La Palina Black Label (Pre-Release) | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Brazilian (Bahiano)
Binder: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 52 “Robusto”
Body: Full
Price: $12.50 MSRP


Today we take a look at the pre-release blend: La Palina Black Label. From all appearances, it seems that La Palina has gone to the dark side. (Small little pun. No animals or children were hurt and the police were not called.)

The La Palina Black made its debut at this year’s IPCPR trade show. It will be a regular production cigar. And is being rolled at the PDR factory in the DR just like the La Palina Classic line.

The cigar comes in four sizes:
Robusto: 5 x 52 ($12.50)
Corona: 6 x 40 ($11.00)
Toro: 6 x 50 ($13.50)
Gordo: 6 x 60 ($11.50)

Per Bill Paley:
“I am proud to be able to offer this exceptional blend. The Black Label was another labor of love for La Palina.”

I’m a fool for love of a beautiful mottled wrapper. Especially one that has a dark coffee bean color. The La Palina Black Label is jam packed with tobacco. No soft spots. Very tight seams. The triple cap is expertly applied. A nice oiliness adorns the toothy wrapper.

I clip the cap and find aromas of earthiness, cedar, spice, mulled wine, dried fruit, sweetness, and leather.
Time to light up.

The draw is a bit tight so I gently massage it and voila! Perfect now.

It takes a few seconds but then Bam. A blast of red pepper. The earthiness is incredible giving the cigar a base of operations to stage further attacks upon my palate. Black licorice appears. I love that. In England, I discovered Dutch Pontefract cakes. Little round disks made of the finest black licorice and stamped in the middle like waxing a letter closed and sealing it with some instrument declaring authenticity.


Cinnamon joins the spice brigade reminding me of my boy hood when for a nickel; we could buy a little wax bag stapled shut and inside were cinnamon coated tooth picks. And boy, were they spicy! My boys and I would hang and see who would form tears in their eyes first. It was usually a five way tie.

Sweetness begins to purvey the ever expanding landscape of flavors. Cedar arrives giving a nice offset to the sweetness.

The char line is pure dead nuts perfect.

This is a manly cigar. Meaty and fresh from the kill in the Savannahs of Africa. The strength is medium/full from the start. The La Palina Black ain’t foolin’ around.

The Brazilian wrapper gives it a nice sweet flavor.

1-1/2” in, here are the flavors: Creaminess, spice, black licorice, cocoa, cinnamon, cedar, and leather.

The blend is for experienced palates. It is dark and foreboding. Full of secret spots where nuance and character hide out…waiting to be found or spring upon your laissez-faire palate.

The ash is almost snow white but with flecks of gray. And is hanging mighty tough to the end of the stick.

Which means it will end up in my lap causing me to do the unhappy dance as I write in my boxers.

I’ve reviewed the entire line of La Palina. The Family Series is an animal all its own. But within the $10-$12 range, this is my new favorite. It is severe and could be habit forming. “Why are you here in rehab?” I’m hooked on La Palina Black Label and I can’t shake it.

A new fruity sweetness appears. Alluring but hard to discern.

I begin the second third and I’ve invested over 30 minutes. It seems to have gone by much too quickly as I am enjoying the hell out of this cigar.

The price point. I know, I know. $12.50 is a lot of dough. But once in a while, a blend comes along that is so intense and so full of character and uniqueness, that it becomes instantly obvious how much love and focus were put into the blend. Compared to other sticks on the market at this price point, the La Palina Black Label wins hands down.

We now have a flavor bomb. Flavors are zinging past my palate like a Pink Floyd laser show.

The fruitiness is raisins and figs. Not dried figs; fresh figs. I just bought some at the market the other day and the memory of that delicacy is fresh in my mind and palate.

The black licorice is strong. The lush creaminess brings it out. The cocoa surges and I grab a Diet Coke for my egg cream experience.

And now I am thinking of French toast. Cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup.

The red pepper becomes black pepper.

I am so digging this cigar, man. (Musician speak)

The strength remains at medium/full. The cigar is described as more of a medium body blend but it is definitely stronger than that.

Dark, bitter espresso finds its turn in line. Now, we’re cooking. What a marvelous cigar.

I would like to thank Courtney Smith of La Palina for sending me samples.

The black pepper becomes very strong once again. My sinuses open and there are tears in my eyes.
The cigar is pure manna.

I will set my homing device and search and purchase when the La Palina Black Label hits the market. It will be my big purchase for the month and worth every dime.

You cannot believe the flavors being spewed forth from this cigar.

The flavor bomb status just keeps getting stronger. It is perfectly balanced. It is ridiculously complex. And it has a long chewy finish.

A lovely floral note appears. Gentle and subtle.

I’m getting a hint of nicotine now. Uh-oh. I’m a real wuss when it comes to nicotine. I suppose if I had smoked even one cigarette in my life it would be no big deal. But I haven’t.

Charlotte just left for work so I crank up the music. A must have while writing a review.

A sip of Diet Coke and there is a flavor explosion.

Construction of the La Palina Black Label is immaculate. This is cigar production at its best.

I am at the halfway point and I can say without fear of retribution that if you don’t try this cigar, you will no longer be my friends.

This is one of the best cigars I’ve had in a long time.

Here are the flavors once more: Creaminess, black pepper, black licorice, cocoa, espresso, maple syrup, butterscotch, cinnamon, cedar, leather, raisins, figs, and a rich luscious earthiness.

This is definitely a kitchen sink blend. And the kicker is that I’ve only had the cigar for a week.

The last third begins.

The La Palina Black Label is turning into a very strong cigar. Not for the squeamish.

Yet, the full line of flavors have not dissipated nor moved from their position in order.

I have over an hour with this cigar. And I don’t want it to end; regardless of the man or mouse nicotine effect.

This cigar demands you have something in your stomach. Which, of course, I have not.
So I stop and have a small bowl of cereal. What a wuss.

The La Palina Black Label is now very full bodied.

What a difference a little food can do.

Plus, the food clears the palate somewhat. The flavors are now explosive. Bold, potent, and vivacious.
The black pepper is reaching for the stars now.

This is a departure from earlier blends like Uncle Sam. A good cigar but this is a great cigar. Of course, it is a matter of taste.

There isn’t a lot of info on the leaf stats which I would love to know in detail.

This is a spectacular cigar. And will find its place in my Top 25 cigar list. The La Palina Black Label is a unique blend. I cannot think of a comparison. The cheese stands alone.

La Palina does not say when this cigar will be released but I’m sure it will be soon. And once released, there will be a run on them.

The La Palina Black Label finishes beautifully. No harshness or heat. No bitterness.
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3 replies

  1. They say that it is a myth that a very white solid ash is sign of very high quality tobacco. But lately I find that cigars I most enjoy have this color ash. The ones I smoked with dark ash are good but not as refined. How do you feel about this subject? I’ll definitely have to try this cigar!

  2. Yeah,I’m a whore for a mottled wrapper too. Just something about the beauty of it. Guess I’ll have to sneak a few into a purchase when they hit.
    I think there’s too many variables to really pin down the ash thing. I’ve had so-so Partagas 1845 with gorgeous white Rock of Gibraltar ash,to the 5 times the stick LaAurora 107 just the other day,whose ash was flowering and flaky.