Thursday, September 11, 2014

Poor Valentino! Or: "This doesn't suck." Or: All hail Padron!

Valentino puts up with so much. Recently, I underwent five days of IV steroids for my MS, while upping the dose of other meds and trying to not go crazy thanks to another drug and then trying to punch migraines in the face with yet one more. I am setting the scene! I am not looking for sympathy! I'm generally fine and never even think about it--unless I don't want to do something, in which know...

But as of this writing I am simultaneously foggy-headed, hyper, and zoned out. Then that changes and hungry takes over. Everything is nutty in Penny World. (And now! With nougat!*). 

So in an effort to distract him with his version of something shiny, I purchased this while at Habanos, hoping it might take his mind off the next wave of chemical crazy:

We've discovered over years of intensive research (hahahahaha) that Valentino is partial to Nicaraguan blends over all others. Not to say he doesn't love a variety of international smokes, because he will give anything a try and once he lights up, he's committed to finishing, regardless of his love level.** Although there was one cigar that he smoked about half an inch and that was that. Done. Fin. Kaput.  It was a generic cigar from a charity event. (Thanks, Brian! He should have let you throw it away!!)

Anyway, the Padron 85 Years, part of the Family Reserve line, is named in honor of Jose O. Padron's 85th birthday in 2011 and is available in natural and maduro 5 1/4 x 50 box-press robusto.
 Cigar Coop describes the smoke this way: "The start to the Padron Family Reserve 85th Natural was very similar to the pre-light draw with wood and pepper notes.  By about the five percent mark, some natural tobacco sweetness surfaced.  In the first half of the smoke of the Padron Family Reserve 85th, I categorized the pepper as a primary note, the natural tobacco sweetness secondary, and the wood notes tertiary.
"In the second half, the natural tobacco sweetness picked up quite a bit and came on par with the pepper.  I also detected some nut notes on the after-draw.  The nut notes slowly increased and eventually would push out the natural tobacco sweetness.   The last 25 percent of the cigar had a nutty and peppery profile."

Because my senses were all out of whack, I, unfortunately, didn't get to enjoy this beauty.*** Obviously I didn't think this purchase through before I handed it to him. But Valentino could taste and love it, giving it his highest praise, "This doesn't suck."
All the tobacco used in the Family Reserve series is aged ten years before becoming a premium cigar. 

Crank the Good Girlfriend Points up to 11!

Traveling Stogie stated in their review, "There was a bit of cocoa but and wood but the pepper really dominated the flavors.  The pepper settled down as I entered the first third and I immediately notice a cherry note with dark chocolate flavors.  The pepper is still there but the cherry is so distinct, I can’t help but focus on that.  The dark chocolate notes definitely help to balance out the flavor profile."

Reviewers at noted, "It started out full and ended as a solid medium."  They also said, when giving the cigar a 90 rating, "Whenever we review one of the Family Reserves, I feel like we are in the middle of Groundhog day, as we always seem to say the same things. In my opinion, PadrĂ³ns have never been the most complex of cigars flavor-wise and the 85th is no different. However, the flavors it does have are dark, intensely rich and distinct. When you add in the amazing construction, draw and burn, and it is easily a very good cigar."

During the onset of our courtship, Valentino said, as I flipped through one of the multitudes of cigar catalogues that glut the mailbox, "If you ever want to buy me something, my favorite is the 64 Padron."

I nodded enthusiastically, tallying up all the Good Girlfriend Points that  purchase would get me.  I filed it away, promising myself I would figure out what 64 Padron actually meant. Because...what?

I still haven't earned those points, by the way.  I've purchased the random 64 here and there, a few 26es, but this Family Reserve 85 is above and beyond awesome. His face lit with joy, peace, and satisfaction with the first draw, increasing in intensity as the cigar burned.  

If this one cigar brought him happiness after a couple of days of crazy, I'm thinking a box of ten might get us through this round of treatment. Shhh. Don't tell him!

Of course if I were a REALLY good girlfriend, I'd pony up a box of the new 50th Anniversary. But not just any box. This one:

I suspect when he's making happy noises as he sleeps,
he's dreaming about owning this.

*Does anyone actually know what nougat is?****   
**I think I just made up a new ranking system! It should probably be capitalized: Love Level. 
***Which means we're going to need a re-do, of course.
****I would still eat it.  I'm that hungry. 

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