At Torch Cigar Bar here in Phoenix, Arizona, we offer a selection of more than 200 premium cigars to our members and guests. One of our best-loved brands is Padron. Many Padron lovers, however, do not know the history behind the cigars. Here’s a closer look at the backstory of these sought-after cigars.
It all started in the mid-1800s with the immigration of a young boy named Damaso Padron from Cuba to the Canary Islands. As an isleño or islander, the young boy was designated to work in the tobacco fields. The Padron family was able to save some money, which they used to purchase a small farm in the Pinar del Rio region of Las Obas in Cuba. They planted tobacco, which they sold for $7 for every 100 pounds. The family continued to buy farms around the region. They also purchased a factory in Piloto, after which the family tobacco company was named.
Jose Orlando Padron was born into this family in Cuba in 1926. He grew up near the Pinar del Rio region. Even though his family members had been working their own farms for many years, Fidel Castro nationalized their land in 1961. This forced Padron to migrate to Spain and then to New York. From New York, he moved to Miami with a head full of knowledge from his family’s rich experience in the tobacco farming industry. Padron received $60 a month as part of a government program to aid Cuban refugees. He was barely scraping by financially, but his friends gave him a hammer as a gift. Hammer in hand, Padron sought work in the carpentry business. In time, he was able to earn $600, which he parlayed into his own cigar business. That hammer became a symbol of the successes that would follow Padron.
Padron hired a “torcedor,” which is a highly skilled cigar roller, to help him churn out 200 cigars a day rolled in the typical Cuban style. He began producing a new cigar called the Fuma, which was made exclusively from Connecticut broadleaf tobacco. The cigar became popular because it closely resembled traditional Cuban cigars.
After his introduction to Nicaraguan tobacco, Jose moved his tobacco business to that country. He began producing hand-made cigars, overseeing every production step to ensure that the highest standards of consistency and quality were met. The Padron Series Cigars used sun-grown Habano tobacco, which was aged for 2 ½ years to produce a medium to full-bodied flavor with a very distinct spiciness. Padron 1964 cigars are smoother and mellower with four-year-old tobacco. The Padron 1926 used five-year-old tobacco to give an extraordinarily complex, smooth, and balanced smoked.
Stop by Torch Cigar Bar to savor a Padron from Piloto Cigars.