La Palina Maduro Cigar Review

April 25, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received this cigar from La Palina; as always, all reviews are my own.

Over the last month or so I have watched the whole White Collar series, which is mainly about this FBI agent and conman extraordinaire who bust white collar criminals. If you don’t think about it too much it’s a fun show to watch. But there’s something interesting about cons in general, especially cons of the counterfeiting variety. If you want to counterfeit something done by a person (i.e. a painting) or something else natural then it’s best not to be perfect.

Perfection is a clear sign that there is something unnatural about an object. Straight lines? Unnatural. Perfectly proportioned body? Unnatural. Uniformly colored wrapper (especially one that is very dark)? Probably unnatural.

With, say, a painting, you would have to be perfect in mimicking the imperfections of the original. With a natural product it’s better to not try mimickery.

Basically, all the preceding was a setup to say that this wrapper is definitely natural (no dyes and the such); and, truthfully, I never really questioned this wrapper’s authenticity. It was just one of those times that something popped into my head – counterfeiting in this instance – and I needed to indulge myself a bit. Thanks for sticking with me.

Not only is there some variation in the color of the wrapper, from blackish areas to chocolaty browns but there are also some bumps, a small tear near the foot (maybe my fault) and there is a network of small to medium sized veins crisscrossing the surface of the cigar like all those aqueducts on Mars. There’s a certain amount of oiliness on the wrapper (not a lot but it’s there) and the cigar smells nice.

One last thing: I have liked all the La Palina cigars I have smoked in the past; click the link to check them out

La Palina Maduro

Cigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Mexican Maduro
Binder: Honduran (x2)
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $171.00/Box of 20 | $47.50/5 Pack

Detecting Antifragility Flame!

Slow burning cigar with a core group of rich flavors including earth, dark sweetness and oats. The juxtaposition of the earth and the dark sweetness is very nice. There is some complexity early on.

Dark sweetness is still hanging around during the second third with some earth popping up every once in a while. The other major flavor is oats and there is a toasted quality that is permeating the whole flavor profile now.

Charred meat comes on during the final third and that earthiness comes back. It’s a good mixture but not as good as the first third was.

Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; this cigar starts off with a mixture of intense flavors and evolves into a toasty stew of flavors that are mostly enjoyable. The major drawback of this cigar, something I touched on earlier in this review, is that it burns slowly; too slowly at times. If you don’t keep at it then this cigar is liable to burn out.

I smoked two cigars for this review and the one that I kept on top of burned well. My suggestion would be to smoke this cigar when you have the ability to dedicate some time to it because it is worth the effort.

90 points

La Palina El Diario Cigar Review

November 17, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · 2 Comments 

I received this cigar and another just like it from La Palina Cigars. All Reviews are my own.

Previously, I have reviewed the diminutive La Palina El Diario Kill Bill and I was duly impressed by that little cigar. This one, the Toro, is a little bit longer and has a larger ring gauge. In general, I have a slight preference for smaller cigars but this toro, measuring in at 6′ x 50, is at the edge of my butter zone for length but well within my acceptance level for ring gauge.

The wrapper is a medium to a dark-medium color and has more than a few veins marring the surface. When touched, it is immediately evident that this wrapper has more than the average amount of oils on it and is relatively tightly packed. Not a beautiful cigar but the shape and construction look good.

The La Palina WebsiteCigar Stats
Vitola: toro
Length: 6”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado
Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 (x2)
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
Price: $200.00/Box of 20 | $10.00/Single

BSG: Blood and Chrome Conflagration!

Even though the prelight draw was a bit tight, once this cigar was lit the draw was good. The flavors you should expect during the first third include: dark, molasses sweetness trapping spice in a misty cloud. That spice is especially evident in the retrohale as it does not leave and just increases with each puff you take. There’s also some dry, dusty earth swirling around.

During the first third there was a bit of sweet, fruity sweetness but there’s a lot more during the second third. Retrohaled spice has dissipated but isn’t gone. What I’m especially liking about the taste of this cigar is the consistency of the smoke, which is very fine and granular.

Earth and an edge of sweetness. The spice is pretty much gone during this final third. It’s still a good cigar but the flavors have lost a bit of their intensity, which has to do with the fact that this cigar has been resting in my humidor for many months now. The rest has made the flavors marry better.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, this cigar is solidly good throughout. In my estimation this cigar is not as good as the Kill Bill was but, still, the toro is a very enjoyable cigar.

90 points

La Palina El Diario Cigar Review

July 20, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Full Disclosure: I received these cigars from La Palina Cigars.

La Palina El Diario KB is a diminutive cigar and, I don’t know about you, but I’m always a little wary of smaller cigars. I don’t know why, I have liked a few smaller cigars but there’s just something about small cigars that makes me wonder “How can they fit a lot of flavor in it?” I don’t know how, I’m guessing the process goes something like this:

Like I was saying, this is a very small cigar and I’m guessing that it takes really small hands to make something like this. Either they use children, dwarfs or they wrap their torcedore’s hands when they were kids (like Chinese women’s feet of yore) to have rollers who have small enough hands to roll these cigars. However they are doing it this cigar does look good.

Perfectly shaped, a sheen of oils, very few veins and the few that are present are insignificant in size. The wrapper is a darker shade of brown and the color is consistent throughout. Also, this cigar comes with not one but two, that’s right, two!, binders.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: petit corona
Length: 4 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 40
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado
Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 (x2)
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
Price (MSRP): $35.00/4 Pack | $8.75/Single

Kiss My Ash Torch!

It starts out dark and alluring. The darkness is quite good and revolves around earth and sweetness. What’s really great about this cigar is that the flavors are strong. Perhaps a bit of bitterness in there as well. Good balance thoughout in the beginning.

This dark sweetness has a hint of spice coursing through it that enhances the flavor. There has been some change in the flavors and I’m less than an inch into this cigar.

About two thirds of the way through and out comes some woody flavors. It’s actually a very enjoyable cigar with sweetness, earth and the new flavor: wood.

I have a lot of respect for someone who can make such a small cigar have as much flavor as this cigar had. It truly is great. Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn this cigar is heavier than you would think. While the flavors aren’t “bold,” per se, they are enjoyably strong. The price tag is a little high but this cigar is worth it.

93 points

La Palina The Alison Cigar Review

April 11, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

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”).

Cigar Stats
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Price: ~ $20/cigar

Patriarch Flame!

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.

91 points