La Palina El Diario – Cigar Review
I first found out about the resurrection of the La Palina brand from Gary Arzt and I was intrigued giving the history of the brand. We attended the launch event, loved the Pasha and were looking forward to the release of the El Diario. That time is here, and I had the chance to meet up with Bill Paley, owner of La Palina about 2 months ago at Cigar Inn in New York City. At the time we talked about the process of creating another cigar to the line that would hold true to the historical tradition of the brand.
According to La Palina website,
Rolled at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras for La Palina Cigar, the El Diario is a perfect complement to our acclaimed original line, the Family Series. The La Palina El Diario is a richly flavored medium bodied cigar. The sweet characteristics of the Honduran rosado wrapper round out the spicy Nicaraguan corojo and criollo filler. The double binders from Honduras refine and complete the blend, creating beautiful balance.
The La Palina El Diario is a straightforward blend with a harmony of sweet and spicy notes that you will find the ideal choice for daily enjoyment. El Diario translates to “The Daily” in English. The El Diario is a La Palina for every day.
The cigar is available in 5 sizes, Churchill (7 x 50), Torpedo (6.125 x 52), Gordo (6 x 58), Toro (6 x 50) and Robusto (5 x 52).
Cigar: La Palina El Diario
Size:6 x 58 (Gordo)
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado
Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 (x2)
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Appearance and Construction:The La Palina El Diario features a flawless corojo wrapper from Honduras. Rolled to perfection with a triple cap finding a flaw in the leaf is impossible. Under fingers there is a velvet like texture, so soft spots,or pockets and a nice weight. The foot is as firm as they come, with a nice contrast in the tobacco under the camera flash. This excessively firm cigar features the classing La Palina logo which is reminiscent of a cameo with Italian gold accents.
Flavor & Notes:Under the nose the foot reveals notes of raisins, subtle chocolate and a slight spice. The cold draw has a nice amount of sweetness and cedar and almost no spice. With my Xikar lighter I lit up the La Palina El Diario looking forward to the next 2 hours. Once the cigar is lit there is some spice present that gives way to notes of mocha and nuts, with a touch of leather. In the second third of the cigar the nutty notes really take hold and become the focal point with some sweetness and leather in the background. The cigar is a bit drying so be sure to have a beverage handy with this one. The last third kicks up some in strength becoming full strength while the notes are a slight mocha, nuts, leather with a short finish.
Smoking Characteristics: The La Palina El Diario had a perfect draw on both my samples which came courtesy of the company. The burn was slightly uneven or jagged, but never to the point where it worried me about needing a lighter. The dark ash was weak and held for maybe an inch at a time. The thing that really wowed me was the aroma, which had an incredible shortbread aroma with some nuttiness. It was truly memorable.
Conclusion: Amazing how age can really change a cigar. When I first smoked this with Bill Paley fresh from the factory the strength of the cigar had me weak in the knees. Now a couple of month lately the strength was muted some and the cigar was flavorful and enjoyable. I can only imagine how these will change with 6 months on them, and I plan to order at least a 5 pack to do just. A very nice addition to the La Palina line.