Seth's Humidor – Cigar Reviews & More!: Cigar Review: La Palina Alison

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La Palina – Alison

When you read or hear about the origins of cigar companies, La Palina has quite an interesting one in my opinion. La Palina Cigars first began in 1896 when Sam Paley started his own cigar shop in Chicago, Illinois. Once he opened his shop he opened a neighboring cigar company called Congress Cigar Company, and the name first product was La Palina, in of his wife, Goldie Drell Paley. Mr. Paley spent his time making the brand one of the best, and continued to do so when he moved the cigar company to Philadelphia in 1910. It was in that year that Sam Paley’ son, William S, Paley joined the company as Vice President of Advertisement. While working with the company, he began to do advertisement on the radio for La Palina Cigars, and found the advertisement to be very successful. He eventually went into radio, and started Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). Eventually in 1926 the cigar company his father started came to an end and with it so did La Palina Cigars.

Eventually in 2008y, the son of William Paley and grandson of Sam Paley, Bill Paley began the journey of relaunching La Palina Cigars. During this journey he found himself in the Graycliff Factory with Avelino Lara. It was here that he found the cigar he was looking for, and so La Palina Cigars was reborn and released in 2010. The line is made in the traditional Cuban fashion as all are in the factory, and utilizes some of the finest and rarest tobacco available. The vitola I chose this time was the Alison. The cigar is your standard pyramid measuring 6″ with a 52 ring gauge. The cigar derives its name from Bill Paley’s wife, Alison Van Metre Paley, who played a large factor in encouraging him to relaunch the cigar line. The cigar features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a Costa Rican binder. I imagine that the binder is a Costa Rican Jaltepec, but I can not be sure. The filler is a combination of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco, and I can say for certain that it is some of the finest tobacco from the prominent regions of those two countries.  

The cigar is beautiful in appearance with a marbled brown wrapper that is oily and silky. The aromas are of leather, stone fruit and chocolate. As I light up the first third of the cigar it begins very elegantly showing wonderful notes of cherries, chocolate, nuts, leather, wood and even some floral notes as well. I would say the cigar is medium in body, but because it is very balanced it is an easy smoke. There are mild spice hints at the end of the cigar, but nothing overpowering. The cigar is burning evenly and producing thick clouds of aromatic smoke as well.

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Close Up on La Palina Band

As I enter the second third of the cigar it becomes somewhat more complex, and the strength increases as well. The cigar is a heavy medium in body through the second third, and has a nice long finish. The flavors show a large amount of leather and chocolate, but it also has a finish of coffee beans, cream, cherries and floral notes. There is a hint of wood as well through the second third, but it is not too much. The cigar was still burning perfectly at this point and was incredibly balanced. I thought the second third was tremendous and really hit some flavors which you don’t see a lot of in cigars. In the final third of the cigar now, and the strength has died down some. It is probably more on the mild side of medium but still very flavorful. I begin to pick up some jammy qualities to the cigar, and it pairs nicely with this nutty cream flavor. It has a finish of chocolate, coffee and leather, and is just perfectly balanced. The smoke is very thick and I am getting wonderful smoke rings. It is hard to say if this is my favorite third of the cigar, but I can say that it is a cigar that definitely grows on you when you are smoking it, and is incredibly unique and flavorful. This cigar has so many wonderful qualities to it and at no point is it boring. The presentation is lovely and classical, but more importantly the cigar is wonderful. I give this cigar a 94 rating, and really would love to try it in a different size. I have smoked the Limited Edition vitola and loved it, and I bet I can safely say the entire line is great. Giving the price range I will not pick them up often, but they really are a treat for those special occasions. I know that some of the other vitolas in the line have a different wrapper, but I love this Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. I think the blend for this cigar is amazing, and you can see the Graycliff quality in it. Very flavorful and a pleasant smoke, it can definitely compete with many other cigars, and this is the first cigar that Mr. Paley has launched! I look forward to his next project and I already know that it will be amazing. If you haven’t had a chance to try these cigars, go to their website and find the closest retailers, really a special cigar!

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A Beautiful Band