La Palina Paley’s Vault | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 50 Toro
Strength: Medium
Price: $10.00 ($6.00 online)

Today We take a look at the La Palina Paley’s Vault.
I won a fiver on Cbid for $12.50 ($2.50 per stick)….Uh-oh.
The cigars have rested, naked, in my humidor for a month…remember…extremely aged tobacco.

“Originally created as a test cigar that was stored in Bill Paley’s aging room to enjoy whenever he was at the factory, this smoke never got a full release. Since then, it has been released but in an extremely limited fashion.”

That’s all folks! No more info about this blend anywhere; including the La Palina web site which omits this cigar.
The cigar, by the box, is sold in glass tubos. Why? No fucking idea. I smell a deception ploy.
The fivers are sold without the tubos.
They only come in the Toro size.
These cigars are supposed to contain extremely aged tobacco. Yet, there is no mention of what ‘extremely aged’ means in terms of years. It was originally blended to be a full release yet held back. And William Paley Jr. ended up being stuck with the job of smoking all of them, one at a time when he visited his factory. Poor baby…
Not one single review; written or video. This is not good. I mean, how bad can this cigar be?
Let’s find out.

The cigar looks inexpensive. It’s lumpy and bumpy throughout. A ton of veins that ugly up the stick. Seams are clearly visible. It appears to have a double cap. There are hard and soft spots up and down the cigar. The wrapper is an oily orangish espresso brown. And it’s smooth as a baby’s tush. There is no secondary band declaring its exclusivity from the other La Palina blends with the exact same cigar band.

Nice floral notes hit immediately, followed by malt, milk chocolate, caramel, cedar, and barnyard.
The cold draw presents flavors of nothing as the cigar is plugged; so, I grab my trusty PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and must ream past the usual place of the plug at the cigar band area.
Once again with feeling…notes of barnyard, cedar, black pepper and that’s it. Nice aromas that don’t show up in the flavor profile. Uh-oh 2.0.

I’ve smoked two sticks prior to this review. I’m sure you know where this is going. No reviews. So, I will be the beacon of hope and despair for those looking to find out some info on the La Palina Paley’s Vault.

First flavor is very earthy and pleasant. Lots of black pepper…but not much else.

Actually, the cigar tastes old. Apparently, La Palina tried to release it but failed. No idea of the story behind this. I’m sure it is something like the drum solo on “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

If this is extremely aged tobacco, I’ll eat my boxers on toast. Not only does it taste old and worn out, it tastes crummy. Great start. Only 5.75” to go.
Right out of the gate, there are burn issues. Hard to believe.

I am guessing that Paley made his 5 and 6-year-old grandchildren; Omar and Moshe, roll the sticks as punishment for not finishing college.

La Palina loves to tout how the cigar company is 120 years old…like this cigar.

If it’s OK with you, my beloved readers, that I don’t take as many photos as I normally do. Bitch’n.

The stick is burning like it has somewhere to go…in a hurry.

OK. I gotta’ call bullshit on this being the cigar that William Paley Jr smokes when he visits his factory. The guy is the son of the founder of CBS TV and he smokes this piece of shit? There are more holes in this limited info than Calvin Kush’s underwear.

Within 5 minutes, I’ve smoked an inch.
Not even a sign of complexity, transitions, potential, or flavor. The finish is peppery.
Tiparillo anyone?

I checked Cigars International site and the cigar got 9 reviews with an average of 4 out of 5 stars. Hmmm….Quorum smokers when they splurge.

I’m not kidding. This is probably not worth the $2.50 I paid. It’s like one of those non-descript 20 count bundle cigars you get for $22.

A little bit of cedar pops up now and again. Old is the mainstay of the flavor profile.
Just goes to show you…never write a cigar review on an online cigar site when you are coming down from 36 hours on meth.
A tiny bit of earthy tobacco appears and I leap out of my chair and yell, “Go Lions!”

On the upside, the cigar burns like a cigarette. I am eternally grateful because if I had to spend 90 minutes smoking this deep-fried afterbirth with onions, it would ruin my day.

There is a nuance of flavor floating around but it is either malt or a dirty Depends.

So, did Paley finally tell his factory to go fuck themselves and he ain’t smoking these dog turds anymore…”So, let’s release them!”

Do you ever tire of manufacturers thinking you’re stupid? Or preying on newbies?

I read an interview Paley did with Cigar Aficionado and he admitted that they made a mistake releasing only their finest and most expensive cigars when they kick started the brand again. So, in order to self-correct, they released a bunch of cigars that got worse with each release.
There is a business model in there somewhere, but I don’t get it. I guess I’m just not that smart.

Paley could have easily taken the whole kit and kaboodle of his stock of the La Palina Paley’s Vault and donated them to the Nicaraguan people so they could punish their children if they got bad grades. “What? You got a D? Here, smoke this.”

I’m killing time waiting on this blend to do something…anything. I can’t believe some of the reviews on CI gave this baby 5 stars. What the fuck? And it ain’t just CI. These cigars are available on lots of different online stores.

It’s moments like this I wish I hadn’t given up my part time job as an abortion doc for veterinarians. I hated destroying the lives of rabbits but it was a living. Try aborting a snake fetus…those lovely eyes…so sad.

I forgot to mention the strength. I have no fucking idea. Man, I could use some magic mushrooms right now.

Ooh…ooh…a bit of creaminess shows up. Yeah, baby!!! We have forward momentum.
The ash falls off every half inch. Well-made stick.

Who did La Palina think would fall for the story this was Paley’s go-to stick? OMG! They think we are all idiots.

Halfway point. 20 minutes. Let ‘er burn.

Drek. Debris. Rubbish. Dregs. Hogwash. And those are the good points.

The stick is becoming harsh now…wonderful…replacing the spiciness of the limp black pepper.
I can now taste my pancreas.

I wonder if Paley will be interested in sponsoring my blog? I don’t see why not.

Ever accidentally swallow a sea urchin? How about bull testicles…while still on the bull?

The burn is driving me nuts. And the flavor profile is similar to the food Hannibal Lecter enjoys.

Watch. A new review will pop up saying what a great cigar this is. I guarantee it. I hope the reviewer bought a Tesla with the pay off.

What level of harshness is this? It could be the same as gargling with sulfuric acid…or maybe choking on a hairball…or even a really long pubic hair; except you don’t know anyone with long pubic hair.

I can’t believe I paid $12.50 for a fiver. I got ripped off.

Maybe the cigar has paraquat in it? The CIA eradicated Bill Paley and replaced him with Noriega and then invaded the UAE and figured out how to subject hapless cigar smokers with a new drug that makes them think they are Russian ballet dancers with ties to Hamas?

The cigar finishes in 35 minutes. Typical for a Toro…just not in this universe. Thank God.

I begin to spit up blood with bits of horseradish and metal filings.
I’m done.

Go out and buy as many as you can to give to your mooch friends. They will never bother you again.

RATING: 14…I mean 5 stars

This is where I normally add a useless story about my days in rock n’ roll.
Not today…
And now for something of a public service announcement:

I saw this tooth whitening product (Power Swabs) on TV last week and wondered if it was legit.
So, I turned to the Wizard of Dentistry, Dr. Rod Kurthy (PerfecDraw), for advice. He wrote back with this manifesto and I got his approval to publish it.

Now, I have a personal relationship with Rod as we are the same age and grew up together in Long Beach, CA. Although, the years have not been kind to Rod and looks 10 years older than me. Did I mention that he loves The Eagles? Still, he is my brother from another mother.

Rod is what I call a Triple A type personality. While I was playing rock n roll, Rod was busy inventing dental tools, procedures and products that are now used by every dentist in the world. He is in a constant state of inventing dental applications. And lucky for us cigar smokers, he applied that OCD into the invention of the PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and several other things we all own and cherish. Last year, he won the Best Cigar Accessory of 2018 from Cigar Journal Magazine. The award ceremony was in Dortmund, Germany…and he did not invite me.

Rod is the inventor of KöR® Whitening (I added a link that describes the process) and had plenty to say about the state of affairs of supposed whitening procedures and whitening toothpastes. I thought I would pass it on as I found it very informative.

“Yes, I am very familiar with Power Swabs. The original owners tried to convince me to buy their company. I don’t know how many times that company has been sold, but I’ve received questions from other companies that have considered buying it over several years.

The idea of Power Swabs sounds great to the layperson and even investment firms on the surface, because those people just don’t know the science.

Let me first give you some background and some terminology:
Whitening toothpaste is, for the most part B.S…period. There are three formal categories of so-called whitening toothpaste:

1) Toothpaste that will remove surface stain via abrasive. This pretty much describes every toothpaste on the market. But some choose to call their toothpaste a “whitening toothpaste”. It’s all marketing spin. Most companies that sell toothpaste have several versions, and even have the toothpastes made by their offshoot companies so that it appears that these are different brands. So, they want to cover the market. Some people want whitening, and some don’t. Some want low abrasion, and some don’t care. Some want this taste or that. So, they try to cover the market. Bottom line is that these toothpastes do NOT whitening the actual color of the teeth. They supposedly remove surface stain to make the teeth “appear” whiter. But again, all toothpastes could make that claim if they wanted to as far as their marketing spin.

2) Toothpaste that removes surface stain via a chemical dissolving of stain. Such as Rembrandt Toothpaste. It uses papain, which is a proteolytic enzyme (dissolves organic molecules) that is totally natural and comes from the papaya fruit. It is actually most commonly used as a meat tenderizer. I am a HUGE fan of use of papain in toothpastes. But only one currently uses it, and that’s the regular Rembrandt Toothpaste, which, in my opinion, is the best overall toothpaste on the market. However, just using papain will only remove surface stains, and stains only a few microns into the tooth structure.

3) Toothpastes that actually have active peroxide to get into tooth structure and actually have some effect to whiten the actual structure of the teeth. It’s important to note that several of the so-called whitening toothpastes in category 1) above, will claim they have peroxide in the toothpaste – which technically is true. Problem is that it’s not “active” peroxide. Instead, it is insoluble salts of peroxide which to nothing more than act as an abrasive – but it’s GREAT to use to spin the marketing.

Actually, Rembrandt toothpaste fits into both category 2 and 3. It has papain (which they call Citroxain as a proprietary name) AND has 10% ACTIVE carbamide peroxide. But still, there is not all THAT much whitening effect. Although it’s very good, in terms of whiteness, for people who’ve had their teeth genuinely whitened, to help in the maintenance of the whiteness.

So now…the Power Swabs. They use a chemical that sorta’ acts like papain. It has a very low surface tension, so will get a few microns into the teeth and remove stain. It will remove some of the stain on the surface of the teeth and just a tiny, tiny, tiny few microns into the tooth structure. So, Power Swabs have been marketed simply for whitening, which is total crap. It was originally intended simply as a precursor of formal whitening. Gee, it sounds good – you use the Power Swabs to really clean the surface of the tooth and a few microns into the tooth, which makes the whitening work A LOT, LOT, LOT, LOT better!!!! That’s just plain Wrong! Sounds good; but is a total waste of time. I’ll tell you why below.

Do you know what chemical on the face of the planet will clean stain off teeth the best? Get ready…PEROXIDE! (like the stuff in teeth whitening gels) So, let me get this straight. They’re saying to first use their Power Swabs to clean the teeth BEFORE using peroxide whitening gel on the teeth (and keep in mind that I strongly believe that Power Swabs don’t even work as well as peroxide). And THEN use peroxide whitening gel to whiten the teeth?
Makes no sense.

Keep in mind that many on the corporate side of the dental industry think of me as the leading teeth whitening expert in the world. And the same thing applies to the dentist side of the dental industry. I’ve been involved in teeth whitening science and development since 1977, which I believe is longer than anyone else on the planet.

So, you can imagine, over the past 15 years since these things have been around, I have been contacted so many times by not only dentists, but by various big dental product companies and people looking to buy that company, to ask my opinion. And as always, I figure that I’m not going to get egg on my face, so I give anyone my honest opinion – that they’re total b******t.” And YES, I HAVE clinically tested it. I performed clinical studies using Power Swabs on one side of the patient’s mouth, and then whitening all of the teeth. I found absolutely ZERO difference on both sides of every patient’s mouth, which indicates that the Power Swabs were entirely unnecessary.”

Thank you, Dr. Rod.
So now, dear readers, you have the benefit of an expert’s opinion on the cluster fuck number of claims by whitening toothpastes and whitening procedures.


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10 replies

  1. I laughed in shame at the caustic brain-whitening review

  2. Hey Phil it’s Mark,

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    Still enjoying your reviews for their bullshit radar, clever and inventive writing, and the rock and roll history lessons.

    I have some cigars to send you. I have sent you a package before but have lost your mailing address.

    They are some you haven’t reviewed yet.

    Take care my man.

    On Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 8:17 AM Cigar Reviews by Phil ‘Katman’ Kohn wrote:

    > The Katman posted: “Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: > Nicaraguan Size: 6 x 50 Toro Strength: Medium Price: $10.00 ($6.00 online) > Today We take a look at the La Palina Paley’s Vault. I won a fiver on Cbid > for $12.50 ($2.50 per stick)….Uh-oh.” >

  3. Hi Phil,

    I guess I dont feel so bad, I only paid $6.50 for a 5er on cbid ($7 too much). I think the glass tube marketing is so you can’t smell the lawn clippings they filled it with. I swear that is the only flavor I got in the 1.5″ I stuck through. Chucked the rest of them in the garbage.

    Happy new year

  4. I just knew I got ripped off.
    My apologies, Jeff, for not reviewing this cowpat sooner.

  5. What a coincidence. I just had a La Palina ‘Kill Bill’ last night, and was not impressed either.

    The only La Palina I’ve enjoyed has been discontinued. Figures. But perhaps this also part of the same inscrutable, four-dimensional business model.

  6. The funniest part of this whole thing is how you confessed to smoking two of these prior to the review. Should I read into this as a cry for help, Katman? What are you going to do with the other two? Never mind, I don’t want to know. Anyway, the ugliest cigar I’ve ever smoked was a La Palina Classic. The thing looked like a 5×50 version of the first joint I ever tried to roll some thirty years ago. Wasn’t too bad of a smoke though. Wasn’t too good either. La Palina is another cigar company I’ve blacklisted. Kinda like Gurkha, maybe not as bad, but they both have dishonest, shit business models. I get pretty tired of the whole “This cigar retails for $25, but you can buy them for $6” crap. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the review regardless of the pain you went through. Does this make me a bad person? Thanks for taking another one for the team.

  7. Yeah, you’re probably right, Darryl. I did smoke two sticks but I was pissed off. I thought I got a killer deal on something that might be special. Instead, I was fooled again. La Palina doesn’t get a pass, so hence; the review.

  8. I have just been validated. A friend in the business reached out to me and gave me the down low on this bullshit:
    “Most of La Palinas stuff is made by General Cigar, which happens to own Thompson, CI and Bill does not own a factory, and his family has not owned a factory since their mass market years in Chicago. They used a great factory in Miami (El Titan) for the Dalia, Mr Sam and a few others, but now most of their production is out of Generals Honduran and Nicaragua factory. They were making their blends with PDR including the Black, Red and Gold Label, but now those are all made at General. Thanks the great read, you were spot on!”

  9. Yeah, jeez…that makes such perfect sense. Thank you for passing on the info. Happy New Year, Katman.

  10. Happy new year, Darryl…

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