Padrón Cigars is one of the largest and most recognizable premium cigar brands in the United States and across the globe. The brand remains family-owned, operating under the privately held Piloto Cigars Inc. company. Padrón was famously founded on September 8, 1964, by José Orlando Padrón, a Cuban émigré working in South Florida as a carpenter in order to save enough money to open his own cigar operation in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.
Over the years, the Padróns have encountered more than their fair share of hardships, including the bombing of their Miami headquarters on four separate occasions, the destruction of their Nicaraguan factory in the late '70s, a temporary move to Honduras during the Nicaraguan-American embargo of the '80s, and the eventual return to Nicaragua (after the embargo was lifted) in 1990.
In 1994, the family debuted their now-legendary Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series, made to commemorate 30 years in business. This release coincided with the great cigar boom of the '90s, going on to receive multiple high ratings and awards from the newly minted Cigar Aficionado magazine, helping to establish the brand as an elite selection in the premium cigar market. In the years following, the Padróns have followed with other popular blends such as Padrón 1926 Serie, Padrón Family Reserve, and Padrón Dámaso, among others. Aside from the Padrón Dámaso—which features a light-shade Connecticut wrapper—all Padrón cigars arrive box-pressed and wrapped in both natural and maduro wrapper varieties. In addition, Padrón's cigars are historically Nicaraguan, primarily made at the family's own Tabacos Cubanica factory in Estelí.