Disclaimer: I received this cigar as a sample for La Palina and they also advertise on this site. Even so, all reviews are my own.
It has been a while since I have looked up the story behind La Palina cigars. I seem to remember that they have something to do with Bill Paley, the man responsible for CBS. So, in a way, without Mr. Paley we may not have had the ability to delight in the zany antics of Charlie Sheen.
All joking aside, their family story is important as is the family story of everyone who makes cigars. Many cigar operations are family run and because of that I think they special. La Palina cigars is one such company. Heck, this cigar is part of their Family Series of cigars. And here’s a little about the family that is responsible for the creation of these cigars:
[La Palina owner Bill Paley’s] quest for the extraordinary took him to Avelino Lara, the expatriate Cuban Master Blender who created the famed Cohibas for Fidel Castro. Lara had abandoned Cuba and was heading Enrico Garzioli’s factory at Graycliff in Nassau. With the acquiescence of Garzioli, Bill worked directly with Lara to create a cigar that appealed to his discriminating palate.
Avelino Lara passed away in October 2009, but his inspiration lives on, guiding his son Abel, and his loyal Cuban torcedores. La Palina is honored to capture the joy and spirit of Lara’s greatness in its cigars.
The La Palina The Alison is a great looking cigar. It is a torpedo with a wrapper that is very toothy and comes with no seriously raised veins. The Alison and The Little Bill are the more full bodied offerings from La Palina The Family Series (Just to make sure that you know they have that little extra kick these two cigars come with an extra band that says “Ligero”).
Ring Gauge: 52
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Price: ~ $20/cigar
It starts out very reserved striking a good balance between spice and wood. Unfortunately, it isn’t a very impressive cigar during the first third.
The second third is better than the first. Spice is still present, it’s pretty close to cinnamon actually, and there is a sweetness. As this third is progressing my impression of this cigar is definitely improving. The strength is increasing as well.
I think the most apt analogy for this cigar’s flavor evolution is this: a Mac Truck. It might start out slow and lumbering but once it gets up to speed it brings it. The final third is in full force with a good helping spice and some floral notes for balance.
The final two thirds of this cigar are absolutely awesome. Great flavors centering around spice is something that I really like in a cigar. Detracting from this cigar was an occasionally bad burn and that somewhat lackadaisical first third. If you haven’t had the chance to try one of these yet I would recommend you do so.