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.


Vitola: Giant Gordo

Size: 8” x 60 Ring Gauge

Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Cigars Smoked for this Review: One

Price Point: $8.50 MSRP

Cigar Purchased: Manufacturer’s Samples

Quick Note: For this review I used Logan’s rating system. You can view it in detail here.


“The flavor profile on the Padilla Cava 860 is significantly better than other large cigars I have reviewed in the past.”



Surgeon’s Rating:  84 AKA “A Couple”

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.


Pairing Recommendation:

Several root beers or bourbon, but only if you have a really strong constitution or are a slow drinker.

Views: 173

Comment by Marc on June 23, 2015 at 11:34am

Nice review Surgeon

Comment by RobbyRas on June 23, 2015 at 11:46am

I don't really do the big RG stuff, but this one does sound pretty good... I dig Padilla's stuff

Comment by Fast Jimmy on June 23, 2015 at 12:18pm

I have one of these taking up space in my humi. Was hesitant about it... but kinda looking forward to it now. Thnx

Comment by Jason Meyers on June 23, 2015 at 3:32pm

Good review! Sounds like this is a case where they actually took time blending the bigger RG. The larger RG is not my thing, but I don't mind it sometimes. I would like to see more 4.5x60 releases. This cigar is just too big for me to consider.

Comment by Jeff M. on June 23, 2015 at 4:01pm
Nice review. Sounds like a nice stick if you like them big. I'm too new to handle smoking anything for that long.
Comment by Charlie on June 23, 2015 at 10:02pm

That makes your cigar stand look tiny ROFL! Not for me but I'd sure try the 550 they make.

Comment by Generally Useful Jared on June 25, 2015 at 5:39pm
If nothing else, this bodes well for the 770 I have, in that at least it is a high quality, even if it is too damn big for me.


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