Hello again Cigar Box patrons! As I said in my last post we have been extremely busy here at the Box and things are only getting busier. We capped off May with a great event for Cigars of Miami. A big thanks to everyone who made it such a memorable night! Now as June begins I am taking a short hiatus from my duties at the Cigar Box to go on an adventure. As I write this post I am sitting in JFK International Airport waiting to embark on a flight to Prague, Czech Republic. I am incredibly fortunate to have such a supportive family here at the Box that is willing to sacrifice their time and work extra shifts to make this trip possible. Next time you come in, please make sure and thank Josh and Liz for generosity and dedication.
Early this month there was another development in our ongoing FDA battle. While it does not directly affect the legislation at this time, it may be sign of hope. On May 11, 2017 Dr. Scott Gottlieb M.D. was sworn in as the commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Gottlieb has history with FDA, serving as deputy commissioner under President George W. Bush. The reason this approval is so interesting stems from an article written by Gottlieb for the New York Post in 2012 concerning the imposition of regulations on cigars similar to those in the 2016 decision. In the opinion piece he acknowledges the issue of machine rolled cigars and cigarettes being consumed by minors, but he condemns the FDA for its failure to distinguish these products from premium hand rolled cigars primarily enjoyed by adults. Gottlieb also shows an understanding of the economic impact regulations on the industry could have.
“ About 85,000 Americans work in the premium-cigar business, according to the industry’s main trade group. Many of these jobs would be in jeopardy if the FDA’s regulations went forward. About 75 percent of the domestic importers and producers of cigars are located in Florida, where it’s a $2 billion-a-year industry.”
While stances and opinions on polarizing issues such as tobacco are always subject to change, I am interested to see what this decision will mean for the industry and consumers alike.
Those of you who know me are most likely aware of my affinity towards Padrón. Like many of us, as a novice I was drawn to cigars by mild classics such as Romeo and Julieta’s Reserva Reál or Macanudo’s Hyde Park. I can distinctly remember the first time I smoked a Padrón. I was sitting around a bonfire at a friend’s high school graduation party and her father, being an avid smoker, opened his personal humidor to us. The humidor was full of cigars, some I recognized and some I didn’t, but it was a dark cocoa box press with a simple brown band that caught my eye. Moments after lighting up I realized I had found the one. The complexity and strength was entirely new to me. 9 years have passed since that night and my love for the cigar as only grown. This year as I celebrate 9 years of Padrón enjoyment, the company’s founder, Jose Orlando Padrón, celebrates his 90th year in life. To celebrate this anniversary a new cigar was released in the last quarter of 2016, the Padrón 1926 Serie No. 90. Looking at the blend sheet this would appear to be a pretty standard release for the company, Cuban seed sun-grown Nicaraguan puro offered in a natural and maduro wrapper. It isn’t until one actually sees the cigar that you realize what sets it apart. Firstly there’s a tube, cream for the natural and red for the maduro. Padróns do not come in tubos, primarily due to the fact tubes are round and Padróns are always box pressed, yet here it is. Then you open the tube to realize that this cigar isn’t box pressed like all its brethren. To my knowledge, excluding the Connecticut shade wrapped Dámaso, no Padrón has ever been round. This intrigued me, so of course I had to try it. For this review I am smoking the natural. This stick is 5.5x52 and while still top-notch construction, it doesn’t have the feel of elegance a perfect box press imbues. Upon first light cedar and a subtle sweetness are immediately present. A fair amount of pepper lingers on the finish, but it is noticeably less than the rest of the line. Pepper is almost entirely lost on the second third as it turns into a creamy smoke with earthy undertones. The final third remains creamy but with a slight resurgence of the pepper notes. Over all I have to say this is the mildest Padrón I can recall smoking. That being said, don’t give it to an inexperienced smoker, it is still a Padrón and falls into the medium-full end of the spectrum. I can see why Cigar Aficionado touted this cigar in their top 25 of 2016 where it received the number 5 spot and a 94 rating. The Padrón 1926 serie No. 90 is a superb smoke and an absolute must try for any serious cigar smoker.
My plane is boarding so I think that means this post is done. Expect a full report on my trip in my next post! As always make sure and check our Facebook and event pages for updates on any and all upcoming events. Thank you for reading!
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!