In 2010, Bill Paley, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and in the shadow of his father, revitalized a century-old La Palina cigar brand. The first offering from what we know now as one of the finest luxury brands, was a bit of a surprise by industry standards; it was the Family Series, retailing at roughly $20+ per cigar. Rolled in the Bahamas by The Graycliff Cigar Company, it consisted of a Costa Rican and Honduran blend. The cigar took off like a rocket and in the years since, La Palina has cultivated a reputation for luxurious and sought-after releases—the Goldie line, Kill Bill, and Mr. Sam being among their most successful. One of the reasons for their recent success has been a partnership with El Titan de Bronze, a small factory in Miami that specializes in fine cigars with classic, Cuban rolling techniques.
For this, the revamped series to be known as Family Series Miami, Bill Paley spent a year tweaking the blend until it was just right, having it re-blended at the famed El Titan de Bronze instead of Graycliff. And while the original line consisted of four sizes, the Miami edition will only include three sizes at launch (Pasha, Babe, and Alison), with the Pasha, a churchill vitola, to reach the market first in the series.
Family Series Miami – Pasha Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuador Corojo 99
- Binder: Ecuador Habano
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: El Titan de Bronze (United States)
- Production: Small batch
- Vitola: 7″ × 50 “Pasha” Churchill
- Price: $20
For the Pasha, the cigar has been rolled with an extended portion of filler tobaccos (shaggy foot), intended to give a short period of filler-only flavors, before transitioning to the full experience. Pasha begins with a perfect wrapper and honestly the best cap I have ever seen. The shaggy foot gives a rugged feel to a very refined looking cigar. The smell is that of a fine whisky cocktail and it has a light cinnamon bite.
The first few puffs are divine, like a sweet Kenosha pipe and I can tell this is a great cigar before we reach the wrapper. Once I hit the wrapper, I get an amazing maple flavor with an added honey twist on top. There are no bad flavors, no impurities, just sweet, smooth smoke. After a good twenty minutes, I get a sweet cherry wood flavor and some almond nuttiness—this is a truly dynamic smoke.
Smoke is pouring from the cigar and it is as close to a perfect draw as you can get; it almost feels like I am drinking this cigar as much as I am smoking it. The sweet wood taste is still the predominant flavor, but there has been a very minute uptick in strength and some leather has emerged. The burn has been a bit wavy but the cigar is pretty self-correcting, never requiring a touchup.
In the final third, it starts with some excellent notes of charcoal barbecue and plum on the retrohale. This would pair well with a barleywine (one of the few times I’ve ever thought that of a cigar!), not being overly strong, but with a fruit-like character that barleywines often carry. As I near the band (and pass it), some of the refined, elegant qualities have fallen off, but that is not too out of the norm and by no means is it anything less than enjoyable.
Would I Smoke this cigar Again?
I have long said that any cigar that is in the $20 dollar range starts at a disadvantage in my mind, that being said, Pasha is one of the few cigars that is totally worth the high price tag. I’d classify it as an “occasion cigar”, because of the price tag, but I would smoke these every day if I could—I am interested to try the other sizes and more interested to see what Bill Paley and La Palina have in store for us next.
- Near-perfect construction
- Very unique and complex
- Great draw
- Cost prohibitive
- Quick burner