The La Palina Red Label was released at this year’s IPCPR along with the Family Series Miami. The Red Label adds to the company’s growing lineup of more affordable cigars, such as the Black Label, Classic, and El Diario. La Palina is best known among cigar smokers for their luxury lines like the Family Series, the Goldies, and Mr. Sam, which makes their more affordable lines that much more interesting. Can they do both the high end lines and the budget lines with the same effectivity? 2015 gives a perfect example, with the Family Series Miami being re-released and the La Palina Red both coming out at the show.
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La Palina Red Label Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Nicaragua | Dominican Republic
- Factory: PDR Cigars (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular release
- Vitola: 6″ × 40 Petit Lancero
- Price: $8.50
This cigar looks solid as far as construction goes, but I am not a huge fan of the band. One of my favorite things about La Palina is the elegant black and gold band designs, they provide a sense of luxury and the red just doesn’t work as well in my eyes—perhaps it could have been used a bit more sparingly in the design.
I chose the panatela vitola because of my love for small ring gauges and because, in theory, it should offer the most complex version of the Red Label lineup. The cigar has a real peaty aroma and I get a rich, earthy smell off the bat. I have chosen to pair this cigar with black tea for no specific reason…
With a quick light, the smoke output is stellar and the draw is clean. I get a taste of ligero spice with an earthy flavor and white pepper. The ash is rich and dark and holds for days, stemming from a razor sharp burn line.
Passing the two-inch mark, a minty, woodsy pine flavor emerges, which is both complex and refreshing. The cigar is herbal and dynamic—much better than I expected, frankly. It has burned quickly but that might be due to a constant stream of puffing—this thing is hard to put down!
Flavors soon become more subtle, whereas the first third is more upfront and approachable. With a Graham cracker sweetness, it pairs well with tea, but I think it would go great with a mojito as well. The draw remains clean and satisfying and I’m surprised how smooth the profile has remained, even past the band.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Simply—yes! It is a great price value without sacrificing the quality I have been accustomed to with La Palina.
- Good price point
- Classic, approachable flavors
- Smooth smoke texture
- Lacking in complexity/refinement
- Not a great band/look