Debuting at the IPCPR in 2014 the Padilla Cava launched in 4 sizes. They fall under the Ernesto Padilla brand but the Padilla Cava is rolled out of Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.
The Padilla Cava is available as a 550 (5”x50), 660 (6”x60), 770 (7”x70) and the 860 being reviewed today. You can pick them up as singles, 5 packs or in 16 count boxes.
Large cigars. As a cigar aficionado I have come to understand and appreciate the complexities of blending and the importance of the wrapper to binder to filler ratio. My favorite vitolas are usually a Corona or Lancero. While I’m sure that the majority of cigar manufacturer’s, including Ernesto Padilla, prefer shorter cigars with smaller ring gauges, ultimately they are running a business.
There’s no question that there has been a strong demand out of the US for longer and bigger cigars. My understanding is that this is driven but a mentality of associating more value to a larger cigar that is only marginally more expensive than a cigar one third the size. You can’t educate every consumer on the flavor differences between vitolas, and I’m sure many would not have the palate to appreciate it even if you did.
So manufacturer’s are each left to decide whether they create a larger cigar that taps into this value conscious segment of the cigar market.
That might be the longest pre-amble I have ever written for a cigar review.
The construction on the Padilla Cava 860 is excellent, and I would expect nothing less out of the Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua. The wrapper has a nice chocolate color and there are no imperfections visible.
The nose consists of cedar, spices, hay, honey and a faint hint of barnyard.
What I found interesting is that it only required a single v-cut to find the perfect draw. Based on reviewing other larger cigars I expected the draw to be towards the loose end of the spectrum. This was another example of quality of construction.
My first few draws come away with a sweet honey. The smoke has a creamy mouth feel with a slight bit of better at the back of my throat. The retrohale is surprisingly subdued and I’m only able to pick up a mild creaminess initially.
As the first third settles in some tasty black pepper at around a light-medium strength is present. I’m also getting some nice savoriness that mixes in nicely. Some earthiness starts to develop, and I also pick up some spiciness in the retrohale at around the 40 minute mark.
Once the Padilla Cava 860 starts to transition into the middle third there’s a dry cedar approaching medium strength.
At this point in the review I’m already over an hour in and glad I am playing Rogue Legacy to keep myself entertained.
The middle third starts out with some light hay and more black pepper in faded strength. The pepper becomes more prominent on the retrohale at the same strength as the first third.
Some sweet cedar develops at the halfway point and I’m just under 2 hours smoking.
As the last third starts I struggle to pick out any dominant flavors that stray from the previous thirds. It’s still enjoyable with a pepper note on the retrohale and the sweet cedar from the middle third. The hay note does pick up strength significantly to about medium level and I find the cigar very smokeable even with only a few inches to go.
Total smoking time was 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Let’s face it, the Padilla Cava 860 is not marketed towards the majority of people that will be reading this review. With that said, the price on the Padilla Cava 860 is extremely reasonable, especially if someone is looking for a cigar to last them 3 hours.
The flavor profile on the Padilla Cava 860 is significantly better than other large cigars I have reviewed in the past.
The review scoring system is based on our likelihood to purchase, but in this case I am not the target market. I wouldn’t personally purchase or smoke a large ring gauge cigar, so I have to step outside of my acquisition habits to score accordingly.
Judging the Padilla Cava 860 on straight merits it is an extremely well constructed cigar that offers some enjoyable flavors and can be found for an impressive $7.25 or less. For anyone who does enjoy larger cigars this would be a no brainer pickup.
Several root beers or bourbon, but only if you have a really strong constitution or are a slow drinker.