For as long back as I can remember in my smoking life, the name Padrón has been synonymous with three things: quality, flavor and expensive as hell.

Well, I am happy, happy and unhappy to report that their new stick does not disappoint on any of those attributes.

The newest cigar from Jorge Padrón, officially named the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro, and unofficially nicknamed “The Hammer” is a re-blended version of an almost mythical cigar, the Padrón Family Reserve. Which is a cigar that can be obtained only by being given one by Padrón himself—or presumably any one of the extended family, although I have not confirmed that as of yet. The 45th is to commemorate the fact that Padrón has been doing business for 45 years and the cigars were scheduled to be in stores by September 8, which is the actual day of the anniversary.

As with most other Padrón sticks, this cigar is offered in both Maduro and Natural wrappers, although the Natural version is said to be quite a bit more rare. All of the tobacco in the cigars has been aged 10 years, and each of the versions comes in a great little box of 10, instead of the standard 25.

Padron Family Reserve No 45 Maduro 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacos Cubanica S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Toro (Box-Pressed)
  • MSRP: $25.00 (Boxes of 10, $250.00)
  • Date Released: September 8, 2009

The first thing you notice when you pick up this stick is the reddish, chocolate brown color. The second thing you notice is the extreme box-press this is square. It is almost distracting how much box-press it has on it! The band is wonderful. Great color, especially against the dark wrapper, and what I would call the definition of “classy.”

The dark wrapper is very toothy, almost rough, and smells distinctly of chocolate and cinnamon. The cigar itself is very firm, almost rock hard, as are most Padróns I have smoked. It exudes quality and there is no doubt you are holding an expensive cigar.

From the first puff after lighting, I was literally blasted with spice that made my mouth tingle. This was a bit surprising in a Padrón stick, and I was taken aback by it for a moment. The spice continued at that level for about 15 puffs, then diminished just a bit, and flavors of oak and chocolate came in, but the spice was very strong for the whole first third.

Padron Family Reserve No 45 Maduro 2

In the second third, the spice calmed down quite a bit, I would say about 40 percent or so, but remained in the background just enough to accentuate the other flavors of a great earthy wood, almost gritty, leather and dark chocolate.

Padron Family Reserve No 45 Maduro 3

In the last third, the spice picked back up, almost, but not quite, to the level of the beginning. Not overwhelming at all and the leather, earth and chocolate continued until the end of the smoke. The cigar did not get hot at the end at all, and I was able to nub it easily.

Padron Family Reserve No 45 Maduro 4

Final Notes:

  • This is easily the strongest and spiciest Padrón I have ever smoked.
  • I kept mentioning the spice in this stick for the whole review, and I honestly believe it is the major reason this is such a great cigar. The flavors were great, of course, but they always are in a Padrón, let’s be honest, but the spice was perfectly balanced with the rest of the flavors, which really took it over the top in terms of overall experience unlike, say, the Padrón 80th, which I believe tried to accomplish the same effect, but fell far short.
  • This was not the most complex of cigars but most Padróns aren’t. The greatness of the Padrón blend is the quality of the entire stick: from the feel before you light it, to the burn and draw, which have been perfect every time I have smoked one, and this one was no exception, to the amazingly consistent flavors. When you pick up a Padrón, you know exactly what you are going to taste, and that is not easy to accomplish in the cigar world.
  • I noticed the strength of this cigar at the end. Honestly, it kind of snuck up on me at the end. Do not take this stick lightly or it will bite you in the ass.
94 Overall Score

The thought that kept running through my head the entire time I was smoking this was that the best way to describe this stick was a cross between a Pepín and a Padrón. It seems to incorporate the best of both worlds: the unmistakable flavor and quality of a Padrón, with the punch of a Pepín. It is quite literally the best Padrón I have ever smoked, even better then my beloved 1964 Imperial Natural, which has been a staple of mine for years. If you can find them, I would buy them.

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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.