While last year marked the 10th anniversaries of both Tatuaje and My Father cigars, this does seem to be the year of birthdays. Manuel Quesada and his family marked 40 years in business earlier this year with the release of their 40th anniversary line. The 40th anniversary cigars used a nice dark San Andres wrapper over Dominican binder and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. These were limited cigars with a box press, but the good thing is the same cigars, albeit in different shapes, will be available on an ongoing basis.
La Flor Dominicana is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Ernesto Perez Carrillo is marking 5 years, which doesn’t sound like much but when you consider this is Ernie’s second (or third) time around. He began with El Credito and his father back in 1977 working out of the little Miami factory. While the Carrillos made El Credito, they also started making an old Cuban brand, La Gloria Cubana. The success of La Gloria helped the company grow, to the point that in 1999, Perez-Carrillo sold it to Swedish Match. Swedish Match eventually bought General Cigar and merged the El Credito factory into its Dominican operations. Ernie stayed with General until 2008 when he retired. But by the next year, Ernie opened EP Carrillo cigars in the Dominican Republic. His Tabacalera La Alianza is now marking its 5th birthday. Perez-Carrillo makes the E-Stunner, the popular Inch line of cigars including this year’s special Inch Short Run and the New Wave Connecticut.
The company with the biggest birthday this year though is Padron, which is marking its 50th year. Starting in 1964 Jose Orlando Padron started selling his first cigars. The first cigars the company made were medium fill but soon Padron was making cigars in Nicaragua. The company’s backbone is the Padron series. The 3000 is their biggest seller and during the cigar boom, Padron did not hike prices and kept stores with product, earning a lot of respect from tobacconists. Even today, the Padron Londres retails for under $4. The Padron’s ventured into the high end premium market with what was called the Anniversario (today called the 1964 anniversary series). Going a bit up the scale, Padron brought out the 1926 series to mark the 75th birthday of Jose Orlando Padron. 5 years later, the 1926 80 years came out to mark his 80th birthday. The Padrons also have the Family Reserve Series which was rated 94 in 2013. This year the family is putting out the 50th anniversary cigar as part of the Family Reserve Series in a 5” x 54 size. Cost is $25. There is another cigar the company is making but in very limited quantities. It comes in a special 50th anniversary humidor which we showed you from the show. The cost for the humidor and cigars is $5,000.