This week, I decided to do a hybrid that has turned out to be somewhat controversial: a Padron Serie 1926 with a maduro and candela barberpole. Some may ask why I would even want to attempt this. My response? Because I can. But seriously, I wanted to see what adding a candela wrapper alongside the original maduro would do to this fabulous blend.
I used the 4 3/4 by 50 maduro wrapped beauty and while I was destroying it I noticed a few things. I already had my candela wrapper set out and ready to go and had removed the cap off the Padron. I was ready to remove the wrapper and had a difficult time. Not because the maduro was thicker than the candela but because there was fruit pectin on every inch of the inside of the wrapper. Yes, it was kind of a pain in the butt when doing this experiment and you may wonder what the significance of this is, but it actually makes sense. Padron has such a wonderful reputation for the quality control of their cigars so adding a little extra of the flavorless, odorless “glue” would help keep the wrapper in place during so many conditions that may otherwise cause tearing or unwrapping (handling, temperature etc).
The other thing I noticed was they used just enough wrapper to cover that exact cigar with maybe about an eighth of an inch overlap. So what is the significance of this? Nothing really when it comes down to it. But as I have unwrapped cigars over the last two years, I have been able to use wrappers from say, a robusto and place is on a lancero perfectly because the unwrapped leaf of the robusto was the same length and width as the unwrapped leaf from the lancero. This is simply something that I find intersting. However, I do think this exemplifies the skill of the Padron rollers in being able to eyeball the exact length and width needed to cover their cigars.
After I had the cigar rewrapped, I let it rest over night and lit it up the next afternoon. The candela added a sweeter aroma to the wrapper and the taste of the cigar on my lips. The cold draw was woody with bits of cocoa, which is normal, no change there. Once lit there was no immediate change. My palate got notes of wood, spice and was wonderfully rich. After a quarter of an inch I started to pick up a sweetness as well as notes of hay, some sweet floral notes and citrus zest. Each puff finished warm and spicy with undertones of oak. The retrohale was spicy with floral notes and was very aromatic.
Moving into the second third, the spice backed off slightly. The oak, floral and citrus notes were noticeable on the back of the palate, the finish of each draw. At the halfway point, coffee started to become apparent in the complexities of the draw, which was a great contrast to the earthy and floral notes.
The final third of the cigar was rich in coffee, spice and the sweet floral. The finish left an aftertaste of coffee and spice on the tongue. As the burn progressed to the end of the cigar, the spice started to pick up with more heat again and at the same time the citrus became prevalent once again with a more woody and spicy retrohale.
Although there were some new flavors noticeable on the palate, the changes the candela made to this experience were not dramatic. They added some wonderful subtle complexities that made this hybrid a very unique experience. There was the floral, sweet, citrus notes from the candela juxtaposed on the palate with the earthy, rich and spice of a maduro wrapper, which was absolutely wonderful.
Of course, a Padron is still a Padron and an incredible cigar on its own. Even more, they will continue to be one of my favorites.