Cigar Review: La Palina Black Label

Cigar Review: La Palina Black Label

La Palina Cigars
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazil (Bahiano)
Binder: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Size: 6″ x 50
Strength: medium-full to full
Price: $10.50 MSRP

Click here to but it now

Overall Rating: 9.2

La Palina cigars are no stranger to regular readers of ToastedFoot. The La Palina Mr. Sam was #3 on our Top Ten Cigars of 2014 list, La Palina “Goldie” No. 5 was #3 on our Top Ten Cigars of 2013, and the La Palina “Goldie” Laguito No. 2 was our Cigar of the Year in 2012. With ratings like that, La Palina has built a reputation for quality and consistency. The La Palina Black Label is a stellar cigar that has managed to live up to the high expectations that have come from having such highly rated cigars. The most full-bodied La Palina cigar yet, the Black Label is a complex cigar with a pleasing mix of flavors.

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Pre-Light: A version of now fairly well known La Palina band, with it’s black, white and gold stands out quite strikingly against the dark Brazilian Bahia wrapper that covers the La Palina Black Label. The words “black label” appear in gold on a black secondary cigar band. There is a nice oily sheen to the cigar’s wrapper.

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From the wrapper comes aromas of cedar, leather and spice. Off the unlit foot, there are scents of leather and raisins. The cold draw of the La Palina Black Label is easy and allows flavors of cloves, leather and sweet raisins through.

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Burn: The draw on the Black Label is phenomenal, and allows through a massive amount of flavorful smoke. The burn is even from start to finish. The burn isn’t razor sharp, but it never gets out of hand or needs correcting from a lighter.

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Flavor: The La Palina Black Label begins by introducing flavors of earth, leather and cedar to a sweet flavor profile. On the retrohale, there is a mixture of black pepper and anise that manages to be somewhat strong while not being overpowering. Every now and then, there is an illusive note of cinnamon that never really sticks around much. As the second third begins, there is a superb blend of sweetness and strength. There is a maple candy flavor that peek out from behind the earth and leather, and brings to mind childhood trips to New England. The previously hard to pin down cinnamon has become more prominent. Mild notes of espresso, cedar, hay, grass and anise round out the second third of the Black Label. At the transition to the final third of the La Palina Black Label there is a mild clove note that blends well with cedar, mild black pepper, leather, earth, spice and espresso.

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Overall: The La Palina Black Label is a bit of a departure for La Palina Cigars, but it is a wonderful welcome change for the brand. Unusually strong for a La Palina, the Black Label is just inside the full bodied spectrum, but is not overwhelming strong or sacrifices flavor for strength. While the cigar may be a tad strong for fans of some of La Palina’s milder offerings, it is a good choice for those full bodied smokers looking for a complex cigar. There is a plethora of sweet and unique flavors that gives the La Palina Black Label a wonderful complexity. Personally, I think the La Palina Black Label is a great cigar, and have enjoyed it regularly since it’s release.

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Pairing: To experience all the wonderful flavors the La Palina Black Label has to offer I suggest pairing it with a bottle of sparkling water. A cup of coffee or cappuccino pair extremely well with the sweetness of the Black Label. For those looking for something stronger, a peaty Islay single malt (such as a Lagavulin 16) will compliment the Black Label well, but will overpower some of the subtler flavors of the cigar.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David(@JonDavid1210)