Top 25 of 2021 | Cigar of the Year
Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Torpedo (Natural)
…It was the first manufacturer to be named Cigar of the Year for 2004 when we started publishing this awards list, and now, 17 years later, Padrón has produced the No. 1 cigar of 2021. This is the fourth time for Padrón to be named Cigar of the Year, making this family-owned business the record holder. Furthermore, Padrón has now occupied a place in the top five every year but one, for a total of 16 times.
The Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series was released in 1994 when the company celebrated 30 years in business. The cigar was made by company founder (and Cuban émigré) José Orlando Padrón and his son Jorge. The idea was to make a high-end cigar from exceptional tobaccos with more age. Before 1994, Padrón’s production was mostly made up of its flagship brown-label brand. It was a good cigar at a good price—and still is—but a creation for an anniversary as big as 30 years had to be taken to the next level. The final product was a cigar of sun-grown, Cuban-seed tobaccos from Nicaragua. It was José’s idea to give the cigars the signature box-pressing. He wanted a smoke that resembled the cigars he used to enjoy in Cuba. “Not that we invented the box-press,” said Jorge Padrón, “but at the time there weren’t any box-pressed cigars in the market.”
That presentation eventually changed the landscape of the premium industry. The 1964 Anniversary Series was an enormous commercial and critical success, inspiring other companies to follow suit and box-press their cigars as well. Today, box-pressed and trunk-pressed cigars are commonplace in the market.
From the Family Reserve to the Serie 1926, Padrón’s brands have been a mainstay on every Top 25 list this magazine has ever released, but this is the first time a cigar from the 1964 Anniversary Series has been named Cigar of the Year. The Torpedo serves as a fine example of everything the Padróns wanted to achieve. Box-pressed and attractive, it starts with a woody, nutty core that gradually becomes more complex. Notes of hazelnut are uncannily precise and segue into a rich, opulent smoke of cocoa bean that settles onto the palate like the fine confections of a chocolatier. The draw and burn are perfect and the cigar’s only flaw is that it ends.