Ernesto Padilla previewed his newest cigar, Finest Hour, on Instagram in August of 2018. It shipped 5 months after in January of 2019. The name Finest Hour comes from a famous speech given by Winston Churchill during the Battle of France. This was one of three memorable speeches given over the course of a month to the House of Commons during such time. Today we are looking at the Finest Hour Oscuro.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”
Finest Hour comes in three different wrappers: Finest Hour Habano, Finest Hour Connecticut and Finest Hour Oscuro. The Oscuro version has a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, dual Nicaraguan binder, and Honduras and Nicaragua fillers. All come in the same size and prices: Robusto (5 x 52) – $7.50, Toro (6 x 52) – $8.25, Gordo (6 x 60) – $8.90. All come in boxes of 20.
“Very dark brown oily wrapper, with a few raised veins and invisible seams. This cigar is very good-looking! It has just the slightest amount of give from foot to cap and appears to be very well constructed.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“There’s a heavy earthy aroma off the cigar’s wrapper and it smells like Grandma’s cedar chest with an added hint of sweetness when sniffing the foot of the cigar directly.” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
Flavor: 92 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
“I used a straight cut just nipping off the cap. The dry draw was spot on with a nice musty earthiness a really enjoyed. Once lit I was met with a ton of pepper and spice. followed by a long sweet finish. Very nice. As the flavors developed, I got a slight anise taste in the background. It’s not my favorite however it did not detract from the blend at all.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“The first few puffs of the cigar deliver the same notes as the prelight, raisin, cinnamon, and cedar. The raisin and cinnamon notes quickly give way to damp earth and natural tobacco, with the cedar still in the background. The retrohale is silky smooth, with just a slight amount of cabinet spice. There is just a slightly sour note that sits on the tongue with a long finish but it works with the other notes on the profile. Not overly complex, but working well together. Burn and draw are spots on, with a loose grey ash. Smoke output is moderate.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
Flavor: 92 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
“So far construction has been stellar, the draw is delivering the goods in just the right proportions and a strong stack of nickels ash has developed and it doesn’t look like it will be falling any time soon. Sadly the butter note has mostly dissipated through the nose leaving a much less pronounced black pepper and the mineral component which continues to build. That dry oak is still the main flavor via the draw although that Sumatran coffee essence is hanging in there. All in all, the flavors present here are working very well together. The ash finally drops right around the 50 yard line.” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
“The flavors have really settled into a nice balance going into the second third. The campfire I was getting at first is, shockingly, almost completely gone; replaced with a more mild oak. The sweet note is no longer fruity but comes through as a nice sweet butter. The pepper remains, though milder now and it lingers the longest on the palate. As I near the end of the middle third, I get a crack in the outer wrapper, but otherwise construction remains good. I’m also noticing hints of cinnamon and am eager to see how that evolves!” –Vance T. (Vance)
Flavor: 93 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
“I really wish the butter and stinging black pepper would have stuck around longer in the retrohale, as that first third was magical. As far as what’s going on here in the final third, the oak is becoming bolder and stronger on the draw and mineral is the lone surviving flavor via the nose. Actually, the woodsiness is getting so ballsy that it begins to creep in through the retrohale as well. If you like OAK in a cigar, look no further!” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
“As I head into the final third I’m thrilled to realize the sweet buttercream note is intensifying and the cinnamon I noticed at the end of the second third, though faint, has carried through. The pepper is no longer there at the front, however, there’s a beautiful warm cayenne on the finish that lingers. The crack in the wrapper worked itself out, without impacting the smoke at all, so no harm no foul there.” –Vance T. (Vance)
“Beautiful draw from the first cut to last puff!” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“I have nothing negative to say at all. Beautifully wrapped, great draw and a great burn were the norm for this one.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
Overall Strength: Medium Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full Experience Overall: 94
“I really enjoyed this cigar from start to finish. Great flavors with super solid construction made for an excellent experience.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“Man, if the flavors developed in the first third had stuck around a bit longer I’d be ecstatic about this cigar. But as the smoking experience went on, that complexity dissipated and it truly saddened me. I wasn’t crying, mind you, but I was bummed for sure. Having said that, the second two-thirds performed well and the growing strength of the oak and warm distinct mineral played very well together. I did bust out my nub tool to soak up every last puff so that is telling. Add in stellar construction and I would absolutely smoke this cigar again.” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
“I really enjoyed this cigar, specifically the way it evolved. It was like a meal, starting with a smoky, peppered steak and ending with a warm cinnamon-dusted butter cake. This could easily become a daily smoke for me depending on price point.” –Vance T. (Vance)
“Great burning and well-mannered cigar. The flavor, while nut outstanding will pair with a variety of beverages and would fit into most smokers palates I think. I will be curious to see what this is.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“A nice simple cigar with notes of wood and black pepper. An excellent cigar to have in the humidor.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
"I really enjoyed this cigar, specifically the way it evolved. It was like a meal, starting with a smoky, peppered steak and ending with a warm cinnamon-dusted butter cake. This could easily become a daily smoke for me depending on price point." -Vance T. (Vance)