What are Padrón Cigars?

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Padrón Cigars is a family-run company that produces Nicaraguan cigars. Founded in Miami in 1964 by Jose Orlando Padrón, the company moved to Nicaragua in 1970. The company produces three blends of handmade cigars and has received many awards and high ratings.

Padrón Cigars is a privately held company that produces Nicaraguan cigars. Founded in 1964 in Miami, Florida by Cuban Jose Orlando Padrón, the company moved to Esteli, Nicaragua in 1970. The Padrón family members exclusively run the company and control all stages of cigar production.
Born in 1926 in Cuba, Jose Orlando Padrón grew up near the famous tobacco growing region of Pinar del Rio. After Fidel Castro nationalized the family tobacco farm in 1961, Jose moved first to Spain, then to New York and finally to Miami. Once in Florida, he earned $60 US Dollars (USD) a month of US government aid money given to refugees from Cuba. One day a friend who worked at the Refugee Assistance Office, Raul Fernandez, asked Jose if he possessed any carpentry skills. When Jose replied in the affirmative, Raul gave him a small hammer and urged him to use it well.

Jose has secured a job as a carpenter. This enabled him to earn enough money to start his own cigar business. With $600 USD that he saved from his carpentry job, Jose Orlando Padrón opened Padrón Cigars in Miami in 1964. He claims he still owns that hammer.

In 1967, Jose Padrón began using Nicaraguan tobacco after becoming frustrated with Connecticut broadleaf tobacco, the closest he could find to Cuban-style tobacco in the United States. He moved the company to Esteli, Nicaragua in 1970 despite the political turmoil in the country at the time. After his factory was burned down in the riots, he rebuilt it and also built another factory in Honduras.

Following the Sandinista takeover, Jose returned to Nicaragua, where officials assured him there would be no problems at the Padrón Cigars factory. However, the blockade established by President Ronald Reagan has posed a new problem. Jose was given a six-month extension beyond the original five days he was given to move tobacco and cigars from Nicaragua to Tampa, Florida. Once the blockade was lifted, Jose moved his central operation to Nicaragua.

Jose and his son, Jorge “George” Padrón, run Padrón Cigars with George as president. They produce three different blends of handmade cigars: the Padrón Series, the Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series, and the Padrón 1926 Series, each with their own varieties of lengths, ring sizes, and unique flavor points. There is also a wide price range within each blend to cater for a wide audience. Padrón Cigars have received many awards and ratings and rank highly with numerous critics and respected cigar connoisseurs. The famous Padrón 1964 Anniversary blend has obtained more than sixty ratings, ranging from 90 to 95 on a 100-point scale.

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