I had such a great time with friends, scotch, firing canons, and toasts this Saturday that the only thing that I could add to it was a great cigar to cap the evening. I would usually go for my usual favorites such as an OpusX, an Alec Bradley Tempus or a Liga Privada, but this time, I chose to mark the evening with a Padron 1964 Anniversary Series T CRA Edition.
Wait a minute… a 1964?! My friends both offline and online know that I prefer the 1926 over this particular line so it does sound like I’m out of character with my selection. However, I’ve been shunning the 1964 for far too long that perhaps it’s time to revisit this cigar and see for myself why many cigar smokers within my circle prefer it over the 1926. Besides, I’ve promised my newfound online buddy Bradley of SouthernAsh.com that I was going to review a cigar that’s in line with the cigar reviews on his site.
Appearance: The 1964 Anniversary Series T CRA Edition is basically one of ten premium cigars that came in the CRA Cigar Sampler 3. I’m assuming that aside from the different cigar size (5.0 inches x 50), the tobacco blend on this cigar is essentially the same as the rest of the 1964 lineup. With that said, the Series T has a box-pressed shape that’s a tad spongy when pressed yet still relatively firm. There are no soft spots or big veins on this exquisitely constructed cigar–a trait that I’ve noticed on both the 1926 and on the 1964 series. There’s a slight oily sheen on the wrapper that didn’t sport any toothiness; just silky smooth throughout.
Prelight Aroma: Sweet scents of wood and hay, a bit of coffee and faint hints of cocoa are present.
Light: There’s a blast of wood, coffee, barnyard hay and copious amounts of spicy flavors during the first few puffs, with the retrohale bringing in a faint hint of cocoa.
First Third: The distinctive barnyard hay flavor immediately disappears and I’m left with the usual flavors of wood, coffee and spice on what I consider as a long finish. The cocoa flavor then comes slightly stronger this time around, but I can only detect it during the retrohale. A near-perfect draw shows off a smooth, creamy and full-bodied smoke profile that enhances the smoking experience.
Second Third: Not much changes on the second third of this cigar. It still carries the same base flavors of wood, coffee and spice. I was expecting the cocoa notes to come to the forefront and I am generously rewarded with a slight increase of this flavor followed by a nutty aftertaste. So far, I’m definitely enjoying the experience. At this point the ash starts showing its characteristics: bulky, dark-grey and quite firm, falling at around the middle point of the second third. There’s a slight canoeing on the burn at around the last part of this section, but it’s not something that needs immediate correction as the ember still looks strong.
Last Third: Again, wood, coffee, cocoa and spicy are the dominant flavors that I savored during the last part of the cigar. Interestingly, the nutty flavor becomes creamier and creates a very enjoyable blend with the base flavors. Unfortunately, the burn starts to tunnel and eventually dies off. I’m usually weary of re-lighting a cigar when it’s on its last legs, but this cigar is such a great experience that I just have to re-light it for a few more puffs.
Final Thoughts: Oh what a joy this cigar was to smoke! There’s a great balance of flavors that any cigar enthusiast can truly appreciate. While it’s unfortunate that the Series T is only available through the now-discontinued CRA Sampler 3, I’m sure the same flavor profile can be experienced if you try a similarly sized 1964 such as the Exclusivo vitola (5.5 inches by 50–only half an inch longer than this cigar).
This makes me want to smoke: The 1926 or the 1964 Exclusivo.
About the reviewer: DPalileo writes for CigarInsights, a blog dedicated to cigar enthusiasts. Check out his posts about cigars, accessories, local shops and culture at http://www.cigarinsights.com. If you’re on Instagram, follow him and his photo posts (@dpalileo) or on Twitter through @cigarinsights. You can also check out CigarInsights.com’s Facebook fan page and become a fan.