On the list of most-known cigar retailers in the world, Thompson and Company ranks highly. The Tampa-based retailer is one of the leading mail-order companies in the U.S. and is one of the older retailers in the U.S., celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
As such, it should be no surprise that the company is commemorating the occasion with a few exclusive cigars, including a special version of the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series. As the Nicaraguan manufacturer has done many times before—a unique size was made for a noted retailer’s major anniversary. This time around it’s a 5 x 54 robusto extra, offered in both of Padrón’s 1964 wrappers.
The cigars went on sale in May with Jorge Padrón on hand for an event. It’s limited to 1,000 boxes of 10 cigars between the two wrappers, although a representative from the store told halfwheel that the majority of cigars were made with a Maduro wrapper.
- Cigar Reviewed: Padrón 1964 Thompson 100th Anniversary Robusto (Maduro)
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacos Cubanica S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $16 (Boxes of 10, $160)
- Date Released: May 20, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)[ref]There were a total of 10,000 cigars produced between the two wrappers, most were made in Maduro.[/ref]
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
While Padrón has no issue creating special boxes, it has generally avoided changing the bands for special releases. It’s a similar story here, where there’s no real way to identify this as some sort of limited Padrón unless you know off the top of your head that there’s not a 5 x 54 vitola in the 1964 line. Other than that, it’s typical Padrón 1964 Maduro. There’s a ton of barnyard from the wrapper, a bit sweeter and spicier mixture from the foot including bitter chocolate, black pepper and some cedar. The cold draw has a gigantic sweet hot chocolate powder flavor with some mineral notes behind it and leather on the bottom. I find that the cigar performs better with a more aggressive cut—more on that below—but the tightness of the draw wasn’t the reason behind cutting more than my normal amount.
It starts a lot milder than I would have expected given the cold draw, but the Thompson 100 is reminiscent of many other Padrón 1964 Maduros—a core earthiness with leather, manure, some tannins and a nutty finish. A mild red pepper emerges rather quick, which helps to add a lot of much-needed depth to the profile. Eventually I can separate some flavors better, particularly in the nose, with sunflower seed and salty Lay’s potato chips emerging. On the tongue, it’s gritty with a fair bit of cinnamon and some lemon peel in the back. Flavor is medium-full and the strength is right around there as well. Of note, the burn is ridiculously slow in the first third.
Up until the halfway mark, there’s not much change, but shortly thereafter things change, ever so slightly. A lemon sweetness comes up front, leather emerges much more on the tongue, but it’s still dominated by layers of earthiness. The finish is still salty, not particularly potato chip-like at this point, and there’s now a touch of sweetness in the nose. The most notable change throughout the second third is the burn, which is back to a much more normal pace. Strength also predictably hits the full mark well before the halfway point.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a review for a cigar that didn’t change in the final third, but that’s what took place here. One cigar needs a serious touch-up, but other than that, flavors, strength and body are pretty much where they were in the second third.
- Thompson has plans for a few more exclusives throughout the year and one other that’s already arrived, an special ACID from Drew Estate.
- The company also has a great page set up to learn about its history. While having a century-old cigar store is impressive, having one that has been owned by the same person for 55 years is actually more impressive to me.
- A commenter noted that this cigar was included in the “Let Freedom Ring” sampler made for Holt’s previously. An ad I found shows the cigar in that sampler as 5 x 50, as opposed to 5 x 54, but I don’t have any on hand to directly compare.
- Strength is full.
- I cut one sample a bit more than usual, I actually preferred the extra saltiness I got on that sample as I was needing anything to cut the earthiness out.
- Speaking of earthiness, if you don’t like it, this is a straight pass. That’s the dominating flavor from start to finish and there’s not a ton beyond that.
- Smoke production picked up in the second third, but final smoking time was still a bit under two hours on average.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Thompson Cigar.
- Thompson Cigar is the only place to purchase this cigar, you can do so here.
With little exception, I haven’t been overly impressed by any of the exclusive Padrón 1926 and 1964 releases I’ve had. But I think that’s sort of by design. More so than any other manufacturer, Padrón, in my option, has put its best vitolas in its regular production portfolio. The regular 1926 and 1964 lines—of which I smoke a handful of the latter from time to time each year—are the best cigars in the blend, and I think Padrón knows that, which is part of the reason I really have no desire to smoke a Padrón 1964 Lancero, despite my love for the vitola in general. The Thompson 100th Anniversary release is good, just not as good as a the Principes or Torpedos that I normally smoke in the line. And I’m fine with that.