June 11, 2012

Cigar Review: La Palina El Diario Toro

La Palina
El Diario is not a line that needs much of an introduction by me or from others. The line has done incredibly well for me, given the high rating reviews, and has also done incredibly well with other reviewers on the internet as well. The lines name can be translated literally as "the daily," and it has offered another great perspective to the La Palina brand. I have definitely come to see this cigar as a daily cigar, and each one has always delivered. La Palina Cigars really did a great job last year in captivating smokers with this line, and they have continued that trend deep into the 2012 year. I think smokers continued to scream the El Diario name when Kill Bill was released, and I know it brought the line back to the top of my humidor as well. With that being said, today I am going to be reviewing a vitola I was sent sometime back, and now getting to. One of the reasons that this was brought back to my attention was when La Palina began their press releases on the soon to be released La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 2. I look forward to that tremendously, but in the meantime let us get back to the Toro vitola by La Palina El Diario.

With the El Diario line, La Palina decided to leave the Bahamas and begin production in one of the hottest factories in the industry right now. Raices Cubanas, located in Honduras, is popping out great lines by many other manufacturers, and it was only fitting that La Palina joined the gang. Like all the cigars made there, the cigar is made in the Cuban fashion and has a triple cap. The cigar begins with a Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado wrapper, and has two binders which are Honduran Criollo ’98. Within the filler is a mixture of Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobacco, and you are seeing this tobacco a lot when coming out of this factory. It has a beautiful light marbled brown wrapper, and there only a few veins present here and there.
Corojo from Honduras
The cigar begins like all El Diarios, and shows complex flavors of coffee, wood, leather, cocoa and stone fruits. It has a nice nice balanced rich flavor profile, and it has a sweet spicy finish as well. The cigar is very balanced and complex, and it has a wonderful finish that remains on the palate for a good amount of time. I am getting a solid strength level around medium full, and it is masked by all the flavors present. I am getting a beautiful light gray ash with the razor sharp burn line, and the ash is holding on firmly. This is a cigar that you can blow a great amount of smoke rings with, and though I am not master like Phil, I am getting some nice thick ones.

When I get into the second third of the cigar I am beginning to see a complex change in the flavor profile and there is a rise in nutty notes, along with toast and leather. I am picking up some soft almond notes with a definite presence of walnuts. There are still stone fruit flavors present, plums and cherries, but that cocoa and coffee notes have faded some to the background. This is a perfect example of a transition in the flavor department in a cigar; and with that I felt the strength of this third was a little less than the first third. I would classify it as being medium in strength, and still showing all the great construction characteristics from the first third. The cigar burned evenly in this third, and I was still holding on to the light gray ash from the first third.

I am in the final third of the cigar now, and once again the flavor profile is changing. The final third shows a lot of wood notes up front, along with some toasty, coffee and nutty notes. There are still some leather notes present, and a faint finish of cocoa and stone fruits, but very little spices. This cigar showed more of a dryer flavor to it than the rich finish that I got in the first third. It has definitely been an enjoyable cigar, and I have really enjoyed the flavor changes. The strength finished around the medium full strength level for me, and the burn line in this third was as perfect as it has been throughout. I had dropped the ash halfway through the cigar, but it still showed those light gray colors that it has been throughout. I smoked the cigar down to the nub, and even on the last draw it was flavorful and cool.
This line is simply incredible and has been since it was first released not too long ago. I really love both lines that La Palina has released, and though it is hard for me to tell which one I prefer more, I would gravitate towards this line more often than not. The cigar has an incredible flavor profile with also a solid strength level for me, and is available at a great price. I think all the vitolas in the El Diario line are spectacular, and if you are a fan of Toro vitolas, then you will not be disappointed with this smoke. While this certain vitola might not be in my Top 25 of 2012, do not count out the line as a whole because I can assure you there is one certain vitola that has been rocking my mind. I give this vitola a solid 91, and a great cigar for when you have a good amount of time and what something rich and enjoyable.
Toro
* Cigars for this review were provided to me by La Palina Cigars for assessment.
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