Piloto Cigars Inc. is a name synonymous with quality Nicaraguan cigars. The company is well known for its line of full-flavored cigars. Some of their most popular lines include the Anniversary series and the Serie 1926. Over the years, the company has received multiple awards in recognition for Serie 1926.
In 2015, Padron released the Padron Damaso. The name is derived from the company’s current president Jorge Padron’s great-grandfather, Damaso Padron. Damaso was the first in the family to arrive in Cuba and grow tobacco during the 1800s. Although the Damaso is a testament to the company’s willingness to experiment, the quality of the build and construction is still on par with other Piloto cigars.
In terms of form and design, the Padron Damaso has deviated from its predecessors. The Damaso is the first to feature a Connecticut seed wrapper. Although identified as such, the seed wrapper was farmed in Ecuador. This cigar line features a uniform khaki brown hue with three bands. The first marker pays tribute to the Padron signature brand. Much like the company’s band, the Damaso marker features the same unique mix of white and gold with a maroon outline.
Right in between the two markers is the brand’s protective band. In previous years, the Padron line had fallen victim to counterfeits. This second layer is designed to discourage the production of fakes.
Traditionally, Padrons are feature a box-press form. The Damaso is the brand’s first round cigar.
Another stark difference between the Padron Damaso and other offerings by the Piloto Cigars Inc. is the taste. Compared to its predecessors, the Damaso has a milder flavor.
According to an interview with Jorge Padron, the company is using the Damaso to reach out to new markets. With the milder flavor of this cigar, Padron intends to encourage both stogie novices and aficionados to try out the Piloto Cigar brand.
The Damaso comes in four sizes. Each size corresponds to the age of one of the grandkids of Jose Orlando Padron’s grandkids. No. 17 has a length of 7 inches with a 54 ring gauge. There is the popular No. 15 which features a size of 6 inches by 52. Plus there is the No. 12 which a 5 inch length by 50 and lastly the No. 8 with a measurement of 5.5 inches by 46. The No. 15 was used as the basis for this review.
Padron Damaso’s No. 15 feels firm in the hand. Before being lit, a noticeable mix of pepper, grass and earthy smells can be detected.
When toasted and lit, the cigar provides a smooth draw, a peanut smell, a mild buttery flavor with a touch of sweetness at the end. A third of the way, the No. 15 also starts exuding a smell reminiscent of sunflower seeds or cashews. This unique mixture of smells continues throughout the second third.
Around the final third of the cigar, the earthy flavor begins to re-emerge. There is a touch of spice in the aroma, a slight peppery smell. The aroma is evident but not overwhelming. As with other cigars from the Piloto Company, the burn is even from the first to the last draw. In terms of burning time however, the No. 15 can be considered quick.
When smoking the Damaso, it is important not to associate it with Padron’s other cigar lines. Other Padrons feature the box-pressed form. The parejo shape on the Damaso may feel awkward in the hands of loyal Padron fans. Although the Damaso is well made and exudes a milder flavor, the $15 price tag may also deter individuals looking for a good morning cigar. All in all, it is still a good cigar to consider for individuals looking for a milder-bodied cigar or novices trying out their first stogie.