Tonight’s Tasting – Birra Moretti and Padilla Series ‘68

Some rare Southern California precipitation wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying a smoke on the veranda, so I grabbed some random choices and headed out. I found I had selected the Italian beer Birra Moretti and a Padilla Series ‘68 cigar. 

Birra Moretti

In 1859, Luigi Moretti founded his “Beer and Ice Factory” in Udine, in Northern Italy. Born into a wealthy family of merchants, Luigi Moretti already had a well-established business in the wholesale trade of cereals, liquors and foodstuffs. When Luigi Moretti founded the brewery, the region was still annexed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire so there were very strong patriotic sentiments felt among the town’s people. It was in this difficult political climate (in the same years as the famous battles of San Martino and Solferino) that thirty-seven year old Luigi Moretti, looked to the future with courage and hope and decided to build his beer factory. He could never have imagined when he founded his little factory how much it would grow. Five generations later the Moretti name still graces the label of the authentic Italian beer across the world. But then in the late 1990s, after all those many years of tradition, some rat-bastard descendants of Moretti sold out to Heineken International. Now the beer is made by a huge, generic beer factory. Sorry Luigi.

I’m just being cynical. I’m sure Heineken can follow a recipe, and the taste of this selection appears to indicate they are doing a good job. This golden Italian beer uses Hallertau Magnum and Spalt hops. The beer is quite tasty; light and crisp with a malt flavor. ABV is 4.6%. I really enjoyed this beer. A solid 8.5.

Padilla Series ‘68, Toro (6 x 50)

This cigar has an interesting back story. The Padilla Series ‘68 is the final chapter in the trilogy Ernesto released in honor of his father Heberto Padilla, a Cuban writer and poet. The Series 68 stands for 1968, the year Ernesto Padilla’s father compiled his most controversial work, one that ultimately led to his imprisonment in Cuba for speaking out against Castro’s communist regime. He was imprisoned for about nine years, but was eventually released and moved to New Jersey.

The Series 68 is the only cigar in the Padilla tribute line that is hand rolled in Honduras. Rolled with a Nicaraguan corojo wrapper, this reddish leaf is blended with Havana-seed fillers from Jalapa and Condega, two of Nicaragua’s premier growing regions. The resulting cigar is medium-bodied, combining earthy flavors with some sweetness that derives from the wrapper.

Sadly, the cigar is not much of a tribute. It began pleasant enough, but without much character. I might have chalked it up as a mild knock-around cigar at that point, but it grew continually more harsh. Some have given this cigar high marks, but for me it totally missed the mark. Truly nasty. A 5.5 on the Morris scale.

One Response to “Tonight’s Tasting – Birra Moretti and Padilla Series ‘68”

  1. 5.5? That’s a shame, but it’s the price you pay to explore and discover new gems. Better luck next time.

Leave a Reply