|dry wood, white pepper, honey, peanut butter, cocoa, nuttiness
Ernesto Padilla's father, Heberto, was born in 1932. Though Heberto was Cuban, he was far more than an old school cigar guy. Heberto was a poet and critic of the Castro regime. Though he initially supported the revolution, when the government began restricting free speech that involved any "weakening of the Revolutionary ideology" he became a critic. In March 1971 he was imprisoned and spent thirty-seven days there. His prison time sparked poets and intellectuals to speak out against the government in what became known as the 'Padilla Affair'. The result was many pro-revolutionaries changing their support of the Castro-led government (Just Google Padilla Affair to read more on it). He was not allowed to leave Cuba until 1980, when he moved to the US and continued as a poet and professor until his death in 2000. Ernesto has made several cigars dedicated to his father, (like the Padilla 1932) but this one is likely the best. Just a few weeks ago Cigar Aficionado included the 88th Anniversario on their Top 25 Cigars of 2021 list (#21). One of the best aspects of this cigar is found in the retrohale, that delivers a very pleasant pepper note that contrasts the honey and cocoa notes on the palate.
|Review #1 Content
(2021 #21 Cigar of the Year) This new smoke hit the market earlier last year, created by brand owner Ernesto Padilla to honor the 88th birthday of his father Heberto. Heberto Padilla was a famed Cuban poet who was imprisoned in 1971 for criticizing the Cuban government, sparking what became known as “The Padilla Affair.” The smoke is gorgeous, made in Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez, with a beautiful Ecuador Havana wrapper and a touch of Pelo d’Oro filler in the blend, a fickle seed varietal that’s tough to grow. The smoke has notes of butterscotch, earth and caramel, with a honeyed finish.
|Review #2 Content
While we can argue about how Padilla's cigars sell in stores, I can say that for the most part I have liked the company's blends, and the Padilla 88 Aniversario Robusto is no exception. The cigar shows impressive flavors and balance, with about as on-point of a retrohale as I can recall in recent memory. There are points, specifically in the second third, where I want the cigar to offer more as I think some more standout flavors would only help the overall impression. Yet the cigar is perfectly enjoyable as is, a worthy pickup if you're looking for something that delivers some familiar Ecuadorian habano flavors with a firm Nicaraguan backbone of flavor. Construction is nearly impeccable, which only further enhances the smoking experience. While I'm not at the point of recommending filling your humidor with these, I certainly think at least a few would be more than a welcomed addition to any collection.