La Palina Maduro 52 – Cigar Review

La Palina Maduro was one of the three new introductions at the 2012 IPCPR in Orlando, FL. The other two were the Kill Bill II and a new lower priced La Palina Classic. For those of you unfamiliar with La Palina, it is a revival of The Congress Cigar Company’s flagship brand from the late 1800’s. Bill Paley, looks back to his roots of three generations and has used deep family values to bring back a Victorian Age brand of cigars.

I am reviewing the La Palina Maduro 52 (robusto) today. The La Palina Maduro comes in four sizes, a 7 x 56, a 6 x 60, 6 x 50, and today’s 5 x 52. This is the first time that La Palina has used a Maduro wrapper on one of their blends. The addition of a maduro fills a void in the La Palina line, and this rich San Andreas draped cigar should make even more fans of Bill Paley’s brand.

Check out my photos from the La Palina 2012 IPCPR booth:

Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Binder: Honduran (Double Binder)
Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Flavor: Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

Construction and Appearance: The wrapper of the La Palina Maduro is a very dark chocolate color with some visible veins and has an oily sheen that looks wet to the touch. The cigar is a heavy in hand, firmly packed, and looks absolutely beautiful. The band on the La Palina Maduro is similar to the one on the Kill Bill, featuring the picture of a woman within an ornate gilded oval that features the La Palina name at the top. The whole band has a very classic and sort of regal theme to it.

Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the La Palina Maduro has notes of rich chocolate and coffee. On the foot there is the scent of earth, coffee, oak, and cocoa. I use a straight cut to prepare smoking the La Palina Maduro and on the cold draw there are flavors of chocolate, coffee, oak, earth, and a tantalizing spice or pine scent.

Smoking Characteristics: The La Palina Maduro kicks off with some very sweet, rich, deep flavors. In the first third, there are notes of dark chocolate, coffee, a bit of oak spice, along with a very mild blend of spices. The draw starts off a little tight, yet still provides a full body of rich, cool, very smooth, creamy, sweet, delicious smoke. There is a notable clean finish to each draw with a pine/anisette flavor that only lingers for a moment.  The cigar continues to billow smoke between draws. The strength is medium to full with a wonderful abundance of spice on the retrohale.

Into the second third of the La Palina Maduro, the spice and oak ease off a bit. The blend is made up of dark chocolate, coffee, a light oak spice, and a little cream with the sweetness of dried fruit. The blend of light spices is pretty much completely gone at this point but the clean finish to each draw continues to amaze me. The burn is fantastic, nearly razor sharp, and the beautiful charcoal ash holds firm. The draw is still on the tighter side, but still easily provides a full body of extremely smooth, creamy, sweet, cool smoke. Each draw produces a combination of cocoa, coffee, and light oak spice that linger only for a moment on the palate. The strength in this third starts to approach full but still remains in the medium to full range.

During the final third of the La Palina Maduro, a bit of earthy flavor starts to join the flavor profile. It is still rich with dark chocolate, coffee, and cream, the oak still remains but is more of a flavor than a spice. Each draw still finishes with an incredible crispness that has my full attention. The construction remains excellent, the draw, ash, and burn all perform wonderfully. The La Palina Maduro smokes cool to the nub with excellent flavors and without pulling any heat.

Conclusion: The La Palina Maduro is one of my favorite blends coming out of the 2012 IPCPR. The flavors were excellent, very well blended, balanced, and the aroma was wonderful. Pass up the stick purchase on this one, ladies and gentlemen, in this guys opinion, the box is the only option! You have got to try this stick out if you are a maduro fan. With its rich embodiment of flavors and distinct clean finish, you will not be disappointed.

Rating: 94

MSRP: $9.15

Editor’s Post Review Note: Check out the concurring review at www.sethshumidor.com