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Stogie Reviews: Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural

3 May 2010

With the 2010 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association Trade Show coming up in three months, May is a good time to take stock in the year that was. Another barrage of cigar introductions is just around the corner. So this is an appropriate month to catch up on any releases from last year that may have fallen through the cracks.

There were many sought-after debuts at the 2009 show, but perhaps none as anticipated as Padrón’s newest creation. Padrón, unlike most cigar makers, doesn’t always put out a new cigar every year. When the company does, it’s usually in high demand.

That was certainly the case with the new Padrón Family Reserve No. 45. Released in two versions (Natural and Maduro) with one size (6 x 52), it celebrates the 45th anniversary of Padrón Cigars. Each box of ten includes an insert about the band’s little hammer—a commemoration of Cuban émigré José Orlando Padrón and his drive to work as a carpenter until he could establish a cigar company.

His dedication paid off in spades. With over 600 employees, a tremendously loyal following, and more accolades than space permits mentioning, Padrón Cigars is considered by many to be the pinnacle of cigardom. One measure—albeit a flawed one—is how the company has dominated Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 lists, including earning top honors for the Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro.

That pick didn’t come as much of a surprise. But as popular as the Maduro has been, my recent experience with two Naturals proves that this (somewhat rarer) version shouldn’t be overlooked. It, too, is a box-pressed Nicaraguan puro with 10-year-old tobacco that sells for upwards of $25 apiece. And it, too, amounts to a memorable, special occasion smoke that beckons to be tried at least once.

After a clean cut reveals an easy draw, the somewhat wrinkly No. 45 Natural opens with a chalky, textured taste of bitter leather, earth, nuts, and wood. The raw flavor of tobacco is featured prominently, as is a background of espresso.

The big difference between this two-hour smoke and the Maduro is cocoa. While the latter has plenty of sweet, decadent chocolate notes, the Natural—while medium-bodied throughout—has more of a dry, spicy edge. Both are subtle and well-balanced; they just have different profiles.

Padrón is known for its consistency and quality. I only smoked two No. 45 Naturals because of their high price point but, based on that sample set, I found near perfect construction. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a cigar that costs more than a wonderful dinner entrée.

Smoking down to the nub, I didn’t feel the slightest bit of buyer’s remorse. Would I partake in this cigar on a regular basis? No. For an occasional treat, though, you can’t go wrong with the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural. It earns four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Natural”

  1. Dave in Ashburn Monday, May 3, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Are these a one-time production or can I smoke the one I have in the humidor guilt-free?

  2. Patrick A Monday, May 3, 2010 at 10:20 am #


    Jorge Padrón told us last summer that the plan is to release one Family Reserve Blend in one size every September. I understand that to mean that the No. 45 is a one-time production (with the No. 46 just around the corner).

    But I'd go ahead and smoke the one in your humidor soon. Padrón's aim is to release these cigars near their peak. (Remember: The tobacco is already 10 years old.) That means today might be a good day to smoke guilt-free.

  3. Padronnie Monday, May 3, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Obviously these are good. Still for the $25-30 I'd rather have the Maduro version of the 45 or even a LFD El Museo.

  4. John Werner Monday, December 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    I am smoking my first #46 Maduro and I am already thinking it is the best cigar I may have smoked yet…Padron or otherwise. The mocha is aged and not too sweet, the tobacco is really nice with a refinement I'm still in awe of, and the spice, well, the spice is the best balanced and easy-going zing I've ever noticed in any stick. Padron keeps outdoing themselves with these things. This thing is pretty full, but the unbelieveable smoothness makes it seem like a medium in spite of the strength. Older properly aged tobaccos, like fine wine, really does take the experience to the next level!