It looks like it’s Padilla week here on Stogie Review. In case you missed it, Jerry took a look at the Black Bear on Monday. (Feel free to watch his shenanigans once you’re done here. And no, you’re not done yet.) Charlie didn’t get the memo, so he gets no link love. And today I’m going to take a look at the Artemis, a cigar I’ve been asked to review a few times in recently.
It’s been a while since I broke the news about the Padilla Artemis, Ernesto Padilla’s relatively new cigar named after the Greek god of the hunt, and things have changed a little since he gave me the scoop. The band on the sticks that arrived in shops around the country is considerably different that pictures I posted. The Miami color theme was dropped in favor of an vintage looking orange, brown and bronze, and the stag that graced the band was apparently eaten by the lion that now occupies its spot. But most important difference is the wider-than-expected availability of the cigar. I don’t know how many shops carry it, if it’s still only 50, but it’s no longer a brick and mortar exclusive.
What remains true is the Nicaraguan composition. It’s a puro, made at the Raices Cubana factory, the source of many popular cigars these days. And it is still apparently Padilla’s first box-pressed release. The Artemis comes in boxes of 20 in three sizes, Robusto (5 x 54), Toro (6 x 54) and Torpedo (6 1/4 x 52). And in a 15-count, you can get the box-pressed figurado vitola, called the Double Torpedo (6 3/4 x 56).
Changes aside, this is a cigar I’ve been meaning to smoke for a long time. Let’s check it out.
Size: 6 1/4 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cuban Seed Habano
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $11.60
It’s hard not to like box-pressed cigars, they look great, and they’re comfortable both in mouth and in the hand. (That’s what she said. Apparently, we have a shortage of these this week.) The Artemis is no exception. It has a smooth, flawless appearance, finer veins, an a reddish brown wrapper that is really enticing.
When you get your hands on it, you find it has about the same feel as most box-pressed cigars. I didn’t notice any irregularities in the cigars I smoked for this review. The wrapper has a rich, almost oily scent of chocolate and compost. The cold draw was easy each time, and there was a savory molasses quality to it.
In my experience with Padilla cigars, the burn is often the weak spot, and that holds true here. From one stick to the next there was quite a variety in performance. A few burned very well while the rest burned unevenly, produced a dark flaky ash and even required touch-ups and relights. The most important criteria, the draw, was never a problem.
The Artemis had a sweet, cedary, orange spice beginning. The characteristics of the sweetness that dominated this third was pretty interesting, at times it’s like a rich butterscotch, at other times it had more of an acidic citrus quality. In either case, it also lingered a considerable time in the finish.
In the second third, the sweetness was still a major component of the profile, but it transitioned into more of a molasses. Slightly grassy cedar, graham and a little pepper made up the rest of the profile. A little way in, the profile developed a creamy character, and I noticed a building heat in the back of my mouth.
The cigar ends on a creamy cedary note with a subdued spice, and less sweetness than it had earlier, but still a long enjoyable finish.
The price is a tough one, as it puts this Artemis in completion with the Miami, with the similarly sized Miami coming in at at least a buck less at MSRP. I just don’t think the Artemis is up to the challenge.
On the whole, I liked the Artemis. The burn problems weren’t that big an issue and the flavors were enjoyable, though it seems to lack the body and depth of the popular Miami line. (A favorite of mine.) It’s definitely a cigar worth smoking, but I think it will appeal most the people who think the Miami is just too full or too strong. Though Artemis isn’t without power, there is a little kick to it at the end. I have no doubt I’ll smoke it again occasionally, but it’s hard to grab one of these when you have a Miami Lancero in reach. And I usually do.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Probably
Recommend It: Yes, to Padilla and Aganorsa tobacco fans.
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.