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Cigar Review: Padrón Dámaso No. 12

22 Oct 2015

Few cigars were as anticipated at this past summer’s IPCPR Trade Show as the Padrón Dámaso. The reason is simple: In an era where many cigar companies compulsively create new cigar lines to debut each year, Padrón rarely expands its portfolio.

Padron Damaso No 12Founded in 1964, Padrón only added its first new line (1964 Anniversary) beyond its core line in 1994. A second 1926 line was added in 2002, and the annual Family Reserve line release was the next added in 2008. All are proudly billed as 100% Nicaraguan, with either a maduro or natural wrapper.

That makes a full new line featuring a non-Nicaraguan wrapper a very newsworthy event. That new cigar line is named for Jose Padrón’s grandfather Dámaso who was the first Padrón to arrive in Cuba sometime in the late 1800s from the Canary Islands.

Dámaso comes in four sizes, each of which comes in boxes of 20 cigars and features dual white bands, plus a security band underneath with an individual serial number (a feature Padrón introduced to counter counterfeits). I smoked four of the robusto-sized (5 x 50) No. 12 vitola (one of four sizes) for this review.

Although not prominently identified, the Connecticut-seed wrapper used for the newest Padrón is grown in Ecuador (as opposed to Connecticut). It’s a nice-looking wrapper, with an even khaki color. Pre-light there’s a nice combination of grass, earth, and pepper.

The cigar is slightly salty and bitter immediately after being lit, but very quickly settles into a combination of hay, earth, white pepper, and cedar. Towards the second half there are cashew and cream notes.

While billed as a milder Padrón, especially towards the beginning it has sneaky strength. Even after it smooths out after the initial burst, it maintains more strength than many Connecticut-wrapped cigars, which is pretty much what you’d expect from a Connecticut Padrón. The choice of an Ecuador-grown Connecticut wrapper makes sense here since it tends to stand up to the Nicaraguan binder and filler better than a Connecticut-grown leaf.

Construction is flawless, especially the burn, which features a narrow black line, and was perfectly straight for each of the samples I smoked. I was surprised how quickly the robusto burns, as I finished each sample in well under an hour despite setting a very deliberate pace with the final two.

There’s no question in my mind that this new offering from Padrón is a good cigar. Although the $12.50 price isn’t the most wallet-friendly (this cigar would be be a segment-killer at $8), it is a perfectly constructed, well-executed Connecticut cigar with enough flavor not to let you forget that it’s a Padrón. That earns the Padrón Dámaso No. 12 four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Cigar Review: Padrón Dámaso No. 12”

  1. JMac Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    Seems like most new releases these days exceed the $10 price point in anticipation of the FDA Regulations.

  2. Charlie H. Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    Damaso = “meh”