid medium.

Padilla Miami 8&11 Robusto (2011) 4.png

Final Notes

  • While the draw was great on all three samples I smoked, I did have to touch up each of them more than once as well, nothing horrible, but noticeable.
  • There is a huge amount of dense white smoke coming from this cigar, almost too much, if there is such a thing.
  • Willy Herrera has blended quite a few cigars for different manufacturers recently, and I have to say, out of all of the ones I have smoked—Casa Miranda, El Primer Mundo Liga Miami, etc.—this is without a doubt the best of the bunch.
  • I find it refreshing that Ernesto Padilla does the vast majority of the marketing for his cigars, for example, he designed all of the logos for each line of cigars that his company produces.
  • While talking with Ernesto to get information about this cigar, he mentioned that he is considering using this same blend in a lancero format at some point in the future. I would be very interested to see what that would taste like.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples I smoked was right around one hour
  • If you want to purchase any of these cigars, just head over to Charmed Leaf.
90 Overall Score

I was a bit surprised by the profile of this cigar, especially considering what the original 8 & 11 blend tasted like, i.e. more of a peppery, woody flavor profile. The new version is rich and complex, adding balanced flavors with every third even within the thirds and there was a great amount of spice on the tongue that stays fairly consistent throughout the smoke. I was really impressed with it, and it hit my profile perfectly. Having said that, it is not a strength demon by any means—it is a solid medium smoke—and was blended for flavor, not strength.

Brooks Whittington

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.