TNT Cigars – Alternative to Padron Anniversary

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TNT Cigars – Alternative to Padron Anniversary

TNT Padron Anni Alt - Size

Welcome back for another Monday cigar review. This week I decided to fire up a TNT Cigars Alternative to the Padron Anniversary. This is a cigar that I received a request for, fortunately I just so happened to have a bundle of Toro sized Maduros resting in my humidor.

This particular stick is square pressed with a 50 ring gauge and has a length of 6 inches. The wrapper has a rugged and rough look to it but is fairly smooth to the touch. The color was nice and dark with a light oily sheen. When squeezed it is slightly firm with a little spring to it.

TNT Padron Anni Alt - 1/3

After my initial inspection was over, I reached for my cutter and got down to business. After a quick snip the cap was opened up and made way for a smooth draw. After a quick toast and light I had the cigar producing lots of thick flavorful smoke. The initial flavor was rich and earthy with a smooth and creamy finish.

The first third of this smoke was much like it started. The body was slowly creeping up into the Medium range. The base flavor was still sort of a rich earthy flavor while the finish was short, smooth, and creamy. The draw was free and produced a very good volume of thick smoke that filled the room with a nice aroma.

TNT Padron Anni Alt - 2/3

As I smoked my way into the second third, the body was still creeping up the scale. At this point it was planted in the Medium range. The base flavor remained rich and earthy but picked up a cocoa flavor which did a very nice job of rounding things out. The burn was slow and even while producing a firm dark grey ash.

The final third was not much different. The body finally peaked at the Medium to Full range with a smooth and creamy finish. The rich earthy flavor seemed to get deeper and more complex as the cigar burned down to a nub. The only downside at this point was that the cigar was beginning to burn hot and required me to smoke a little slower than usual.

TNT Padron Anni Alt - 3/3

Overall I think that this cigar is well worth the price of $40.00 per bundle (for the Toro size). If someone was to give me this cigar and ask me what I thought it was, I would swear it was a Padron thousand series. I think the blend is very close and makes for a great budget buy to get a very similar smoke.







enjoying cigars since 2005

56 thoughts on “TNT Cigars – Alternative to Padron Anniversary

  1. I think it’s terrible when companies do this; it isn’t fair that they use the Padron name to market their product. I believe this is why Padron doesn’t sell to JR cigars anymore. I love the Padron products and I will never support these type of business practices.

  2. Padron taste for those bastards too cheap to pay for the real stuff!

    (I agree with Jabba, how do they get away with this in the cigar world? Imagine a company selling a “Coca-Cola Alternative!” )

  3. Thats an interesting point. I’m so accustomed to seeing the word “Alternative” thrown around (especially in the case of JR) that I never gave much thought to who was gaining/loosing business over it.

    Thanks for posting your opinion guys. It is definitely something to think about.

  4. Walt,

    Your point in the video is valid… if these were Padron seconds I would try them… but some how I don’t think they are.

  5. Hi Walt, good job on the site and the videos in general. One comment i’d like to make, I don’t want to sound negative but I think you should consider a new hairstyle. Those small bangs in front don’t really flatter you. I used to have my hair like that years ago and I switched to having the bangs spiky now so they don’t sit on my forehead — looks alot better.

  6. Walt,

    Great review, im learning alot from your videos and your written reviews. unfortunately, i live in england, and alot of the cigars you review are hard to find. but still loving the reviews

  7. Hey Walt,

    Thanks so much for doing up this review. great job! and i really appreciate how you’re connected to and respond to your viewers.

    I just got some TNT Partagas Alternatives and they’re settling in the humi and i can’t wait to see if they match up to the real thing as well.

    I must say that I see not much wrong in making alternatives. Coca-cola is copied by numerous brands (although IMO, none have come too close to succeeding) and nobody minds. But if TNT has got it right, good for them. I think that some healthy competition is good for the market, and good for us consumers too! I don’t mean to start an argument; that’s just my 2 cents 🙂

    jon

  8. Hmmm…where is Mr. Jerry? No review from him in over a week? If we start seeing Brian post more then I’m going to start thinking that one of you is made up. 🙂

    Great review Walt! Did your flash not work on the 1st pic? I gotta get a hold and try these. Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. I don’t mind alternatives, I mind them using Padrons name and goodwill; there is a HUGE difference, anyone that has built a business would clearly understand. It’s like me starting a website called stogie_review_alternative.com

  10. Nothing wrong with a company trying to reach the level of Padron cigars, but they should call them just Nicaraguan puros and leave it at that. Once you’ve used the Padron name without their consent you’ve crossed the line. Same as if a no-name cola company used Coca-Cola in their branding…they’d get sued up the wazoo.

  11. I just checked the TNT website — they have this cigar listed as their #1 seller. TNS thinks they’re pretty smart using the Padron name to boost sales. I wonder how many unsuspecting buyers think these are something produced by Padron which they are not. Not a bad scam, use the name of the best non-Cuban cigar out there to boost your sales.

  12. Walt,

    Always appreciate the work you put into your reviews; I’d have to agree with most of the comments – as a Padron smoker (3000 and 6000 maduro mostly) I find it quite unsavory for a distributor to use Padron’s good name to market even a “quality” cigar. It would not surprise me if Padron pulled TNTs selling privileges (if they sold them to begin with). Despite your excellent review and favorable comments, I cannot see myself helping TNT to profit from this, even though the price point is awesome if the cigar is as good as your review makes it out to be.

    Keep up the good work!

  13. Patrick,
    I used to wear my hair like you suggested when I was younger (called a “biff” where I grew up). To be completely honest I really don’t put any thought to how my hair looks while recording. Just as long as I don’t roll out of bed and have one half shooting straight up in the air.

    Kirk,
    I talked to Jerry this morning. He is back in town and is all ready for this weeks review.

    Also, from time to time my camera takes funny shots due to the overhead lighting where I take the pictures. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the poor lighting in the LCD screen when I snapped the picture, otherwise I would have re shot it right away.

    Zee,
    It is TNT’s biggest seller because they push it like crazy. If I am not mistaken it is the free cigar offered to customers when they use banner promo codes (found on a few sites I frequent)

    I have no idea who produces those cigars for TNT. I do know that they must have a decent relationship with Padron as their prices are always very competitive, and they always seem to have them in stock.

    I can only speculate that TNT’s prices and stock would be much different if Padron had an issue with the Alternative line.

    I do agree with you, Ted, and Jabba, that if these are in-fact “Knock Offs” its a shame they are getting the hype that they currently have due to the Padron name.

  14. Wow! Look at all the comments this generated.

    I think Walt, Brian (maybe) and I need to discuss this a bit in Episode 6. I know we get visits from the guys over at Cigarzilla and they seem to have an “in” with TNT so it be interesting to see if they’ve had any problems or even any endorsements from Padron.

  15. Excellent review.

    I’ll be honest, I like the fact that people produce alternatives since the main product is usually in the unobtainium cigar class. However, as a general rule, I’m leary of alternatives since I basically figure they might use the same tobacco, but they probably don’t age the leaf anywhere near as long and the alternatives will most likely be NASTY and only sell by borrowing prestige from name recognition.

    But based upon this favorable review, I’ll pick some up and try them since it sounds like a reasonable cigar on it’s own without having to borrow prestige.

    As far as the term alternative, I can’t find any objection to the use of the word since there are a ton of Cuban alternatives out there produced by almost all cigar manufactures except those in Cuba.

    By the way, thanks for all the good work on reviewing all types of cigars that people might buy. Alternatives, top shelf, bottom shelf et al. Reviewers should review and let the buyers make the choices in my opinion. We can’t all smoke Porches on a daily basis and sometimes we herf a Yugo.

    Dave

  16. Although I stated that I am a Padron smoker, I do not smoke daily. If I were able to enjoy a daily smoke, the Padron 3000/6000 maduro would be my choice – if I could afford them. OK, I’m lying – the 1926 Anni would be my real choice…. (the 6000 maduro is the poor man’s 1964 Anni)
    That is precisely why I don’t smoke daily. I would rather savor each cigar and smoke quality rather than settle for a lesser smoke. If this cigar is indeed as good as Walt’s review makes it out to be, I would be happy to buy them – IF they weren’t marketed in such fashion. Call it the TNT Nicarauguan Thousand Series or something like that, just don’t soil Padron’s good name for a product Padron doesn’t put their own label on.

  17. Hi,
    I my name is Thomas, I am one of the Co-Founders of TNTCIGARS.COM.
    I would first like to thank the person who suggested that our cigar be reviewed, and second thank Walt for such a great job done in reviewing our cigar.
    To answer some of the questions presented, our cigar is called “Nicaraguan Box Pressed” or “Nicaraguan BP” the phrase “Padron Anniversary Alternative” is a descriptive phrase. This lets the consumer know that the cigar is comprable to the original in taste, appearance, and aroma. Now, to say alternaive we can talk about any cigar. Just as much as having a cat is the alternative to having a dog. They are two totally different animals with different qualities. However, we feel our cigar is comparable considering it’s qualities and as an “Alternative” well worth the price!
    Thanks again and Happy Smoking,

    Thomas
    TNTCIGARS.COM

  18. Calling a cigar an alternative should be no problem or JR Cigars would have to stop doing it as well. They have line after line of Gurkha, Cohiba, Hoyo, Rocky Edge and yes even Padron alts. Funny, I don’t see any whiney babies crying to them. (c:

  19. I thank Thomas from TNT for his comment. Perhaps the name of the cigar in the “Top Ten Brands” box on the site could be changed to “Nicaraguan Box Pressed” or “Nicaraguan BP”,rather than “Padron Anniv Alt”. I appreciate the fact that the cigar is “comparable” to the Padron, but it’s NOT a Padron, and using the name (which they are obviously doing) to boost sales just seems unsavory. Considering the efforts Padron has made to keep quality high and prices reasonable, I think they deserve that much resepct.
    Unless, of course, all cigar companies agree to just call their cigar “Cuban Alternatives” 😉

  20. I really enjoyed this review because I think part of the fun of smoking different cigars is finding the good ones at great prices! Similar to wine, anyone can go out and buy a $100 bottle of wine and say it is excellent, but it is very difficult to find great deals. Would like to see a review of the JR cuban alternative!!!

  21. Thomas, I re-checked your site. You have the cigar listed as “Nicaraguan BP-Padron Anniv Alt” If it’s truly called “Nicaraguan BP” you should remove the “Padron” reference in the drop down.

    In addition, in your “10 Most Popular Cigar Brands” you have listed ONLY “Padron Anniv. Alt.” — why is it not called “Nicaraguan BP” in that list?

    It seems to me you’re using the Padron name in the marketing of this cigar.

  22. tachammer,

    Ask Lew why he doesn’t sell a Padron Alternative anymore and why he is no longer privileged with being able to sell ANY Padron products. I stand by the Padrons on this issue… it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to build an ultra successful business, you can’t let others steal your goodwill.

  23. Jabba,

    Who’s Lew?

    Oh, and I’m for calling any cigar that states it uses Cuban seed tobacco as a “Cuban Alternative” LOL 🙂

    Dave

  24. Jabba,

    I know the story about why JR doesn’t sell Padron. But you need to ask Lew something not me. Ask him why he sells cigars he calls JR ALTERNATIVE PADRON or the JR ALTERNATIVE GURKHA or how about the JR ALTERNATIVE ASHTON? Should everyone be allowed to use these names or no one? TNT isn’t doing anything that other’s have already done.

  25. I kind of see both sides of this arguement. Why should only JR Cigars be able use popular cigar names when naming their Alternative line?

    From a consumer view, I find it all confusing. I mean, even though they are labeled as TNT Alternatives, when I see the Padron name, I’m going to assume they are produced by Padron and maybe just seconds or something.

    Is it cleaver marketing or bad business practice to use popular names when naming store specific alternatives?

  26. But by the word “alternative”, isn’t it obvious that it is NOT produced by Padron and that it is only meant to simulate a Padron? It was obvious to me at least. Take for example, an alternative to a Honda Civic might be a Toyota Corolla, because they’re both quite similar. But they’re produced by two different companies. But if I had said used Honda Civics (seconds), then only should I assume that it was made by the same company, Honda. Really, it’s just semantics.

  27. with the whole alternative debate, look at cereal, there are so many alternative cereals out there its nuts where it is the exact same cereal in a bag instead of a box.

    I so have no problem with creating an alternative. I would never buy any because it is an unproven product, but i see no problem with it whatsoever. they aren’t passing them off as padron cigars, they are an alternative.

  28. Consumerism in the States is an odd thing. You have people that are fiercely supportive of a particular brand and such. People want to buy a particular American car, even though most of the components are from China and Mexico. I could go on all day about not supporting this website because they occasionally talk about cuban cigars when we all know that smoking a cuban cigar is pretty much supporting the evil communist despots that Castro’s horde is. The point is, for the people who are loyal to Padron and would never be caught smoking an alternative cigar, that means more for everybody else. Padron quality and flavor for an everyday price, give the consumer the best deal for the money.

  29. Metalbass,

    “Padron quality and flavor for an everyday price” would be the Padron Series cigars which are VERY affordable. Even the Londres are very good smokes and are priced low. I would smoke those before any pretend Padron that TNT is pushing.

  30. the Padron name is a gaurantee of quality, craftmanship and heritage. i doubt JR or TNT can boast such attributes. i must admit, i’ve never had the alternative’s, but i have had the generic Frosted Flakes and those things RULE! VIVA LA SAM’S CLUB!!!

  31. you are dumb there are a million different coca cola knock offs.. and they all taste the same. whats wrong with paying less for similar quality taste. I prefer to only fill my humidor with the real thing but non the less i beleive there is no harm in buying these knock offs.

  32. some of you people are a little overly excitable, especially considering you really don’t know jack about these cigars

    i picked up a bundle of these, and i think
    Walt is not far off, it would not suprise me one bit, and in fact i actually suspect that these cigars are either made by Padron or they are involved in some way. i don’t think they are seconds however, as the quality is very high in all aspects. they probably have the same filler and binder, but with a slightly greener wrapper. overall a very good smoke, and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

  33. Walt,
    I enjoy your site and your comments. IMHO this company TNT is simply after making a quick buck by trying to exploit the name of long established honorable companies that have been working hard for decades…Padron being on the top of their ‘copycat’ list for reasons that any cigar smoker will understand, mainly brand recognition, high quality and great price/quality ratio.
    Padron does not sell cigars to TNT, for the same reason it does not sell cigars to Rothman’s JR… because those two companies operate in the ‘gray zones’ of the trademark laws and deceive the customers in a barely legal manner.
    To put it in a few words, TNT can’t get the real Padron cigars…and if you pay attention to details you will find out that even the “Padron” boxes that they sell don’t have the Padron barcode inside or outside the box. I noticed this last week when I purchased a box thru TNT and took it to my local tobacconist. Now I’m stuck with a box that looks like Padron but no reputable tobacconist nor Padron will be able to identify because it doesn’t have the barcodes.
    Buyer beware!!!

  34. Frank,
    I was not aware that Padron did not sell direct to TNT. This is something that I will try and confirm.

    I have read about Padron putting bar codes on thier boxes, but I am not sure when they started to do this. Do you think it is possible that you got an old box from TNT?

    Looking over the prices at TNT I get the impression that they sell ALOT of Padrons. This would lead me to believe that they had a constant rotation coming in, which would include the new barcode system.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on the review.

    -Walt

  35. Thanks for the review, as always very informative.
    The comments re the use of “alternative” are interesting. Some strong opinions in defense of Padron but no objections (so far) from Padron. For the less knowledgeable cigar smoker like myself it’s a helpful practice.
    Toyota’s Lexus line pretty obviously copies Mercedes, so describing a Lexus as a “Mercedes alternative” isn’t necessary. Same with “cola” beverages, and house brand products like pain relievers sold next to “name” brand products on supermarket shelves and clearly identified as having the same active ingredient for less money.
    I wonder if Padron loses or gains from the practice. On my budget I am more likely to buy Padron cigars if I have tried and like the more affordable “alternative” product, and Padron doesn’t have to discount their product or name to gain customer base.

  36. Walt,

    Great review. I see nothing wrong in comparing ones alternative cigar with a great cigar as a Padron. Yes, I have had a Padron Anniversary, and I can say it is one of my favorites. I would love to have one on a daily basis, however, I live on the average American budget and trying to do that would not be feesable. So buying this alternative would satisfy my urge.

    I have also tried alternative cereal from my local grocery store and I can say it tastes just like the name brand stuff. Now they are not marketing it as Fruity Pebbles. No, instead of Barney performing petty larceny they have some Jurassic Park reject dinosaur on the box.

    Gentlemen, we do it ourselves. I can say my wife is an ALTERNATIVE Jessica Alba. She as some of the same characteristics, but it does’nt make her Jessica Alba. But just like alternative brand products, I still lover her!!!

    But I do believe some of you are being a bit pompas. A few of you are the guys we see at the cigar lounge who buy $25 sticks just to say you bought one.

    Finally, to each his own. Smoke if you got’em!!!

  37. Hi Guys,
    i happen to be the owner ot TNT. I could not read the whole thing, because (no offence ) some of it makes no sense. PADRON ALTERNATIVES ARE NOT CALLED PADRON ALTERNATIVES. One simple reason, you cannot call the name of the alternative with the name of the product. This would be considered a trademark violation. Please look at the name of the bundle. IT IS NOT CALLED PADRON ALTERNATIVE. IT IS DESCRIBED AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO PADRON ANNIVERSARY. Yes, i realize some of you guys defended my rigtht to offer consumer a product that i believe to be comparable in quality to Padron 1964 and others were sayting that there is something morally wrong with it. The discussion is mute, because, the product is not called Padron Altarnative. Now, here is more on trademark law. If the product is not comparable to Padron 1964 series, and i damage Padron name, which i believe someone here has stated to be the fact, than Padron can come after me and make a claim that my product is inferior to the real thing and ask for damages. So far, not one manufacturer has made a claim that our product is inferior to the real thing. Because we make the most effort to offer the consumer a product that is as close to the original at the fraction of the price. I do not see anything wrong with it, other than the fact that the manucaturer of the actual product is not 100% happy, because charging a top dollar for a product that manufacturer cannot reap all the profit.
    I believe in healthy competition, and i believe what i do is healthy. By the way, talking about Coca Cola alterntives, it does exist. If you have been to Costco ever, they sell Simply Cola, which looks, tastes just like Coca Cola. They even market it as such, by placing piles of it, next to the actual product, except the price is half the price.
    Now it is up to the consumer to decide if product is worthy spending money on, but please remember what makes this country different than any other country in the world is free economy and free competition. Thank God, we do not live in Europe or Mexico. Otherwise you guys would wind up, well you can figure the rest of the sentense yourself…

    Feel free to write directly to me at orders@tntcigars.com

    Dimitri Rozenman

  38. Hey,
    those of you who favor the real thing, plese do not buy generic drugs from your local drug store. That is not fair. Let the actual producer of whatever it is you are or your parents using reap all the profits. No offense, that would not be too smart would it? By the way, just like cigars, generic drugs are not in many cases identical to the real drug, but since it is a free country you can either buy a real thing or a generic. Now, I would never buy a brand name drug unless generic is inferior in quality. And i am talking about much more important here: health, not cigars.
    There is the same thing in the cigar world. It cost manufactureres pennies on the dollar to produce cigars you are smoking. Hey, you want to buy original, go right ahead, but do not imply that it is unethical to produce generics, alternatives and so on.
    THERE IS NO STATUS IN OVERPAYING.

    dimitri

  39. Encarta Dictionary defines ALTERNATIVE as follows:
    1.Something different from, able to serve as a substitute for, something else.
    2.The possibility of choosing between two different things.
    It appears to me that many of the respondents to this review lack any formal education. Either you people have good construction jobs or maybe many of these comments were written by the Padron family
    themselves.
    I don’t know if any of you have smoked a 1964 Padron Anniversary lately, but if you have, then you know that the quality of this cigar has deteriorated considerably from the original version. I shop at several stores in the Phoenix area and I can tell you that the store owners have told me that Padron is almost a non entity now. If you go into your smoke shops you will more than likely see a huge inventory on hand. Two reasons for this, they are highly overpriced and again the quality has been reduced to that of a mediocre smoke.
    I have smoked several bundles of the Padron Alternative and I can tell you that this cigar draws and burns better than the Padron and has touch more complexity. Oh, and by the way they cost under $2.00 a stick. So if you want to spend $10 to $25 for what should be a $3.00 cigar, be my guest!
    And remember every Padron that you buy helps to support Fidel Castro as Mr. Padron is one of his biggest supporters! Check your history…

  40. Ok, just put my money where my mouth is and bought a bundle of the Torpedo size. Can’t wait to smoke them 🙂

    Long ashes,

    Dave

  41. I bought a bundle of these torpedos, and they’re awful. Maybe I got a bad bundle or something? I can’t imagine how anybody could smoke one of these and say it even compares to any Padron. They are very loosely wrapped (the area between my fingers was almost completely smashed after just 5 minutes), they burn unevenly, and they taste like an ashtray. Either they hand picked one for Walt that was better than what they generally sell or I got a bad bundle (I smoked 2 of them and they were both horrible). The good news is that they offered to refund my money, so I shipped them back today. Please don’t waste your time and money on these. They’re worse that Swisher Sweets. I could only endure them for about 10 minutes before tossing them.

  42. BigB,
    Sorry to hear you had bad luck with them. The one and only bundle I purchased was from over a year ago and I think I’ve only got one cigar left.

    I Had one a month or two ago and remember it being pretty good. Maybe something has changed over the last year that wasn’t kind to the cigars, or maybe you just got a bad batch.

    Thanks for the comment
    -Walt

  43. I’ve smoked about 8 of the bundle I received and I think they are ok cigars. Not as strong in flavor or profile as a Padron 1000 series IMHO but still a decent Nic puro. The burn is average, the draw is good and my only complaint would be I would prefer a bit more punch in the flavor / strength department.

    But for the price, it’s a very good cigar. But if I had to choose between a Padron Maduro (basic class, not even a 1000 series) or the TNT alternative, I’d take the Padron Maduro. So there you go, my assessment 🙂

    Dave

  44. Great discussion!
    I just finished a TNT ’64 alternative. On it’s own merit, I found it to be a good smoke. I did not think I was getting a cheap Padron, I thought I was getting an alternative Nicaraguan cigar. They came wrapped in plastic and without a band on them. To my mind there was no indication they had anything to do with Padrons. Had they labeled it similar to Padrons, much like the goof balls who put VW engines in Porches, that would be fraud and immoral.

    TNT, et al might consider marketing their alternatives a little differently, but I doubt they are hurting the Padrons much.

    Does Mr. Padron like and support Mr. Fidel? Does anyone have a link to information supporting this claim?
    So what if he does? We were fighting a war in VietNam while tricky Dick was opening the door to China and selling wheat to the Soviet Union.

    I like Padrons! I cannot justify spending the money on a ’64 or a ’26….personally, I prefer the 5000 series. When I purchase a cigar or single malt or a wine, I like to think I am supporting a family or certain individual and not a monolithic corporation. Not knowing who produces this particular cigar (how they pay and treat their growers, rollers and others) bothers me the most.

    Because the alternative comes close, does that mean there is no cigar? No. It simply means there is an alternative…without the label, without the prestige and without the high price.

    Quality?
    If it doesn’t smoke well, no matter what you call it, it won’t sell.

  45. I tried a bundle of these cigars due to the good review here. I have to say that every one of the cigars side burned unevenly, and most went out if you didn’t continuously draw very hard on them. I would not recommend them to anyone honestly. That is my experience with this TNT alternative. I also tried their Punch alternative with the same results, I don’t know if there is a problem with their humidity at the place or what, I smoke them as soon as I get them and they are not doing well. The Punch alternatives canoe badly and also crack quite easily and the wrapper peels off when I am trying to cut them, it’s dry and brittle.

  46. I don’t know how anyone could give this cigar anything more than a 0 rating. This isn’t anywhere near what a Padron is unless they were in a vehicle that passed by a cigar store that had real Padrons. The taste was probably the worse experience I have had in a cigar. The only positive thing I can say for it is that it burned quite well but if it tastes like crap who cares how it burns. Buyer beware if you actually consider trying this thing. It was like taking a kick in the mouth as far as taste.

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