La Palina Maduro
If you haven’t been paying attention to the cigar industry in the last year then you might not have heard of the La Palina brand. Personally, I’ve noticed the brand pop up and start showing up everywhere. The reviews for their ‘Goldie’ blend have been on all the review sites, except for this one. However, I couldn’t find anywhere to buy these cigars locally. Until a couple of weeks ago when I stopped in my local shop and they had a nice new order of a good selection of the La Palina line. I decided to go with the Maduro and the Kill Bill (which I’ll review later).
This La Palina Maduro caught my eye. I haven’t smoked a maduro in a while so I figured it was time to catch with an old friend and see what I’ve been missing out on. After checking out La Palina’s site and getting some information about this cigar I found out that the wrapper is a Mexican Maduro. This cigar has a double Honduran binder, and it’s filled with Nicaraguan tobacco, both Criollo and Corojo leaf. There’s no crazy backstory behind this cigar just simply the La Palina Maduro. Sometimes simplicity is overlooked, well let’s hop into the review and see what happens.
The La Palina brand has one of the best looking bands in the market right now. The centerpiece of the band is a antique-esqu portrait of a woman. Turns out this woman is Goldie Paley, wife of the founder Samuel Paley. There is a very interesting backstory behind how La Palina came about. I can’t do it justice here, but I would encourage you to go read it on their site.
Back to the band, this La Palina Maduro has some very beautiful and intricate design. There is a substantial amount of gold trimming around the entire band. It’s offset by white lettering where the brand name appears. At the bottom of the band it displays EST 1896 in smaller white lettering. Directly above that there are three black circles that each have some emblem in them and are hard to depict what they are. All the elements of this band come together and form an incredibly beautiful final product. As I said above, it might be my favorite on the market right now.
The Mexican Maduro on this cigar is very dark and rich looking. It has a nice oil sheen that pops out under the light. It’s not quite as rugged as other Mexican wrappers that I’ve seen. It appears delicate and supple. I’m ready to get this 6×50 monster fired up and puffing to see what she’s got.
After pinching around on this La Palina Maduro, I didn’t notice any soft spots. In fact the barrel was quite stiff and not much bounce back was given from the filler tobaccos. I turned it around and looked at the foot, and it didn’t appear that it was packed like a can of sardines or anything. My next thought, is maybe the double binder is causing it not to give as much when it’s pinched.
After I nip the cap I test the dry draw on this stick. It’s a little tight, but I’m pretty sure it’ll open up once I get it light. Nothing to really worry about it. Lets toast the foot and get this thing rolling!
I was a little worried about how this La Palina Maduro would smoke / burn after I had pre draw issues. The first third of this cigar showed me why I would have some concerns. For some reason I couldn’t get the wrapper burning straight. I made sure and toasted the foot evenly to give it the best chance possible to get off to an even start. I touched up the wrapper along the way to help it. There was absolutely nothing I could do to make this burn straight during the first third. In fact the burn reminded me of the Emilio Draig K. I think it’s just something with these Maduro wrappers, they like to have attention brought to themselves and not burn correctly. They’re thinking to themselves, I’ll taste so good no one will worry about how I burn. Well I hope that’s the case!
Finally, during the second third of this La Palina Maduro, the burn straightened itself out. It stopped hanging out with the wrong crowd and started doing it’s homework. It’s a good thing, or I was going to have to send this wrapper off to boarding school… This third is seriously night and day with regards to the first third. It must have hit a section of the wrapper where the combustion evened out and got it’s act together. Either way I’m happy that it’s not burning straight and perfect.
The final third was more of the same, the burn was still excellent. The ash was holding on for a while and the draw had really opened up. It was a nice way for this cigar to wind down.
Maduros, are typically sweeter, and packed with a little more flavor right? I know that’s a fairly generalized view of them, but I would it’s a fair stereotype for the most part. Knowing that going in I tried to pick out more specific flavors from this La Palina Maduro.
On the pre light, I picked up a rich compost aroma, very similar to wet mulch. The foot had a nice sweet note to it as well. Once I lit up I figured I would be flooded with flavors. Well, not so much, the sweetness that I was looking for wasn’t really there. In fact, I picked up more spice than anything. Now, knowing this is a Mexican Maduro that makes sense. Most of the Mexican wrappers that I’ve smoked have been more on the spicy side as opposed to the sweeter side.
During the second third of this La Palina Maduro, I still wasn’t able to pick up a ton of flavor from it. I’m not getting any really pronounced flavor notes. I’m getting hints of spice, especially in the retrohale, but I’m not picking up on that much. I can definitely taste the creaminess and bits of sweetness, but to me it’s not overly complex. I’m hoping it hits its stride in the final third.
Well, I’m not sure if this cigar ever really hit its stride, or maybe I built it up too much in my head. I wasn’t able to really pull out any great flavors. Just hints of sweetness and spice here and there. To me personally there wasn’t a ton of complexity, but it was a decent overall smoke.
Would I Buy It Again?
Potentially, if the price is right. Possibly a smaller vitola.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
It could be in a smaller vitola and at a lower price point. However, paying $12 / stick isn’t ideal for an everyday smoke.
Would I Buy a Box?
I probably wouldn’t, but if the price is right you never know with me.
I think overall this La Palina Maduro was a decent cigar. I’m a fan of Maduros and I think I was looking for too much in this cigar. Looking too hard for some things might have caused me to overlook some simple things in terms of flavor. However, I enjoyed the cigar once it got through the burn issues. It didn’t wow me, but I definitely enjoyed it.