A Review Of The La Palina Black Label CigarThe La Palina Black Label cigar was first revealed at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show and represents the seventh blend in the line. It also represents the second collaboration between the brand and the PDR factory. It should be no surprise that the stick is noted for its excellent construction and that it is a big win overall. However, the brand has an impressive portfolio of its own, so there are a lot of great minds behind this project. However, it is geared toward experienced aficionados and is stronger than the other sticks in the company’s line. 

A Brazilian Bahiano adorns the La Palina Black Label cigar, a wrapper that is rarely on any stick. It features a pair of binders, one from the Dominican, and one from Nicaragua. It has a pair of fillers, again from the Dominican and Nicaragua. It comes in four sizes, including Robusto (5 x52), Petit Lancero (6 x40), Toro (6 x 50) and Gordo (6 x 60). The stick is, to put it lightly, rustic. It looks like someone beat it up a little soon after being rolled, and has a number of veins and visible seams. It has a beautiful cinnamon color to it and enough oil to give it a nice sheen. The band is black, gold and silver and displays the wife of the company’s founder. With the way it’s framed, it gives the appearance of an old locket and is very charming. The cold draw isn’t entirely complex, but it evokes an interesting mix of citrus, spice, and cocoa.

The first third of the La Palina Black Label cigar starts off with some black pepper, sweet cedar, spice, citrus and cocoa. It takes a while for the smoke to find a dominant flavor, but eventually the cocoa and cedar notes rise to the top. The citrus, spice and cocoa round out the profile of the background, but they are also noticeable throughout the initial third.

In the middle third of the smoke, the cedar elbows the cocoa out of the way and asserts itself as the one true dominant flavor. The cedar is also present on the retrohale, so it is a cedar-heavy stick. The spice drops out entirely and the citrus, which was acidic at the start of the stick, becomes sweeter and balances well off of the cedar. 

During the final third of the smoke, the black pepper flavor grows in intensity and moves up to the front with the cedar. With the cedar and pepper upfront, the stick provides a little more kick down the stretch. The citrus provides some sweetness in contrast, but the pepper and cedar deliver several punches before the smoke finishes. 

The burn requires the occasional correction, but the draw is excellent, and everything else about its construction is plus. It is, as advertised, a full-bodied smoke and is something that can be fully appreciated by an experienced aficionado. It’s the kind of stick that will challenge a smoker’s palate and stamina, an approach that’s getting rarer all the time.

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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