Padilla Cava | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $6.75 by the Single/$6.00 in a 5 Pack at the Cigar Federation Store.
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Today we take a look at the new Padilla Cava.

It was released in February of this year and produced at the Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.

It is a regular production stick that comes in four sizes. Three of them are redwood trees: 6 x 60, 7 x 70, and 8 x 60. The list contains the largest cigar Padilla has ever produced.

The cigar presentation is very fancy shmancy. The proud lion that they borrow from MGM is in all gold on a field of black and more gold behind it outlined in red. The foot band is a laser etch of the same line showing a more, “What me, worry?” pose. With a red banner that encircles the foot band at the bottom declaring “Padilla Cava.”

On the rear side of the foot band with the lion is something in Spanish by Heberto Padilla. As I don’t speak Spanish, I have no idea what it says. I’m sure on of the big guys has it all figured out.

I remove the footer and hidden on one edge, it says: “It’s better to be lion for a day than a sheep all your life.”
Well, ain’t that just macho as hell? What the heck is Heberto talking about? Climbing a tall clock tower with a scoped rifle?
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So, all in all, a masterful presentation for a $6.75 cigar. Now let’s hope the blend of the Cava matches the presentation.

The wrapper is a semi-oily milk chocolate brown wrapper that is smooth with some tooth here and there. Like on the picture of the lion. Lots of tooth there.

Seams are very tight. Veins are plentiful. The stick is rock solid with the right amount of give. It looks like a nicely applied double cap. Hard to tell.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spicy pepper (Two double sneezes in a row), barnyard, grass, dark chocolate, cedar, and leather.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are very sweet. Right away, there is caramel and creaminess. There is rich earthiness and leather. There is a healthy dose of nutmeg. And maple syrup.

The draw is great. But smoke is blinding me.
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Chocolate enters the picture. The sweetness is almost too much. Like sucking on a chocolate Tootsie Pop.

Clearly, the Padilla family decided to get with the program and produce a cigar that doesn’t need months and months of humidor rest. Onward Christian Soldiers.

The chocolaty-ness is very strong. The cigar produces a very long finish and just about all I can taste is the chocolate; with a hint of mint.
The strength is medium body from the start.

I just got an email from ST DuPont about repairing my Maxi Jet lighter I’ve had for about 18 months. Since I found the receipt, they are repairing it for free. But two things…in the description of the lighter on the Estimate for Repair, it says: “Received nicked, scratched, corners nicked/chipped, worn.” Yeah, every day, I made sure to rub in the ground in the back yard and then throw it on the floor a few times. All that shit was normal wear and barely appeared. THEN…they asked if I wanted it returned empty or filled? If I want it returned filled, there will be a $28.40 HAZ-MAT fee. Yes. Please charge me $28 for 3 cents worth of butane. Idiots. DuPonts are expensive lighters. Are there really owners out there that don’t know how to fill their lighters? Oy.

Back to the Padilla Cava. This is a very slow smoke. Burned 1” in almost 15 minutes…maybe more. Lose track when I’m writing.
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Flavors are emboldened at this point. The creaminess and caramel really take off.

Construction is great so far. Nearly a razor sharp char line. And the cap is holding its own against the Katman drool.

A rich earthiness lays down a bedrock (pardon the pun) for the other flavors.

At the 1-1/4” burned, the cigar deserves to be called a flavor bomb.

I got this cigar about a week, maybe 10 days ago. Right into the humidor it went. No dry boxing in this cold weather. I’m amazed that the Padilla Cava is so responsive after such a short time.

To be honest, this is a 5 x 50 stick but the ring gauge looks smaller. But I measure it and it is ¾” in diameter. On the money for using a tape measure.
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Flavors are going crazy: Caramel, creaminess, chocolate, earthiness, brown sugar, lime citrus, nutmeg, ginger, coffee ice cream, and leather.
And I’ve still got 3-1/2” to go.
This is a true dessert cigar.

And it proves once more that a great cigar need not cost $14.00. The price point on the Padilla Cava is merely stunning.

I bought a single. A 5 pack brings the price down to $6.00. A box of 17 stays at $6.00 a stick. And I got a bunch of singles from the Cigar Federation Store just for review. It is a little maddening staring at a single in my humidor and having to wait to review it.

But as I said during my begging period not long ago, I would spend all of my donated dough on cigars, not my cable bill. Fortunately, enough people donated and allowed me to stay in reviewing mode for 3-4 weeks.

The second third begins.

The strength is a solid medium body.
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If the cigar remains this sweet throughout the entire burn, I’m not sure I will dig it. It’s damn near to treacly sweet. It needs some savory overtones. Again, any time I review a cigar with less than a month’s humidor time I have to wonder about the accuracy of my review. Will a month cause a big change? Will it become bolder and have a broader spectrum of flavors? Will it mellow out too much?

The spiciness has dissipated quite a bit.

To add to the sweetness profile is vanilla and graham cracker. Honey, where’s the beef?

I stop for a while and read a few reviews. They are reporting the same experience I’m having. They don’t reveal how long they’ve had the cigar so it is still a quandary.

Finally. Toasty and nutty. A slight offset to all this sweetness.
The sweetness begins to die down a bit and the earthiness looms larger.

I’ve never been a big fan of Padilla cigars. I’ve only reserved two blends: Reserva Maduro and Crianza. I liked both cigars.
Padilla makes some decent cigars and most are in the $7-$8 range retail.

I am at the halfway point.

The blend is settling down now. The too sweet elements are being tamed by the invisible lion tamer.
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Strength is still medium bodied.

The foot hasn’t needed a single touch up. And no wrapper issues.

For a robusto, this cigar is an extraordinary slow smoke. With a full third to go, I’ve invested almost 90 minutes.

Here are the revised flavors: Chocolate, creaminess, caramel, toasty, nutty, citrus, wood, graham cracker, vanilla, coffee, spice, and leather.

I am absolutely positive that I am experiencing the blender’s intent. I can’t imagine that with another month of humidor time there will be much of a difference to the flavor profile. It started out with a bang and has been complex for most of that time. It has a great balance. And a very long finish.

The strength reaches medium/full and brings along some mighty powerful nicotine.
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I’m spinning. That came out of nowhere.

Finally, what I’ve been waiting for arrives. A very meaty, manly element that balances the sweetness.

I checked the Padilla web site and they don’t list the Cava yet so I have no definitive point of reference for the strength.
I’ve been sitting here for 3 hours. The Padilla Cava is like an all-day sucker.

The price point makes it easy to recommend this cigar. It is super flavorful. The construction is spot on. And it kept my interest the entire time.

The best deal is at Cigar Federation. Don’t forget, that if you are a member, you get 10% off. Membership is free.
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And now for something completely different:
Rick Tunstall Continued…
rick
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We all did too much drugs back then. The 1980’s was the heyday of cocaine use. Everyone was doing it. I don’t think I knew anyone that didn’t.
We had released the 45 single of “Hound Dog.” And we had a lot of tunes from the recording studio.
attitude

We had a manager. A French man, Philippe Mogane, who was a big shot in France due to his photography. He was also Iggy Pop’s first manager. And continued to be heavily involved in the L.A. punk scene.
philippemogane

He put out a CD called “The Godfathers of L.A. Punk” a few years ago and included “Hound Dog.” It didn’t exactly meet the criteria of punk.
Mogane was our manager and he did things for us. He was no role model as he did more drugs than anyone I knew.
godfathers

He distributed our single and the cassette recordings to all of his contacts and scored with some production company looking for a band to do the soundtrack for a movie and play in some bar scene.

We had a gig at Gazzarri’s on the Sunset Strip.
Gaz_01

The production people came in a large throng and sat up in the balcony. In those days, some clubs only allowed a band 20 minutes. That way they could put 6-7 bands on in one night.

Rick was so nervous he made himself ill. He also did a bit too much of the marching powder. Of course, the band did some too but not from a dump truck like Rick.

We go on stage and Rick counts us in for our first song.
Then disaster hit.

He lost his balance in the middle of the song and fell into Reek Havok’s enormous drum set….sending drums and equipment flying all over the stage.
We helped him up. Reek was not happy.

We set the drums back up. And just as we were ready to play our second song, we watched the production group get up and leave. Never heard a word back from them.

Man, we were pissed off at Rick.

But it was Hollywood. We really never knew what chances we really had for being in the movie. We only got feedback from Mogane and he couldn’t be trusted. We played out a lot. And Rick never did that stunt again. He learned his lesson the hard way.

And as always happens with bands, dissension in the ranks started after a year together. Rick was the true leader of the band but he started it with our keys player, Mike Anthony. Rick sang “Hound Dog” and Mike sang “Condo Bondage.” Mike’s vocals were never stellar. While Rick’s was. He was the true center of the band.

Things got very uncomfortable. Mike approached me and wanted to break off with Rick and start his own band. I tried not to laugh.

There was no way. Rick had the X Factor. His writing was/is brilliant and he had showmanship. His vision for the band was way ahead of its time which eventually killed the band. We were recording totally unique rock music. Rick wrote everything. I just added my bass lines and made the occasional comments and suggestions.

Mike was floored that I wouldn’t go with him.

So now we were a trio. No keys. We still sounded like a big band. We had the perfect mix of two players that complemented each other so we had our own wall of sound.

We continued to play out with the same frequency that we had with Mike on keys.

And then I broke up the band. I had an opportunity to buy a recording studio and I went with it. This was the situation that propelled me into the Eddie Munster project.

My partner was the engineer. I was the producer.
We worked constantly. 3-4 sessions per day. Sometimes more.

I learned a lot about producing from Rick. Without being under his tutelage, I would never have been so successful.

During my ownership of the studio, I produced thousands of acts. And I got plenty of bass work. Bands would come in looking for a bassist asking if I knew one. I raised my hand. But I couldn’t produce and play at the same time.

So the bands laid down their tracks and I would come back to the studio late at night and sit in the booth by myself. I did my own engineering and would run the board and play the bass lines. Perfect way to play outstanding bass.

Rick has a new CD coming out in January. If the CD takes off, who knows? Maybe a tour lurks in my future.

Life is Good!

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