Gary Korb takes one more look at the Holidays with his list of top shelf cigars adorned with fancy white & gold bands. Whether it’s a last minute gift idea or a humidor-worthy primo to ring-in the New Year, you’ll find 12 of them all dressed-up and ready to smoke.
Padilla Hybrid Robusto
Padilla Hybrid Robusto Cigar
First, a little background on this cigar. It features a genetically hybrid wrapper developed from two different wrapper seed strains, which also gives it much more flavor. As a result, the leaf is also more resistant to disease, so the growers can also get a higher yield at harvest time.
On my samples, the wrappers were even in color throughout. Although they were somewhat veiny, which detracted a little from their appearance, they were attractively oily with virtually no seam in the rolling.
The cap popped off cleanly, and the pre-lit flavor was somewhat earthy in taste. The cigar lit evenly across the foot and drew well producing thick smoke through the head. The wrapper flavor had an appealing sweetness to it, and burned with an aroma of sweet wood. As I continued to smoke, the word that kept cropping up was “sweet.” Not in the sugary sense, but in the way the flavors seem to lay on the palate.
In the early stages, the cigar is not particularly complex. But as it rested in the ashtray while I typed this review, the aroma was quite inviting and sweet as well. The ash was somewhat firm with a mostly solid gray color interspersed by a few fine black rings.
Early on, at about the 1/2-inch mark, I was forced to put the cigar down and it went out. It passed the re-light test with flying colors. I noticed that when I tapped off all the ash before relighting, there was no tunneling. All the tobacco had burnt at the same rate. Plus, the cigar picked-up right where it left off in flavor and strength, primarily medium in body. So far, a very “solid” smoke.
At the halfway mark, there was a little increase in strength, but not enough to put the cigar on tilt. This is a very well-balanced cigar. Certainly medium to full-bodied in flavor, and in no way overpowering. I can confidently recommend Padilla Hybrid to those who have acquired a palate for the so-called “luxury” cigar brands, as it holds its own with the best in the category.
Final score: 92