Cigar Review: La Palina Mr. Sam

Cigar Review: La Palina Mr. Sam

La Palina Cigars
Country: USA (Miami)
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 50
Strength: medium bodied
Price: $13.50 MSRP

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Overall Rating: 9.2

Anyone remotely familiar with the history of television should recognize the Paley name, from the founding of CBS to the Paley Foundation for the Arts, the Paley family is legendary. What few people realize the what was to become CBS was started using money made in the cigar business by Samuel Paley’s La Palina cigar brand. When Bill Paley resuscitated the La Palina brand he did so by paying tribute to his family’s history. One way he’s done this is by naming cigars after his grandparents, first with the La Palina Goldie and now with the Mr. Sam.

The Mr. Sam is the latest cigar in the La Palina Collection. Originally released as a limited production cigar, it has finally been introduced as regular line. Rolled at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, the construction on the La Palina Mr. Sam is amazing. This full flavored medium bodied cigar should age extremely well. The Mr. Sam is definitely one of those cigars worth picking up when you can find them.

Pre-Light: There is a very period look to this cigar. The beautifully classic La Palina band, that seems recall a simpler time of pre-World War II America, sits above a second band with that simply says “MR. SAM” in a font that recalls a Army Air Corps. recruiting poster. Even the oily dark brown color and the slightly veiny look of the wrapper almost give the cigar itself the look of a bomber jacket. A nice triple cap finishes off this impressive looking stick. Off the unlike cigar, aromas of tobacco and cedar easily noticeable in both the pre-light aroma and draw.

There is great contrast between the bands and the wrapper and in terms of appearance it is perfect. The aroma on the wrapper shows strong tobacco, spice and cedar notes, and at the foot I am getting spices, red pepper, fruit bread cocoa and tobacco notes. It is a rich aroma and wonderful in my opinion. This is a cigar that is starting off on a very high note, and I look forward to lighting this puppy up.

Burn: The construction on this cigar, rolled at El Titan de Bronze in Miami, is flawless. A perfect easy draw put out a good amount of flavorful white smoke. The La Palina Mr. Sam has a razor sharp burn from start to finish on all but one of the cigars smoked for this review. I couldn’t find a single flaw with the construction of this cigar.

Flavor: A dogwood and cedar flavor is immediately apparent upon lighting up the La Palina Mr. Sam, followed quickly by a burst of spice. About half an inch in, a peanut note appears, but fades fairly quickly. Wood and sweet tobacco dominate the rest if the first third of the cigar. Inthe second third a caramel joins the sweet flavors of wood, spice and natural tobacco. The strength throughout the cigar remains solidly in the medium range. Going into the final third, a black pepper flavor joins cedar and dogwood as the main notes. Oak, sweet tobacco, mild spices, leather and caramel remain in the background through to the end. There is a pleasant complexity to this cigar that makes this a hard cigar to punt down.

Overall: The La Palina Mr. Sam is an impressive smoke from start to finish. The construction is flawless, the burn and draw is perfect and the flavor is complex. It is complex and classy as Samuel Paley himself. I’ve been a fan of La Palina for while, but the Mr. Sam may be (in my opinion) the best cigar the company has put out to date. Although the price is a tad high for an everyday cigar, the cigar is a value when you consider it can hold its own with many super premium cigars with twenty dollar plus price tags. This is a cigar that should age age very well. If I can find the space in my humidor or locker, I will make sure I have a box aging. The Mr. Sam is a cigar that almost anyone can enjoy.

Pairing: When trying the La Palina Mr. Sam for thee first time I recommend pairing it with a bottle of sparking water so that the subtle nuances in flavor come through. A good red wine such as an Opus One, Lancaster, Penfold’s Grange or Duckhorn Parradux are all great choices for pairing with the Mr. Sam. When on a budget, the Dreaming Tree Crush, Coppola Claret or Greg Norman Cabernet/Shiraz will all pair well in place of a pricier bottle of wine. For the scotch drinker a Jura 10, Glenfarclas 105, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban or Balvenie 21 PortWood will all go quite nicely.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)