Last year was a busy year for Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) exclusive cigars. There were 21 cigars including including 14 limited editions and 7 on going releases. The list represented 20 premium cigar makers. One of those brands was La Palina cigars who followed their 2017 Bronze Label with the introduction of the Blue Label in 2018.
TAA Exclusive cigars are made, as the name denotes, for TAA membership retailers only, There are about 80 retail members in the US.
The La Palina Blue Label comes in a 6.5 x 52 Toro carrying an MSRP of $10.00 and packaged in 20- count boxes. La Palina notes this is a limited production cigar with just 550 boxes available. The cigar is manufactured at Nestor Plasencia’s El Paraiso factory in Honduras.
The La Palina Blue Label blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder – Honduran
- Filler – Honduran and Nicaraguan
For this review, I sampled two La Palina Blue Label cigars which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The La Palina Blue Label is is wrapped in an oily, coffee bean brown leaf that has a well defined vein structure. It is nicely capped and has a solid feel from head to foot.
There are two bands that brand the cigar. The primary is the standard La Palina band that is bordered with a rich blue trim, allowing the gold in the logo shine. The secondary band is just below the primary and it uses the same blue color and denotes this as the “Blue Label” in gold lettering.
As I ran the Blue Label along the nose I picked up a pungent fermented leaf aroma along the barrel, while the foot exudes a rich spice aroma.
Using my double blade cutter, I removed the cap, with a straight slice, across the shoulder of the cigar and proceeded to give it some cold puffs. There was a pleasant set of notes on the draw including, earth, pepper, and a bit of dry leather. The draw itself was nicely restricted.
As I warmed the foot with a double flame torch, set at medium height, I took in the first few puffs of flavorful smoke. Follow along as I break down and turn to ash, the La Palina Blue Label.
Cigar Review Notes
- First puffs delivered notes of cocoa and coffee
- A smooth spice component appears on the retro-hale
- Buttercream notes enter with a mild tangy citrus
- Medium grey ash develops on a medium to thick char line
- Decent oiling develops one inch into the burn
- Tang fades and fruit and cocoa moves up
- There is a mild wave in the burn
- Smoke volume is full and creamy
- Ash falls after about an inch and half in revealing a slightly off centered burn cone
- Nut nuances enter near the midway point
- Maple syrup aroma fills the air around me
- Coffee notes rejoin the mix
- Spice enters just shy of the secondary band
- Begins to burn hot to the touch
- Woody notes enter into the final third with a continued underlying spice
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was was 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Overall, the La Palina Blue Label TAA Exclusive for 2018 was a fine smoking experience with its rich and smooth flavors that transitioned well from foot to finish. The smoke volume was full and creamy throughout. There was an off centered burn cone once the ash fell and the barrel did start to get hot to the touch in the final third. I smoked 2 of these for the review. It is certainly worthy of a buying a fiver if you can locate them. I do know Smoke Inn has them for sale on their site. I rate this a 92.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wave in Burn; (-1) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) Medium Grey Ash; (-1) Hot to the touch in final