I had my first experience with the Padron Damaso a couple weeks ago. My thoughts were briefly recorded here. I’ve had quite a few dreams about it since, and the day has finally come to revisit this beauty and record my thoughts. Every Damaso that I’ve smoked has been the #15 Toro. @Padroniac on Instagram believes the #8 to be the best.
First impressions? This cigar is light in your hands – dainty, delicate, fragile, you get the picture. Not really uncommon to Padron cigars in general. The wrapper exudes a vegetable and hay aroma, with just a touch of sweet tobacco. The foot produces much of the same, with a roasted coffee sensation. The Domestic Engineer says it smells like, “…a barnyard animal. Like, if you were to go pet a sheep or something. Like wet sheep. Hay?”
Today I’m using Iced Coffee, Coke Zero, and Dr. Pepper to round out the experience. Favorite pairing to date has been the Hazelnut Brown Nectar from Rogue Ales.
One exciting thing about the Padron Damaso is the triple cap – I can finally use my punch cutter on a Padron without crumpling it!
Padron Damaso First Third
First light: Cedar, hay, a little bit of earth, and a touch of what might just be my first graham cracker experience. The first 1/2 inch is already ash as I type that sentence! The Padron Damaso definitely smokes faster than other cigars I’ve enjoyed recently, but in this weather I’ll mark that as a plus.
The retrohale yields copious amounts of white pepper with a very creamy undertone. While the first couple puffs through the nose were a bit harsh, it’s toned down quite a bit in just moments.
Cedar dominates the first inch with coffee and earth fighting for second fiddle positions when paired with Dr. Pepper or Coke Zero. It’s refreshing to pull this much cedar out of this connecticut.
Nearing the end of the first third, the cedar gives way to a nuttier experience but without the bitterness that usually follows the coffee/nutty combo. It’s like sweet peanuts, and for a moment there the Padron Damaso was really reminding me of Baked Boston Peanuts.
A buttery, caramel profile develops when paired with the iced coffee.
Padron Damaso Second Third
There’s a sharp vegetable note that opens up in the second third – kind of like cucumbers in a salad. The cedar is still there, although immediately after ashing it the vegetable taste is most prominent.
Give it a couple minutes, and a soft, creamy base develops with more cedar on the backend. Earth is playing a role as well in the second third – but it’s a softer, subtle earth with a nutty finish.
I’m also picking up a very distinct fruit cake taste nearing the halfway point.
Nearing the first band, a little bitter coffee seeps through a regular draw. Let’s call it stale coffee. The retrohale continues to be super smooth and yields more of an pine note than cedar.
Moving back to the iced coffee, and the Padron Damaso definitely pulls off a rich, sweet tobacco flavor with a hint of toffee.
Padron Damaso Last Third
With water, the last third opens up with the same vegetable background that’s been present at times through most of the cigar. A soft drink opens it up into more of a cedar profile, with a slight barnyard taste.
After removing the last band, coffee quickly takes over the leading role like The Rock in Fast & Furious. Yet just before the actual nub, cedar comes back to make a strong showing. While the heat builds, caramel stops by to say hello before the tar caught up and I had to take the final picture.
The flavors do progressively build throughout the cigar, and the final third is like the finale during a fireworks show. Some, like the coffee, are overwhelming and unwelcome. Others, like the cedar and caramel, line up with my preferences nicely.
Burn time comes in just over an hour. Quick and easy.
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