Padilla Finest Hour Sungrown Habano | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $7.50 (Around $7 online)

Today we take a look at the Padilla Finest Hour Sungrown Habano.
Received one sample from Privada Cigar Club. They are currently charging $10 per cigar. You decide whether this is ethical.
Even, which charges too much for a single, is only charging $7.50.
Two months of naked humidor time.

From Cigar Aficionado January 14, 2019:
“Padilla Finest Hour, the Winston Churchill-inspired cigar that comes in three versions, is soft-launching at select cigar stores this week. A formal, nationwide release will begin next week, with an official launch party scheduled at Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar in Miami on January 24 at 7 p.m.

“We start shipping to select retailers this week,” brand owner Ernesto Padilla told Cigar Aficionado. The launch party “will start off with private members tasting at the lounge with Havana Club rum. [Bacardi] will be on hand to create their custom cocktails with their brand ambassador. At 8 p.m. we will then feature the cigars and drinks to the general public in attendance,” Padilla added.

“Some of the retailers who are expected to receive Finest Hour this week include: Cuban Crafters Cigars in Miami; Mt. Vernon Tobacco in Baltimore; Lordsburg Cigar Lounge in La Verne, Calfornia; Brown and Sons Premium Cigars in Olympia, Washington; and Lake Worth Cigars in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Padilla Finest Hour Oscuro is draped in a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper with a double Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras. Finest Hour Sungrown is a Nicaraguan puro, enrobed in a Habano-seed cover leaf. Finest Hour Connecticut is rolled with an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper with a double Nicaraguan binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan filler.

“The cigars ship in the same three sizes across the three blends: Robusto, at 5 inches by 52 ring gauge ($7.50); Toro, at 6 by 52 ($8.25,); and 6×60 ($8.90), with the same dimensions as its name. Each will come in boxes of 20.”

A rusty penny hued oily wrapper…lumpy and bumpy. Smooth with no tooth. Some large veins but fairly tight seams. The stick is on the inconsistent side as some parts are hard and others are soft.

Floral and cinnamon dominate the first whiffs. Barnyard follows and then notes of red cherries, malt, milk chocolate, buttery, cedar, and a touch of dark coffee.
The cold draw presents flavors of creaminess, cinnamon, black pepper, caramel, chocolate, cedar, malt, and dried fruit.

No need for my PerfecDraw cigar poker and tool. The draw has the perfect resistance and smoke pours from the foot.

First up is black pepper, and then cinnamon, red pepper, sweet cream, malt, milk chocolate, cedar, and lavender.
Strength hits a potent medium immediately. This will be an arse kicker by its denouement.
Complexity kick in without hesitation. Transitions begin to form. The finish is bright and tangy.

The spiciness is a big factor. The combo of black and red peppers along with hot cinnamon are causing my nose to run. My sinuses open like it’s my birthday.
There is a burn issue that needs resolving quickly.

Water seeks its own level as the blend flattens out a bit. There are flavors beneath the surface dying to get out but the high level of spice is dominant.
Some mustiness appears but does not cause consternation.
The burn issue is without forgiveness as it continues to frustrate.

OK. Truth in advertising…I’m not a fan of Padilla. They are there to take up space in online catalogs. They are inexpensive and are generally yard ‘gars. In other words, they don’t scream complexity for the more sophisticated palate.

But the company is making a big deal about this release. There must be something behind this braggadocio.

A sweet and buttery Ritz cracker element arrives. The spiciness calms down a bit allowing ancillary flavors to peek out from under the rug…malt, cedar, dried dates, a woody smokiness, and espresso. The chocolate has disappeared along with the cherries and creaminess. That doesn’t seem right. The cream element gave the blend a sorely needed push.

I suspect, and hope, that the second half or last third propels the blend into a higher level of respectability. At the moment, it is a just a decent $7 cigar.
The cinnamon has relented some allowing the combo of black and red peppers to create a baseline of flavor for this blend.

The first third burned too quickly. Possibly only 15 minutes. The soft spot I felt prior to lighting up was near the foot which may identify that the cigar is underfilled underneath its tightie whities.

The strength has backed off some. I suppose the power of the pepper caused a brain malfunction as the stick now seems to be a straight ahead medium.

Chocolate malt is now pushing its way to the forefront. A bit of creaminess emerges but still insufficient for what I consider a decent balance of flavors.
The complexity is stuck in neutral. The transitions are minimal. But the finish is bold.

The burn issues continue causing me to believe this is not a seriously rolled cigar. Sloppy.
Still, flavors are the little train that could. A couple months of humidor time is plenty of time to get a favorable reaction; if there is one to be had.

Creaminess finally makes its move improving the entire smoking process. Now…some consistent sweetness is needed to act as counterpoint to the savory components.

The spiciness is quickly evaporating leaving the blend’s flavor profile totally exposed. Whatcha’ got for me Padilla Finest Hour Sungrown Habano?

The blend ain’t bad. Just a little paranoid with a little soupçon of schizophrenia. Like my friends.

Mustiness returns. And the strength makes its move to what appears to be a steady medium/full. I am not even close to total blindness yet. Though, sometimes I wonder if excessive masturbation as a young man could be taking its toll in conjunction with excessive nicotine. Just say no.

A study shows that 10% of all Wisconsinites have had a DUI. WTF? And did you know that if you have a Wisconsin CCW, you can carry openly? I didn’t know that til this week.

SRV is playing. Yeah.

The blend is improving. Spiciness has returned in the form of black pepper. But it isn’t overwhelming like earlier. Flavors of savory still sit atop the ice cream cone. It may be that the blend needed the first half to develop some character.

Red cherries become black cherries smothered in vanilla ice cream and brandy. Yum. The Ritz crackers morph into graham cracker with a hint of cinnamon. The milk chocolate is a welcome addition. Nuttiness appears for the first time in the embodiment of almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts. That’s nice.

The stature of the complexity is really trying hard. Transitions begin once again; a bit feeble but at least making the attempt. The balance is a lot better.

Once again, it ain’t a bad cigar…just not impressive. I certainly wouldn’t pay $10 for it. Even the $7 may be a stretch. It seems to fall more into the $70 for a 20-count-box type of blend. There is no way that an extended period of humidor time is going to make massive changes to this blend. I’m pretty sure this what the Padilla has to offer.

Better. Much better. An imperfect balance has been attained upping the ante on the final rating. I want to like this blend because it keeps showing snippets of high premium; only to be dashed by inconsistency. There should be an even keeled flow from start to finish…instead of burps and glitches along the way.

The Padilla Finest Hour Sungrown Habano has reached ‘pleasant’ status. I believe it’s the most I can hope for.
Flavors are a mish mosh. Nothing sticks a gun to your head and says: “Listen up!”
The burn problems have made a major impact on this cigar. No let up. Nicht gut.

I might want to try the Oscuro version. You can keep the Connie version.

Zappa. “Dirty Love.” Do I have to say any more?
I saw him once live. It was the late 70’s and New Year’s Eve. He played the Pauley Pavilion at UCLA. He started the concert by saying he’d be playing straight through and no encores.
He proceeded to play a solid 3 hours without a single break between songs. Not one. By the end of the concert, we were all left stunned as the silence was deafening. Great concert.

The last 1-1/2” begins to show off what the blender may have wanted us to taste. It’s calm and relaxed with a nice balance. Medium/Full. Some bona fide complexity. And a nice finish. What a mess of a blend.
A little more attention to detail during the farming and manufacturing process would have been in order. As a result, the Padilla Finest Hour Sungrown Habano is just another forgettable catalog brand cigar.


And now for something completely different:

I was 15 when my grandfather lost my grandmother. I don’t mean he lost her…I mean she passed. He decided to take me to Europe and Israel that coming summer. An 8-week journey during my vacation from school. It was 1965.

It was made up of a group from a synagogue out of L.A. There were almost 50 people on the tour. Of those 50, there were 5 teens, including me. Within a couple weeks, I had my first girlfriend: Frieda. She was Polish, but born in the U.S. Her parents were Auschwitz survivors with the infamous tattoos on their forearms. Frieda was also 15.

Photo is Frieda and I atop the Eiffel Tower:

I learned to kiss that summer. And I found out what second base was.

We spent our first three weeks in Israel and I can remember everything about it to this day. It had a huge impact on me. It was prior to the 1967 war. So, Jerusalem was still divided and if you were a Jew, you could not enter. It’s one thing to be brought up in America where you can visit sights that go back to the 1700’s.

In Israel, it was an onslaught of touching walls and stones that were built 4000 years ago. It had an impact.

In France, we did all the tourist attractions. The trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower was the big highlight for me. Prior to climbing the tower, I bought a hot dog from a vendor with a cart. The buns were hard rolls. The vendor had a stainless steel rod with a pointy top. He slammed the roll on to the top of the rod, creating a hole down the center to accommodate the wiener; but he would first place your condiments inside, and then the wiener.
What I didn’t know was that French mustard was awash in horseradish.

I held on to my hot dog til we got to the top. We kids always hung together. So, we all stood at the railing, looking down. I was the only chazer who bought a dog. I ate all the time and stayed as skinny as a rail.

I took a big bite out of my dog and the horseradish squirted into my mouth and did a huge number on me, mostly due to shock and awe. I have never had French mustard at this point in my life, and without thinking, I threw the whole thing over the railing; and then in horror, watched as it gently wafted to the ground from 1000 feet above…looking like a deadly weapon.

Everyone screamed. I just let loose of a wiener missile that would embed itself in some poor tourist’s head. I could see the newspaper the next day. “Filthy American kills Child with Filthy Wiener in a Roll.”

It seemed to take forever as the hot dog headed towards ground zero. None of us could even breathe. There were hundreds of people down there milling about and the roll missed all of them. I fell to the floor with my back against the rail and took a deep breath. Not a murderer today, Kohn.

In the passing years, the French put up a wire net to keep people from throwing shit and from committing suicide.
Good idea.


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4 replies

  1. I’ll pass on the Padilla..Thanks Uncle Kat!
    Cool story. I had not heard this one before.
    Was that hot dog that bad?

  2. That was 54 years ago so the fact that I even remember that much detail is absolutely fucking amazing.
    I have no recollection of the hot dog’s taste, just the horseradish and turning the hard submarine roll becoming a missile and seeing a long drawn out period of my life in a French prison…ala the film “Midnight Express.”
    Next time, use your name because I normally discard Anonymous comments immediately…you caught me in a good mood.

  3. That would be me, Michael Flores.
    You referred to me as a hippie once in a picture I sent in a email once.

  4. Privada certainly does know how to get every dollar (and then some) out of a cigar, doesn’t he? Besides the overpriced Padilla, here are some other screaming deals he has for us:

    Southern Draw Rose of Sharon for $15 each, so $75 a five pack. They are $45 for a fiver at CI.

    LFD 1994 Rumba for $12 each, or $60 a fiver. They are $32 for 5 on Cigar Page.

    Oh, and let’s not forget that Room 101 Lancero we talked about that went from $10 to $13 to $20 in a week’s time. Well, it is now up to $25. ??? What the hell? By Easter, that thing is gonna be forty bucks!

    There’s even a hundred dollar cigar on there. If anyone buys any of these grossly overpriced cigars from this charlatan, they DESERVE to be taken.

    Gotta love Zappa tho. My favorite line from Dirty Love:

    Give me
    Your dirty love
    Like some tacky little pamphlet
    In your Daddy’s bottom drawer

    Bless him…

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