Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 52 “Toro – Box Pressed”
Body: Full
Price: $27.00
Humidor time: 4 Months
Number of cigars smoked prior to review: 0




Photo courtesy of Padron Cigars:

Today we take a look at the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro.
Thanks to a reader for the cigar.

This is a highly respected cigar. I have the feeling that if I don’t give it a high rating, the villagers will storm my castle with pitchforks and torches. So I will be nice despite the nasty price point of this cigar.

I get comments and emails all the time from readers who tell me they are sick of getting sucker punched by Padron. Good cigars but not even close to the dough they ask for.

I’m going to try to be a good boy and not curse like a mother fucker throughout the review wondering why anyone would spend nearly $30 on ONE cigar.

2nd release of the Family Reserve Series.
The 1964 on the band refers to the year that Padrón Cigars was born.
Factory: Tabacos Cubanica S.A

Back in 2009, the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro was rated, at 95, as No.1 of Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars List:
“The Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro first reached cigar shops on September 8, the 45th anniversary of the creation of Padrón Cigars Inc. by José Orlando Padrón. The 83-year-old Cuban émigré is the embodiment of the American dream, having come to the United States in the early 1960s with nothing more than a few hundred dollars, a solid work ethic and the burning desire to make cigars that tasted as good as the ones he smoked as a young man in Cuba. The image of a hammer on this special release commemorates a most precious gift given to him by a friend when he was virtually penniless—the tool allowed him to eke out a living as a carpenter, money he saved to form a small cigar company. The cigar smokers of the world owe that benefactor a great debt, for the Padrón family continues to give us one brilliant cigar after another.

“No company has dominated our ratings in the way Padrón Cigars has. This is the third time it has been named Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year, an honor that has only existed for six years. The No. 45 is stronger than typical Padróns and is an intense smoke jammed with rich, hearty, coffee notes and a heady amount of spices. The Padróns are tobacco hoarders, keeping stocks of tobacco for years, and this cigar is made with some of their oldest leaves. Company president Jorge Padrón says the leaves inside are as old as 10 years.

“The first of the Padrón’s Family Reserves were torpedos made from very old tobaccos, served only for special occasion dinners and never sold at retail. While the 45 shares the original’s old tobacco, it’s a slightly different blend and an entirely different shape, being a severely pressed parejo. While the majority of Padrón Family Reserve No. 45s are made with maduro wrappers, some are wrapped in natural leaves. The cigars come in tidy boxes of 10, the cover of which bears the signature of the Padrón clan. “This is something you carry in your blood,” says José Orlando Padrón about making cigars. “I was born in the middle of all that and that is why I love it so much.”

Nice looking stick but the sides are a bit crumpled with a couple large veins. Front and back are okey doke. Tight seams. Nearly without veins.
But the cigar does not feel heavy in the hand.
The wrapper is an oily, chocolate candy bar brown. Almost smooth to the touch…but there is a fine grain of sandpaper-like tooth throughout.

This really is a beautiful cigar…but it does look a bit lopsided:


From the shaft, I smell faint notes of chocolate, spice, cream, espresso, cedar, and caramel.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell strong red pepper, chocolate, barnyard, caramel, cinnamon, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of…get yer red hots right here, chocolate, espresso, malt, creaminess, cedar, caramel, cinnamon, and a touch of saltiness.

The Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro starts off with creaminess, malts, chocolate, a dance of the Hippo-style red pepper attack that has my eyes watering so much I have to stop and hold a tissue to them for a bit.

In addition, there are notes of caramel, espresso, a lovely generic fruity sweetness, and that same touch of saltiness.

The Padron geared up its flavor profile pretty quickly. It went from 0-60 in less than two minutes. Slow for a car but fast for a cigar.
Goddamit. Now this is a mother fucker. It attains the “It” factor faster than any cigar I’ve smoked.
I get it now.

No fucking around. No hanging around on a street corner singing Doo Wop. No loitering in the school halls. No nuttin’ honey. The Padron gets down to business and keeps its head down.

Strength is an immediate medium/full body. Oh lawdy. This means that in about half an hour, the nicotine will kick in and it will take me all day to write this review due to a constant, and persistent, necessity to pass out. Plus, the cigar burns on a very slow roll.

The funny thing is that the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro doesn’t have a big trick bag. There isn’t a kitchen sink within miles.
The most heightened flavors are chocolate, malt, creaminess, pepper, and sweetness.
It’s taken the art form back to basics.

One big cup of strong coffee and this cigar has perked me up from my long winter night sleep.
As you can see, my luck with the burn line on box pressed cigars has not changed. See below:

OK. Excellent blend. Here’s the thing. I’ve smoked my share of $10-$12 cigars that taste every bit as good. I believe the boutique brands are catching up with the staid Old School blends due to young blood and their ingenuity and talent.

Padron can be a status symbol in public smoke houses. Just like Davidoff, Bespoke, and Fuente Don Arturo AnniverXario.

I’ve had minor touch up issues from the start. Nothing major. But damn it. What am I doing that causes every box press I touch to need char line fixes? Remember. I’ve been lighting cigars for 50 years. I know how to toast a foot.

That being said, the Padron is giving me much less trouble than the average box press.
Is it just the quality and technique of the rollers? Could it be that simple? Or is it that the shape that forces this issue?


Smoke time is 30 minutes.
Yes, the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro has become very complex. Transitions begin on their journey. Its depth of character is seeing the light of day.
But nearly $30? I could make a list of $10-$12 blends just as good right off the top of my head right now.


Another touch up required.
I truly don’t get it. I’ve reneged my first “I get it now.”

Truly. A good cigar. But why does one Padron or another always make the top 25 list in Cigar Aficionado. So many wonderful blends out there and this stalwart work horse always makes that list.
The stick is burning faster now.

Transitions are minimal as there weren’t a lot to begin with. It is not a cacophony of kitchen sink flavors. I did leave out earthwoodleather.

Over the last few reviews, I’ve smoked some spectacular cigars. Much more potent in the flavor department than this Padron.

I know we all wonder what the deal is with CA and their top 25 picks. You want to be cynical and say it is all rigged. But no one really knows for sure. I have a subscription to the mag. And each month, I shake my head in wonder as I read their cigar ratings…let alone their top 25 end of year list.

My first sip of water and flavors flood my palate. But nothing new on that list.

Padron was probably one of the first to use brilliant PR to sell their wares. Their upper echelon of blends has always been out of the reach of most smokers.
Approximately $140 for a 5 pack. Yikes.

Halfway point.
Smoke time is 50 minutes.

OK. Chocolate, creaminess, very spicy, malts, caramel, cedar, coffee, nutty, fruity, and graham cracker.
The complexity evens out. The original burgeoning character seems to have stalled as it seems to have reached its zenith.

And typically, the dumb ass in me finds the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro surging in its complexity right after I finished the last sentence.
I write totally stream of consciousness. I never go back and edit. It is what it is. If I look stupid, so be it. This is no place to make me look smarter than anyone else.


The Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro is nearly following the path I fully expected it to take. For nearly $30, the cigar should come with a brand new butt plug.
Strength is very full bodied now.

Nicotine enters. Oh God.

There aren’t many of us…but being one of those persons that has never smoked even one cigarette probably makes me more susceptible to nicotine.

Transitions are now what they should have been long ago.
Man, this is one overpriced cigar.

Here is a truth: No cigar maker should aim for the elite cigar smoker…wiping out any chance for the regular guy to try something good. Yeah, life ain’t necessarily fair but…c’mon.

Sure I’m pissing and moaning directly associated to the cost of the cigar. But honestly, the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro is no better than some great blends at half, or lower, than this cigar’s price point.

Oddly, I don’t think the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro has enough tobacco in it. It is smoking much too quickly.

Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.

I wait for more surges of the flavor profile only to be disappointed. A blend like this should be a moving train. And I find stagnancy every now and then. What’s up with that?
Creaminess is now the leading edge of the blend followed by spice, chocolate and malt.
Steady as she goes.

I wanted to review this cigar hoping it might make my top cigar list of 2016. Not going to happen as I have already compiled a preliminary list and there are just so many better cigars on that list.


As a younger man, all my friends were into the Grateful Dead. Not me. Never got the fever. Still don’t.

The blend blahs out a little. Complexity becomes stationary. Transitions slow down.
I do believe this is my first try of the Padrón Family Reserve No. 45 Maduro. I had expected more from this blend.

Using the character v. price quotient is damn pertinent.
If this cigar were in the $12 region, I might think better of the blend.

No orgasms. No incredulity. No being blown away. Just a solid cigar.

I think the Padron family has come to believe their own hype. Which means prices will never go down. And with each new release, the Fuentes will milk the shit out of the price point.
The Cigar Aficionado love for the Padron blends is beyond me.
For the price, you can buy 2 or 3 outstanding cigars that don’t have the name Padron attached to them.

Final smoke time is one hour 20 minutes. A little shy for a Toro.

RATING: 89 Protection Status


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7 replies

  1. 89? What the score if not considering the hefty price

  2. Only positive note is I got this on cigarsatyourprice for 18 bucks a stick. Still too much, I reckon. : – (

  3. Hi Peter…The best cigars I’ve smoked over the past year have been in the $8-$12 range.
    While the Family Reserve #45 was very good, it did not exceed the quality of the lesser priced blends.
    So, $18 is still too much for this blend. It belongs in the $10-$12 range.

  4. I’ve forwarded your review to the Padrons, Phil. Expect to hear from their lawyers shortly. : – )

  5. Hahaha! Let you in on a little secret…Since I began reviewing back in 2009, I’ve had more people swear that they would take me down.
    Of all the big reviewers, I am the only one who does not work in the cigar industry.
    They have no leverage on me…those fucking morons. What can they do? Fuck ’em. Put out a great product and I’m on your side.
    Put out drek and charge a fortune for it…well….fuck you and pile it on brothers…I can always use the publicity. lol

  6. As I relative neophyte to cigars, might you suggest some readily available cigars that match this flavor profile. I really enjoy Padrons, but not the price. Right now I am smoking and really enjoying a Palito 60 Aniversario that you seemed to also really enjoy.


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