Cigar Aficionado Top 25 Cigars of 2016 - #5 - Rated 94
Things are definitely looking up when you have got a slowly smoldering Padron 1926 Series No. 90 Natural in your hand. There’s just something about that rugged stick that is both a callback to a simpler time and a bold glimpse into a promising future. For those in the know, Padron represents the pinnacle of the cigar-making art, using old-world aging and rolling techniques together with Nicaraguan tobaccos of the finest quality to reach heights unobtainable by other brands. This latest 1926 version, created in celebration of Jose O Padron’s 90th birthday, comes tucked neatly inside a sturdy cream-colored metal tubo for a perfect smoking experience every time.
Along with its twin Maduro version, the Padron 1926 Series No. 90 Natural represents the first non-box pressed Padron, so we are all in new territory here. Fortunately, the skilled craftsmen and women at the Tabacos Cubanica factory have had no trouble delivering a perfect roll and draw through the 5 1/2 inch by 52 ring gauge barrel. Once freed from its tube and protective sheath of cellophane, the golden brown skin of the cigar is oily and toothy and takes readily to a stable flame. Crisp cedar, black pepper, and salted caramel are the first flavors to roll across the tongue. Further exploration yields an increase in both depth and strength, the profile overflowing with rich earth, semi-sweet chocolate, espresso, warm spices, and citrus.
Scoring both a stellar 94 rating and a place in the Top 5 Cigars of 2016, the Padron 1926 Series No. 90 Natural more than deserves an honored spot in your humidor. Experienced fans of the brand will find cause to celebrate the subtle new complexities while newbies will simply be blown away. Scrimp and save if you need to but this cigar is a must-have for anyone who appreciates the best of the best.