Back in October 2017, we reviewed the La Palina LP01 cigar, one of two in the Number series from La Palina Cigars. The other is the La Palina LP02 which is the subject of today’s review. Both the LP01 and LP02 were launched at last years IPCPR. The art for the marketing and packaging of the “number series” was inspired by late Paul Rand, who was an American modernist graphic artist.
While the LP01 was a an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapped cigar, Bill Paley and La Palina looked to Costa Rica this time for the dark Maduro wrapper on the LP02. The complete blend of this dark multi-country cigar is described as:
- Wrapper – Costa Rican Maduro
- Binder – Honduran
- Filler – Nicaraguan, Honduran
The La Palina LP02 is available in 4 vitolas and comes packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Gordo (6 x 58) MSRP $11.00
- Petit Corona (4 1/2 x 44) MSRP $7.99
- Robusto (5 x 52) MSRP $9.50
- Toro (6 1/2 x 54) MSRP $10.00
For this review I sampled the La Palina LP02 Robusto, which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press. In fact I smoked three of these for this review.
The La Palina LP02 has a dark chocolate-brown wrapper that shows decent oiling and is quite solid in the hand. There are very few veins running along the wrapper and the cigar is finished with double cap.
Like the LP01 the LP02 has a colorful modern art band that is a break way from the standard La Palina band designs. It uses a red, blue, and white motif with the bold LP in blue and the “02” in white on the red background.
I chose to slice the cap with my double blade Palio cutter, to open it up just above the cap line. A few cold draw puffs delivered caramel notes and a growing red pepper all through a tighter than normal restriction.
Cigar Review Notes
- Upon ignition I was hit with an initial pepper blast on nasal
- Quickly after a toasted caramel filled the palate
- The draw is tight and the smoke is medium in volume at best
- A slight wave forms along the thick burn line
- There is a solid light grey, almost white, ash forming
- About an inch into the burn, a bitter note starts to appear and lingers on the palate
- The burn is hot to the touch as I need to hold it closer to the band
- The wave builds into a canoeing that required a touch up
- Bitterness fades to the back and a sweetness moves forward
- A woody undertone develops
- Hints of fruit and a touch of nut appears both in flavor and aroma
- Still have a mild nasal burn on retro-hale
- Even with touch up, the ash is still hanging on almost two inches
- Tapped ash and revealed a slightly off centered burn cone
- Medium strength into the half way point
- Spice enters end of second third
- Burn line has gotten thinner
- Fruit moves to more of a Citrus note in final third
- Draw was just too tight at the end to finish
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 10 minutes through the second third.
Overall, the La Palina LP02 was not on the same caliber as the LP01, which I felt was a far better smoke. The tightness of the draw and the medium volume of smoke was just not to my liking and the off burn in the first half was less than I have come to appreciate in La Palina cigars. From a flavor perspective, there was adequate notes and transitions through he burn.
Running this through our new rating system it scored an 85. In comparison, I went back and rated the LP01 and it scored a solid 93.