Padilla Finest Hour Oscuro | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: U.S.A. Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 60 Gordo
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $9.95 ($2 less online)


I’ve had this cigar for over 6 months.
Why review a cigar that was released 2-1/2 years ago? Glad you asked…
This is a regular production cigar and almost every online store finds them backordered. The few reviews I sought out say nice things about the character v. reasonable pricing.
So, why not review this Baby Ruth that reminds me so much of playing golf, but not before taking a dip in the communal pool.

Most sites have a “Notify Me” tool so when the cigars return like a stampede of the Hordes of Nebulah, it is up to you. You need to be ready to grab your wallet, lock your wife in the bathroom, and spend tens of dollars unfettered by your own inner demons.

Even Cigar Aficionado gave it an 89. Wow. I hope CA doesn’t read this and threaten me again for kyping info from their esteemed magazine.

BACKGROUND:
Regular Production
Factory: AJ Fernandez
From Halfwheel.com (1-15-2019):
“It’s a line that consists of three blends, Finest Hour Oscuro, Finest Hour Habano and Finest Hour Connecticut.

“The Finest Hour Habano is a Nicaraguan puro that sports a habano-seed wrapper and comes in red boxes and bands. The Oscuro line, which sports black bands, gets a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, dual binder using Nicaraguan tobacco, and a filler of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco. The blue-banded Finest Hour Connecticut’s wrapper comes from Ecuador and sits atop another dual binder of Nicaraguan tobacco and a filler of Dominican and Nicaraguan leaves.

“The line gets its name from a famous speech made by Winston Churchill during the Battle of France in World War II, with Nazi Germany steadily advancing through Europe and England becoming one of the last remaining forces. On June 16, after France sought an armistice, Churchill delivered the famous speech that concluded with “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”

SIZES AND PRICING MSRP ($2 less online):
Robusto 5 x 52 $8.50
Toro 6 x 52 $9.30
Gordo 6 x 60 $9.95

APPEARANCE:
A tree branch gone amok. Barely a touch of oiliness on the wrapper…pretty much flat black. I’d call it coffee brown under the threat of torture. A fine grit, like a cat’s tongue, covers the entire cigar. Certainly, no shortage of veins. Looks like a map of Bakersfield. The cap looks better in person than in my photograph. Its application of the cap is so tight that I believe it is a two-cap bludgeon. The cigar feels like a heavy weight in the hand. Zero give when depressed.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Fat aromas. Big dollops of gruel asking for one more bowl, please. Floral notes, dark chocolate, espresso, black pepper, creaminess, barnyard, malt, cedar, licorice, black cherries, a Port-a-Potty left over from Woodstock, and slight notes of butterscotch.

The draw is completely plugged. Not a lick of air. I grab my trusty PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool, don my hard hat, put on my dayglow orange polyester vest, and go to work. Man, this stick is plugged stem to stern. My PD tool goes to the hilt a couple times…and then I turn the cigar around and become a Back Door Man. Now air flows magnificently.

The cold draw presents flavors of blackberries, caramel, black pepper, espresso, dark chocolate, licorice, malt, cedar, charcoal briquettes, and pecan pie. (What do I know?)

FIRST THIRD:
Fleetwood Mac starts the review. Oy. How many times can radio play the same 6 songs over and over and over…

The start shows promise…like me living to 95.

The sweet factors meet up with the strong black pepper. So far, the spiciness is OK and does not overwhelm my Lucite encased palate.

I have to mute the music…I’m on my own now.

I thought I was smoking the Toro until the cigar flew out of my mouth as my dentures were set for 6 x 52, not 6 x 60. When I count to 3, I will wake up and remember nothing. Kreskin taught me that.
So, now this will most probably be a 2-hour smoke. It better be good or it’s lop off its head time.

Generally speaking, Gordos don’t hit the light switch immediately. They need time to reflect and see how they could act more accordingly…pretty much how Millennials raise their children. We used to regularly beat our daughter with matzoh balls when she misbehaved. She didn’t like that much…especially when her classmates complained about her smelling like chicken soup.

Still, the cigar has a fine start that I hope leads to one giant sweet spot. Like me…although, I’m not a giant…more of a mini giant with hands too small to play bass.

My early impression is that of a potent mix of tobaccos that bring the strength to medium/full in the first 5 minutes. In the next two hours, I expect to wear my horse feeding bag for projectile vomiting due to the hyper strength of this cigar. At a B&M, Charlotte bedazzles a second bag, so I don’t stand out and other smokers are afraid to ask. Of course, wearing my Groucho eyeglasses, nose, and mustache are more distracting to the herfing community.

Upon completion of the first inch, the blend begins to settle into the blender’s intent. I now taste the aroma components that have begun to reach fruition. Smoothness is the first impression. The spiciness settles the fuck down. And the aromas I listed turn into nuances and subtleties that give the cigar a preliminary persona.

I’m not a fan of the giant cigars. First, it takes too long to smoke. And second, I’ve rarely experienced a Gordo to display its wares in the first third. The bloody thing has to warm up by dipping its toes into the general atmosphere.

These cigars have dropped their MSRP prices since its release in 2019. So, we have a $7 stick here. And for that dough, the blend is screaming laughter.

SECOND THIRD:
Only took 30 minutes to get here. Hence, I retract my earlier statement about it being a 2-hour smoke. Fine with me.

Sitting on the floor of Air Studios in London with Sonja, Pete Townshend walked in and approached us. He sat down on the floor next to us. I sat there paralyzed. Pete asked where he saw the hat that Sonja was wearing? She knew Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones and it was his hat. He gifted it to her. I asked if I could try it on…she said no.
Although, during the first tour, while she was under a doctor’s care and receiving 3 injections of methadone each day…she would sometimes get her shot off schedule which would put her in a state of withdrawal. Once, I grabbed the floppy Jones hat and tied her arm off with it. I never told her I did that.

The cigar ain’t bad but it could use some serious complexity to kick in. It has had plenty of humidor time to spew some form of being a serious man.

At the moment, it is just a good go-to stick with nothing really special happening. Yet, it is clearly a popular cigar to the masses. The price drives that bus.

I really wish I had the opportunity to review the Robusto or even the Toro. Damn Gordos take their sweet time keeping in lock step with my palate’s expectations.

The bona fide level of complexity is mild but not unpleasant.
The balance of sweet v. savory is clocking in at the rock quarry and hammering away.

Black cherries pop up. As well as black licorice, espresso, dark cocoa, malt, burning hot charcoals, and Liva Snaps.

The Pandora playlist tells the story…it is just OK.

The char line has been acceptable and leaning towards exemplary.

Cigar Aficionado’s rating of 89 seems very appropriate. (Their lawyers should be contacting me soon for mentioning them).

CA’s description of the cigar: “…a sweet, toasty smoke buttressed by notes of earth and peanut that lead to an anise finish.” Not exactly a stunning reaction.

I do not taste peanut. Sometimes I think that CA minimizes their over all description so it doesn’t scare off smokers missing a palate…after all, Padilla is a regular paid sponsor.

The halfway point arrives at 45 minutes. On schedule, like German trains.

First sip of water and I taste water. All right, we are cooking now.
I thought this cigar would be much better. A couple reviews gave it ratings in the low 90’s.

The blend begins to improve with a fanned-out flavor profile. Prior to this, it was wearing horse blinders.
The sweet spot has landed.

Much more complex with flying transitions molting flavors as they touch my palate and flee. The finish is mouth watering with hints of creaminess, peanuts (OK. They got me), café au lait, earthy tobacco, malt, cedar, and a schmear of buttered biscuits.

A smaller cigar would have seen this event sooner.
I have no idea how much humidor time it would take for the sweet spot and complexity to hit the first third.

Yesterday, was Charlotte’s first husband’s anniversary of his death in 1971. He was a German cop killed in the line of duty. I said Kaddish.

The cigar is now everything I had hoped it would be. The character continues to spread out as if Moe had told it to do so.

Windows are open and my balls are in a coma. I will make a nice cup of tea after the review and dunk them to warm them up. Once you reach my age, you can barely feel your nuts.

Music improves and so does the cigar. I would have given it a higher rating if it wasn’t for the cigar to take Trigger out on the dusty range much sooner.

My mother’s aunt and uncle owned one of the original Rin Tin Tins. As a kid, I remember riding this enormous animal. Rinnie did not like this. If he became too ornery, I’d remind him what Roy Rogers did to Trigger and the dog had an epiphany and galloped with me around the big back yard.

I am still impressed with the char line. Perfect.
For $7, you can’t beat this stick. But do not buy the Gordo if you expect mind blowing flavors from the start. Robusto is the golden ticket.

LAST THIRD:
We are on a tight timetable as the cigar has now taken 60 minutes.
Some wrapper issues but to be expected as it is exposed to 6°. Wrappers don’t like that much.

I need to make a list of good cigars under $10. It’s just that I’m so lazy…what the heck, I’ll do it.

Strength is full tilt. But the nicotine level is low.

The cigar is on cruise control. Nice flavors, complex, nuanced, and balanced.

The moment I write the previous sentence, the heat attacks. Now quite harsh but it is impossible to ignore the hot flames shooting out my schnoz.

With only a peg leg to go, the cigar has seen its zenith and is complacent to live in that arena.

I’ve seen what this cigar can do. I was looking for a heightened experience. Not a bad cigar. It finishes 7th in the giant slalom.
As always, it’s been real.

RATING: 88



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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