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Entries in La Palina (3)

Monday
Aug292011

La Palina El Diario 

This week's review is of the new cigar from La Palina, the El Diario. This line isn't made in the same factory as the previous La Palina's, this one is made at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras. I am reviewing the Gordo size, which measures in at 6x58. The wrapper is Honduran Corojo 99 Rosado, the double binder is Honduran Criollo 98 and the filler is Nicaraguan Corojo 99 and Criollo 98. I guess it shouldn't surprise me anymore to see companies doing these large ring gauge cigars, but I'm still not a big fan of that trend or used to smoking them. I was pretty happy to hear that La Palina was having this line made at Raices Cubanas as I prefer the way they make their cigars over Graycliff. 

The El Diario is an attractive looking cigar with an oily slightly veiny wrapper that has a reddish hue to it. The roll feels even and very solid when squeezed. The prelight draw shows a perfect draw for this size and a light flavor of cedar and has an almost bready characteristic. Once lit this starts out with plenty of flavor right away, sweet woody flavors and that great bready characteristic. The retrohale offers up a small amount of spice. Other than the size, this is a very approachable cigar as far as flavor goes. The flavor profile isn't sharp, its really soft on the palate. The ash holds for over an inch, something I don't see a lot with these large ring gauge cigars. This isn't an overly complex cigar but it is very tasty. This is developing a slight cinnamon flavor that mixes really well with the bready characteristic, making for an almost graham cracker flavor. I would say this is a medium body/strength cigar and very balanced. The burn has been pretty even so far but is getting a little wavy as I reach the halfway point. 

Entering the final third and this is still just as tasty as when it started. The strength and body are still in the medium category adn the graham cracker flavor has disappeared. As I've said numerous times I am not normally a fan of these large ring gauge cigars but I am enjoying this one.  I would like to smoke some of the more traditional sizes in the line eventually to see if they are just as tasty as this vitola. The burn has evened out nicely from earlier. 

The La Palina El Diario was a really good cigar! I liked the previous releases from La Palina but the price point was a bit high for me. This one is much more reasonable at $11.50 for this large size. I smoke so many strong peppery cigars that it is nice to change it up with this solid medium bodied cigar with the softer flavor profile. This isn't one of those brands that you are going to see in every cigar shop but if you come across them I would recommend picking one up! 

Monday
Jul182011

La Palina Alison

This week's review is of the La Palina Alison, another cigar from their Family Series, but with a slightly different blend than the Pasha I smoked a few weeks ago. Normally the Alison has a second band on it that says Ligero, but for some reason the sample I received of this one didn't have that secondary band. The Alison has an Ecuadorian wrapper, Costa Rican binder and Honduran and Nicaraguan filler. This belicoso measures in at 6x52.

The wrapper on the Alison is very mottled, with streaks of a muddy dark color throughout the brown wrapper. This cigar is on the veiny side with a slightly uneven shape to it, almost pressed near the band. The prelight draw is on the looser side, but not so loose that I am worried about it burning hot. The cold draw has that well aged tobacco flavor some cinnamon. This cigar lights up easily and starts out with mouthfuls of creamy smoke. I am getting a lot of floral flavors with a citrus zest on the finish. This isn't something I find in a cigar very often, but definitely enjoy it when I do! The flavor profile is very bright with a woody backbone to it. You can tell that the tobacco in this cigar is very well aged and properly fermented. The ash holds on well and the floral flavors are starting to back off after around an inch. There is some great cinnamon spice through the nose when retrohaling. The burnline is wavy but hasn't needed to be touched up. I am loving the contrast between the citrus and woody/cinnamon flavors. I would consider this to be a solid medium bodied cigar with a medium amount of strength. There is a pleasant nutty aroma to the smoke coming off of this cigar. The flavor profile is consistent and complex, a very enjoyable cigar.

Overall the La Palina Alison is a tasty cigar and a great change of pace for my usual cigar line up. This has a uniqueness to it with the great floral and citrus flavors in this blend. I smoked this cigar after a light lunch and it fit perfectly. It isn't too heavy but has enough flavor and body to satisfy. This cigar shares some of the same characteristics I enjoy in Cuban cigars, but it obviously doesn't taste Cuban. The floral and citrus flavors are not something I find outside of Cuban tobacco very frequently. Like the rest of the Family Series, these aren't cheap. This size looks to be right in the $20 range, making it one I won't be smoking very frequently. I could see myself picking up a few of these to keep around though, I really enjoyed the unique flavor profile.