The Padron 1964 Anniversary Series line was introduced in 1994 to commemorate the company’s 30th anniversary. Aged for at least 4 years, the leaf that goes into each of these cigars is magnificent — the fresh box of Exclusivos i had was incredibly consistent, from stick to stick. There is very little wonder that the Padron Anniversary Maduro (PAM) is one of the most popular brands in the United States for 2003-04.

There is a certain eager anticipation when you’re about to sample a cigar whose reputation precedes it: the PAM 1964 is one such cigar; i received mine as a gift from the generous Andrew W (thanks!), and after sitting in my humidor for a while, it was time for it to be smoked; no sense in leaving a good cigar unsmoked, i always say! The senses were tingling, the palate was ready, and the mood was perfect. A hot cup of black Ipoh coffee in hand, i was ready.

Notice the unique serial number

The cigar is beautifully constructed — the Imperial vitola is quite a monster: box-pressed with an ample 6 inches and 54 ring, this cigar promises very much based on its size alone. The wrapper is dark brown, rustic colour — almost flawless except for some very minor veining. Oily to the touch, the leaf is obviously top quality.

Even burn, but crooked ash!

The scent test was equally impressive. Fresh tobacco scents, deep woody aroma from the foot of the cigar, and perhaps a little touch of cedar rolled in there somewhere. A very complex aroma makes this cigar a joy to remain unlit. I sat there for long moments savouring it, unlit.

I took my time to light this cigar: a gentle toasting of the edges of the foot until it lit evenly, slow draws on it to get it going. The initial draw seemed a bit loose, but this sorta righted itself further along the cigar — about 1/3 through, the draw tightened up nicely. The real story behind this cigar lay in its flavours: a complex mix of full dark flavours, a pinch of bitterness thrown in to make things really interesting. The cigar doesn’t start out spicy at all, but as it burns through half-way, a distinct peppery pinch begins to touch the lips. The change of character is very welcome; this cigar is in no way a boring smoke.

Oh the goodness!!

As with most top drawer cigars, the aroma on this cigar is eloquent and refined — almost a fine cigar perfume wafted through the room as i smoked this. Fantastic. Right at the very end, i detected no trace of harshness or tar. The cigar finished well with a very pleasant aftertaste.

I couldn’t hold it anymore!

Verdict: Perhaps one of the very best full-bodied cigars i’ve ever had. A tremendous cigar. Good burn, even, full flavours, lots of character, a touch of spice and a wonderful finish. A cigar that pleases all the senses, i really can’t find better words to describe it. My Cigar Blog’s Highest Possible Recommendation.