We all know the story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I can’t help

but wonder what it would be like if Mr. Wonka had a secret room that produced fine cigars.

I imagine the room would have the scents of chocolate, butter, baking spices, and the room would be free from Oompa Loompa-related distractions; I could do with out their witty satirical sing songs.

If Wonka made cigars they would have to be perfect. But maybe he wouldn’t make them at the chocolate factory. Maybe he would be concerned with cross contamination, so perhaps he would outsource a tobacco field far away from the chocolate factory and send his Oompa Loompa clan to tend the fields and roll tobacco.

We can’t really know what Wonka would do, but I think the Padilla family has a pretty good idea. Known as a boutique cigar company, Padilla has created a cigar that would defi nitely meet Wonka’s approval. I have heard many great things about Padilla Reserva; now the time has come to try one.

The Padilla family has been dabbling in cigars since the 1940’s. Now, they produce high quality cigars that have worldwide popularity.

To pair with this cigar I have selected Jack Daniels Honey (JDH). I have had this before, so I know what to expect — a smooth whiskey with a well-balanced honey taste.

With Padilla Reserva, the first thing I notice is the label. The face of an intelligent and intense lion sits in the center. It kind of reminds me of Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia; you never really knew what he was thinking. And in this case, I am not sure what the lion has to do with the cigar name. But then again, not all cigar labels make sense.

The size I have is 5.5 X 50 and is a box press — meaning the sides have been gently pressed to make them squarer. After clipping the cap and lighting, I start to taste a vanilla coffee fl avour. This then drifts into a spice coffee fl avour. So far so good. The JDH goes well with this cigar, but then again, JDH goes well with anything. Fortunately, the honey taste is not overly sweet.

The second third of the cigar picks up some chocolate and then goes further. At this point the Padilla tastes like chocolate fudge.

A tribute to Willy Wonka perhaps? This taste continues until the last third. More coffee, spice, and chocolate rounds out the rest of the stick.

Overall this cigar was enjoyable — solid prominent flavours, not overly complex. Personally I would have enjoyed it more without the spice taste.

Going back to Wonka. If he made cigars, Padilla Reserva would be wrapped in that famous Wonka Bar wrapper and dubbed, Wonka Stick. The label would probably be redone to feature a classic headshot of Wonka in his orange top hat and sly grin. Maybe he would have kept a hidden tasting room outside of the factory, which would swap out chocolate waterfalls and candy flowers for amber liquors and large leather lounge chairs.

As for the Oompa Loompas — I don’t think Wonka would ever part with them. But that’s okay; I would sacrifi ce my sanity for a Padilla.