The newest edition of the La Palina Goldie series has arrived, and in a lancero, no less. Officially known as the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial, this cigar bears the namesake of La Palina founder Sam Paley’s wife, Goldie Drell Paley. As you might imagine, a cigar bearing such an intimate name to the Paley family can be nothing less than exceptional in all regards.
The project was first created by Sam Paley’s grandson, Bill Paley, in honor of his grandmother, as well as to pay tribute to the contributions of the fairer sex within the cigar industry. All of the La Palina Goldie releases are rolled in Miami at El Titan de Bronze’s boutique factory, directly under the supervision of Sandra Cobas, who owns the factory. There is only one individual in this world who rolls the cigars themselves however – Maria Seirra.
One of the first women in Cuba to ever be taught the art of cigar rolling, Maria Seirra was trained by none other than Eduardo Rivera Irizarri, the personal roller of Fidel Castro. Starting in 1967, Maria spent 32 years working in the Villa El Laguito factory, continuously perfecting her skills, and even receiving training from the creator of Cohiba, Avelino Lara.
Maria Sierra personally rolls every single La Palina Goldie produced, as well as individually numbers every single box. For the Laguito Especial, only 2,500 boxes were produced.
Cigar: La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial
Size: 7×40 Lancero
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan
Factory: El Titan de Bronze
Number of Cigars: 2,500 boxes of 10
Appearance and Pre-light Aroma:
In terms of aromatics, the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial isn’t particularly robust. Mild notes of butter with tinge of sweetness in the finish, soft floral citrus notes, and a lighter soil note are picked up on the first pass. Further examination sees creamy nuts and leather begin to emerge.
Aesthetically speaking, this edition of the Goldie is every bit as beautiful as one should expect given the lines history. The wrapper is arguably among the most visually perfect wrapper leaves ever grown. Silky smooth in appearance, with only the softest of natural veins being visible within the leaf. Roll lines are as a close to non-existent as they can be.
If this is your first experience with the fabled Goldie series then prepare yourself for an exercise in subtly and sophistication. The first few puffs set the stage of what the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial is offering for this performance; starting off with a somewhat robust medium-body, the Goldie keeps its displays of flavor fairly reserved. The smoke is creamy both in flavor and texture, and contains what might be described as a ‘hollow’ or ‘transparent’ spice. The spice is picked up as a flavor, and can be tangibly felt on the tongue, but when one tries to mental ‘grab’ or articulate it proves rather elusive. As the cigar develops further notes of buttery soil, damp wood – particularly that of oak and cedar – and floral barnyard notes begin to flourish.
Further developments into the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial consist of a rather colorful citrus flavor emerging, working closely in conjunction with the cedar and oak notes found in the first third. There is also diverse range of assorted nuts to be tasted, and one couldn’t write a review of this cigar without mentioning just how rich the profile is. There is quite a bit of complexity involved with this blend, and the balance is orchestrated in such a way that you are able to scratch the surface of the nuance and depth merely in passing, but to grasp the full scope of the Goldie’s blend you will have to pause and truly be with the cigar. Throughout the second third the foundation of a buttery earthy musk has been the true highlight. It is a concept distinctly different from what some people consider to be Davidoff’s signature ‘musky’ flavor, but the idea isn’t terribly far off in nature.
While strength hasn’t altered tremendously since the beginning, both flavor and body intensity have seen a dramatic increase. The cigar has gained what one might describe as ‘presence’ at this point. If one had to place it on the spectrum medium + would likely be a safe bet.
The La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial continues to become progressively more buttery and creamy – a trait that I must admit I am a sucker for. As the Goldie transitioned from the second third into the final third undertones of minerals and sulfur began to emerge. Now firmly in the cigars last breath, these characteristics have become prominent. Additionally, a heavy dose of leather has become a real player in the profile, which adds to an effect that could be described as ‘palate saturation’. Black pepper and strong spice are both also substantially more pronounced, and through the nose will wake you up far quicker than cup of coffee.
Burn and Construction:
As is no surprise, both burn and construction are top-notch. Construction is without a doubt the best of the best.
The burn line on all the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial’s smoked for this review (and for pleasure) remained true from start to finish, although the burn line does seem to be particularly susceptible to alterations in smoking pace. It can be tempting to heft this thing down given just how tasty it is, but as with most things in life moderation is key. With proper pacing and technique you won’t have any issues.
How can you truly summarize something like this? How does one truly capture the sheer breadth of something so sophisticated, so refined, and so special in 100,000 words, let alone a paragraph? Nevertheless, an attempt shall be made.
As the reviewer of the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial, the first juncture encountered is the task of isolating the merits of the cigar itself from the history and lore surrounding it. However, I can’t seem to silence the question in the back of my mind: should you? The answer, in my opinion, is not black and white. Blind tastings exist to remove cognitive concepts like bias and pre-conceived notions, but I think it would be a disservice to all parties involved to not at least ponder the question of whether or not the embracement of such things can’t add something real and tangible. It is often said that biases lead to the creation of mental blind spots in regards to an objects flaws, but I think it’s fair to argue that, inversely, the excitement of smoking the newest release from your favorite brand might prime the mind in such way as to be more receptive in picking up aspects of a cigar that you might otherwise not give the time of day.
I will stop this line of thought here, in fear of droning on with further lines of drivel. I would however pose the question: Is there not a place for the embracement of romanticism?
In conclusion, the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial is a brilliant cigar, and certainly one worthy of bearing the Goldie name. While this is far from the only cigar of this caliber to exist, it is one that should be experienced at least once in the lifetime of any individual that bears true passion for cigars.
4.5 out of 5