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Cigar Review: Padrón Serie 1964 Prototype Natural (Smoke Inn Exclusive)

5 Jun 2017

There’s a lot to admire about Padrón Cigars. Like the company’s status as arguably the pinnacle of excellence in the industry. Or the dedication displayed by Cuban émigré José Orlando Padrón to labor as a carpenter until he had the capital to establish a cigar factory.

Another admirable trait is the company’s focused portfolio. Instead of coming out with a new cigar line every year, Padrón only makes a few different blends—lines that are crafted well and almost universally celebrated. As the company likes to say, “When Padrón is on the label, quality is a matter of family honor.”

One of those well-crafted lines is the Serie 1964, also known as the 1964 Anniversary Series. It was launched in 1994 to commemorate Padrón’s 30th anniversary (there’s also a 1926 Serie that honors the year of José Orlando Padrón’s birth.) The Serie 1964 has 12 box-pressed vitolas, each available in either a sun-grown Natural wrapper or a dark Maduro leaf. All of the tobaccos in the Nicaraguan puro are aged for four years.

The newest of the 12 vitolas, Hermoso, was added in 2016. “When Padrón first began toying with their new 1964 Anniversary Hermoso cigar (4 x 56), they first came to us with a more manageable (4 x 50) vitola,” reads the Smoke Inn website, which refers to the 1964 Prototype as “an exclusive pre-release cigar.” The specifics of this arrangement between Padrón and Smoke Inn are unclear, but it seems reasonable to assume the 1964 Prototype is a one-time release and that supplies are very limited.

I recently bought a 5-pack of Prototype Naturals for $59.75 ($11.95 per cigar). At the time of this writing, 5-packs and boxes of 20 of both the Natural and Maduro are still available at Smoke Inn.

As you would expect given the pedigree and price, the Prototype Natural is stunning in appearance. It sports the familiar 1964 double-ring. In my mind, those two bands are very reassuring; they reinforce the only thing that’s “prototype” about this cigar are the dimensions. Everything else—the quality of the tobacco, the craftsmanship of the construction, etc.—should be up to the high Serie 1964 standards.

Once lit, nutty, creamy pre-light notes transition to a complex, well-balanced profile of oak, almond, sharp cedar spice, and vanilla. Background notes of powdery cocoa and cream help add balance. I would best describe the texture as silky.

Given the cigar’s stature, the settle-in mode arrives quickly. This slightly mellowed midway point is characterized by a creamier taste and the emergence of notes like peanut, warm tobacco, and cinnamon. There are very few changes in flavor thereafter. Throughout, the combustion qualities are superb, including a straight burn that requires no torch touch-ups, a sooth draw, above average smoke production, and a white ash that holds well off the foot.

I don’t think I’m going to surprise anyone when I say the Padrón Serie 1964 Prototype Natural is a terrific smoke. It’s a compact, concentrated iteration of a blend we all know and love that delivers exactly as expected. That’s ultimately why, in my book, this exclusive vitola from Smoke Inn earns four and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

5 Responses to “Cigar Review: Padrón Serie 1964 Prototype Natural (Smoke Inn Exclusive)”

  1. Grant C Monday, June 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

    Approximately how long was the smoking time? Great review sounds like it was close to 5 stars to me

  2. Patrick A Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    About 50-60 min.

  3. Padron Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 2:49 am #

    Very Nice Article …. Thanks

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