In January, Washington D.C. retailer W. Curtis Draper concluded its 125th anniversary celebrations with the arrival of the fourth and final release in what was a year-long series of special cigars. The release was from Padrón and included two 6 x 46 cigars in special blends 

The five cigars, in order of release, are as follows:

W Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary

The exact blend of the cigars isn’t known, but the Draper’s versions are round as opposed to Padrón’s traditional box-pressing and the blend is described as tweaked.

Padrón W Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary Natural Box 1

Padrón W Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary Natural Box 2

Padrón W Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary Natural Box 3

There’s no special banding for the cigars and nothing to tell the Maduro and Natural versions apart other than the color of the wrapper. Here’s what they look like side-by-side: 

Padrón W Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary Natural 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Padrón W. Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary Natural
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacos Cubanica S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: $15.25 (Boxes of 10, $135.00)*
  • Date Released:  January 18, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)**
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 4

*Pricing depends on which location you buy the cigars from, as taxes differ between Maryland and the District of Columbia.

I honestly don’t think anyone, including Padrón lovers, would notice anything special about these cigars if they were sitting on a shelf. Sure, the cigar is round, but in a box it looks just like every other Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series. There’s a medium leather wrapper that contains a fair amount of reds. It’s a bit darker than I would normally associate with Padrón Naturals, but that could be a variety of things, it’s it’s really only minimal. Aroma from the wrapper is cocoa and leathers with some nice cedar somewhere around medium-full. The cold draw reveals a mixture of earth, cocoa, peppers and a tad bit of citrus, all quite sweet.

The first third of the Padrón WCD 125 starts out with earth, citrus, pepper and caramel with a fading cocoa note somewhere towards the finish. It’s somewhat soft, medium plus, and at the very least noticeably mellow. Eventually the flavors mature a bit, as well as the addition of a great cedar note, but I would still describe this as more mellow than smooth. Smoke production is average with some draws producing a bit more, but in general not exactly a shining star in this category.

Padrón W Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary Natural 2

As the second third reaches its mid-point there’s a brighter citrus note that joins a milk chocolate note as the two noticeable changes from the earlier portion of the cigar. Once again, the Padrón shocks me with how mellow it is. Strength is right around medium, which seems appropriate, but the body is even lighter than that mark, which is odd.

Padrón W Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary Natural 3

Things don’t get better in the final third as the flavors seem to regress and become even more mellow. A bread note is a great addition, but it’s too little, too late. Construction holds perfectly until the inch and a half market when the cigar requires a full relight. 

Padrón W Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary Natural 4

Final Notes:

  • As Patrick Lagreid noted in his review, all of the cigars made for W. Curtis Draper’s 125th Anniversary have been 50 ring gauge or under. 
  • Padrón quietly has made a lot of single store releases. There’s another one heading to Tobacco Plaza next month.
  • I’ve been smoking these over the last few months, they’ve been consistent. I am truly shocked as to how mellow the flavor profile is.
  • Because of tax differences between the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland, the price for this cigar is different at W. Curtis Draper’s two stores. Washington, D.C.’s cigar tax is 12% of gross receipts, while Maryland’s is 15 percent of the wholesale price.
  • The above pricing is correct, boxes were discounted.
  • I would say this is a medium cigar, probably on the lower side. I wouldn’t have much issue recommending this to a mild cigar smoker.
  • It’s interesting how low Tatuaje and Fuente were able to keep the price of their respective releases, particularly in contrast to the Padrón releases.
  • Construction was good, not perfect, but definitely within Padrón’s range.
  • I prefer the Maduro version of the two releases over the Natural. It’s not by a wide margin, but it’s a clear choice. For the record, I normally prefer Padrón’s Natural wrappers over the Maduro.
  • Final smoking time was two hours.
84 Overall Score

Padrón is a company known for consistency from its lower-priced Thousand Series to the Anniversary and Aniversario Series; with one exception—its limited editions. There have been times where the flavors have been great, and then there are examples where it just didn't work as well. I find both the Maduro and Natural versions of the Padrón WCD 125th Anniversary fall into that category. It's not a bad cigar, but I can't ever see myself reaching for another one of these over a regular production Padrón 1964. There was something missing.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.