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Cigar Face-Off: Padrón Executive Maduro vs. Padrón Executive Natural

30 Apr 2012

[Editor’s Note: “Cigar Face-Off” is a new feature where we compare and contrast cigars that share at least one important attribute. Please let us know what you think about the new feature in the comments below, and feel free to suggest two cigars for a future Face-Off.]

When most cigar enthusiasts think of Padrón, the lines that come to mind first are the Anniversary Series (both 1926 and 1964) and Family Reserve. Not to be overlooked is the original Padrón line, which includes over a dozen vitolas that are available in either Natural or Maduro formats. Each is comprised of Cuban-seed Nicaraguan tobacco.

The Executive is a double corona that measures 7.5 inches long with a ring gauge of 50. To see how the two varieties stack up in this format, I bought one Maduro and one Natural at a tobacconist in downtown Chicago. The cost was $7 each.

Padrón Executive Maduro

Unlike its counterpart, the Executive Maduro has a dark, noticeably oily wrapper that imparts a sensation of decadence and exudes pre-light notes of chocolate and earth. Based on first impressions, one might expect the taste to be akin to moist chocolate cake. The profile, however, is less sweet than expected with thick flavors of coffee, leather, and pepper.

The fine aroma of the resting smoke and the cigar’s balance help maintain my attention during the two-hour experience even though the actual profile of the smoke doesn’t change much from light to nub. All the while the physical properties are good, including a solid white ash and a straight burn.

Padrón Executive Natural

The Executive Natural doesn’t make as good of a first impression as the Maduro. It has a dry, mottled wrapper, several lumps, and even a few soft spots. I would have a hard time paying $7 for a cigar that looks like this unless the band was stamped with the venerable Padrón name. Or unless I had read/heard good things.

After establishing an even light, the cigar’s musty—somewhat minty—pre-smoke smell transitions to a taste of coarse pepper and cayenne spice. With plenty of heat on the lips, some sweetness or cream would go a long way towards balance. Just as I find myself thinking that, notes of dry cocoa join in, accompanied by coffee. This is how the cigar remains until the end. Good construction is exhibited throughout.

Conclusion

Given the amount of time and tobacco you get for $7, either of these smokes is a good buy. But I would have to give the slight edge to the Padrón Executive Natural. Its classic taste has a bit more complexity and balance, notwithstanding the deficiencies in appearance.

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

6 Responses to “Cigar Face-Off: Padrón Executive Maduro vs. Padrón Executive Natural”

  1. Nick M. Monday, April 30, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    Great review. I'm a regular (twice per week) smoker of this cigar in the maduro wrapper, but I've never smoked the natural. My B&M never carries either, so I must buy them online and I've been searching for a 5-pack of the naturals, but can't seem to find them. I may just have to spring for a box after reading this review. You guys do a great job, but it's reviews like this that make stogieguys.com my favorite blog. Keep up the good work.

  2. Ashburn Dave Monday, April 30, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Interestingly enough, I smoked two 3000s over the weekend, one maduro and one natural. I too like the naturals a bit better. Couldn't agree more about the resting smoke's aroma of the maduro's, though.

  3. Steve in FallsChurch Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    Face off suggestion: EP Carrillo New Wave Connecticut vs 2012 Short Run.

  4. Dave Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    I really like the "face off" reviews. I'm not good at describing a cigar by itself, but I can easily compare and say "this one's stronger, or heavier" or "this one's flavor is more X (or less Y)". I guess that makes it make more sense to me when someone else does that same thing. Good work!

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