In 1994, after 30 years of operating in the cigar trade as a respectable yet mostly unremarkable brand, Padrón patriarch and founder José Orlando Padrón had his company do something wildly unexpected: he released an ultra-premium line of cigars that was a radical departure from any product his firm had made previously, using the very best tobaccos he could procure in all of Nicaragua.
With leaves aged for a minimum of four years, these ultra-premium puro Nicaraguan sticks became the foundation for a cigar line that transformed Padrón from a scrappy small-time maker into an elite industry player that eventually ascended to the very pinnacle of the business. This family — the Padrón 1964 Anniversary series — is today recognized as the line that put Padrón “on the map” in terms of top-tier manufacturers, and it’s still considered by many to be Padrón’s best line to date. Of course, during this time frame, Padrón has become the most lauded brand in the cigar industry, and the 1964 series has, of course, played no small part in that.
This vitola and variation of the series — the Padrón 1964 Anniversary No. 4, in a Natural wrapper — perfectly exemplifies what makes the line so desired. Looking approximately like a big, chunky chocolate bar, the large, symmetrical, box-pressed No. 4 Natural offers a smooth draw and an even burn, possessing a medium-to-full body and medium-to-full strength. The 1964 No. 4 Natural even tastes like a chocolate bar, as it’s augmented with nuances of caramel, vanilla nougat, nut and orange peel, in addition to Padrón’s signature effusion of cocoa beans.
In recognition of these fine qualities, Cigar Aficionado accorded the Padrón Anniversary No. 4 Natural a 92 rating — not once, but twice, including in 2021. Don’t hesitate to order a box of these enticing, substantial sticks today, and allow yourself to savor the smokes that made Padrón famous.