Posted by Jack | in La Palina | on 20 Aug 2015 | at 11:50 AM | 2928 views
As I used my charms - or lack there of - to get my mitts on the newest La Palina, I figured I better review it pretty quickly.  I have smoked my way through their cadre of cigars and loved every one of them.  So, how does this new Red Label stack up?  Let's see.....
Construction: The Red Label has a nice rustic look to it - a tad rough around the cap but not poorly done or anything.  The wrapper is seamless, nearly veinless, and rough with tooth.  The new red band is extremely sharp as well.  Overall a nice looking presentation.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Out of the cellophane the Red Label gives off a nice and very strong scent of sweet cinnamon.  Notes of sweet tobacco and some red pepper are in there as well.  The draw is flawless and a cold pull is loaded with sweet tobacco and some oddly bitter notes.
Light and Burn: Absolutely spot-on burn from beginning and end.
Tasting: Off the start there are pronounced notes of toasted ash for about four puffs and then it changes into notes of toasty cedar, light roast coffee, and a mild cinnamon spice.  Strength is, as advertised, right in the middle of medium.  Overall, a nice start so far.  A nice creamy note with some chocolate show up on the retrohale - something I usually don't do, actually.  My sinuses are usually jacked up enough without blasting smoke through them.  I mean, I live in the Ohio Valley after all.  The last notes of the first third include hazelnut and graham cracker.
The middle third starts off with a mingling of the flavors from the first third.  The core has developed from the cedar and coffee notes.  That chocolate, cream, and graham cracker series flits about making things interesting.  As the red started off a tad rough, I am really surprised - pleasantly so - at how smooth and sweet it has turned at this point.
Here comes the final third.  While the complexity hasn't turned up or anything, the Red Label really satisfies.  It hasn't turned up beyond the medium range - in fact it dropped down a touch towards the lighter side of medium.  As things close out I get notes of mild citrus, caramel, and butterscotch.  Excellent flavor set.
Value: At around $10 for the robusto, the red might seem a tad pricey but La Palina really knows their stuff and that makes it worth every cent.
Final Thoughts: Let's face it.  I have never had a La Palina I didn't like.  The Mr. Sam, Black Label, Goldie, etc.  They are all stellar.  Even their value line - the Classic - is incredible.  I liken them to a more affordable Graycliff.  Top shelf, aristocratic, like something a Senator would have smoked back in the early twentieth century, La Palina deserves every accolade they receive and more.  The Red Label fits well into their expanding catalog and is worth your attention a few times over.  Highly recommended.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Size: 5 x 52
As with all of La Palina's cigars - this is a pretty one
The simple color change of the classic band really makes for something special
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