|La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial|
Earlier this year, La Palina Cigars released its third release of its Goldie blend in the La Palina Collection brand. The La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial introduced a 7 x 40 lancero frontmark in the Goldie blend. The concept behind the La Palina Collection is that it will be a limited annual edition cigar that each year will come out in a different frontmark. The first two releases of the Goldie set the bar very high. The first release, the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 2 was a petite lancero and was named the Cigar Coop’s 2012 Cigar of the Year. The second release, the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5 introduced a toro size of the blend and was named Cigar Coop’s Best Line Extension for 2013. I have recently had the opportunity to smoke the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial. While this is an excellent cigar, I did find this cigar didn’t quite reach the very high level of the first two releases.
The Goldie line was created as a tribute to Goldie Drell Paley, the wife of Sam Paley – who originally founded the original La Palina brand back in 1896 (Paley’s grandson Bill Paley resurrected the company in 2010). The Goldie is meant to be a tribute to the accomplishments of women in the cigar industry. Like the other releases of the La Palina Collection, the cigar is made at El Titan de Bronze in Little Havana, Miami, Florida. The Goldies are rolled by a single roller. As with the previous two years, the Laguito Especial is rolled by Maria Sierra, thus deepening the tribute to women in the cigar industry.. Sierra is a 95 rated, category 9 roller trained by Fidel Castro’s personal roller Eduardo Rivera Izarri as well as Avelino Lara (Cohiba).
Last year, a second blend of the La Palina Collection, the La Palina Mr. Sam was introduced. This year Mr. Sam was moved out of the La Palina Collection into a regular production line. The Goldie remains an annual limited edition release.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial uses the same blend components as on previous editions of the Goldie. As with the previous releases, the blend of the Goldie Laguito Especial features the high priming Medio Tiempo leaf – something only found in 10 percent of tobacco plants.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
For completeness we include the three sizes released in the Goldie blend. The Laguito Especial is packaged in ten count boxes with a total of 2,500 boxes produced.
The La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial’s Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is similar in color and completion to the other Goldie releases. The Laguito Especial features a light brown colored wrapper. While a light color, the wrapper is a shade darker than an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. Laguito Especial has a light coating of oil. There are virtually some visible veins, and the wrapper seams are well-hidden. The cigar features a signature laguito fan-tail cap.
The band is the same one found on the other Goldie releases as well as several other lines under La Palina cigars. It contains the black and white image of Goldie Paley is front and center on the band. The image is adorned with gold trim. Over the image is the text “LA PALINA” in a thin white font on a gold background. Below the image is the text “EST 1896” in a smaller white font that is also on a gold background.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Goldie Laguito Especial, I went with a straight cut as opposed to pulling the fan-tail cap off. I find a straight cut makes things cleaner when smoking. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided a mix of fruit, wood, and some light notes of black pepper. Overall I considered this to be a good pre-light draw experience. At this point I was ready to light up my La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial and see what the cigar experience would have in store.
One thing I noticed between the Goldie Laguito No. 2 and the Goldie Laguito No. 5 is that while they shared the same blend, they did deliver a different flavor profile. The Goldie Laguito Especial also differs from both the No. 2 and No. 5.
The start to the Goldie Laguito Especial provided a mix of wood, cream, and black pepper. The medio tiempo kicked in rather early as I could also detect strong black pepper on the retro-hale. In the early stages of the smoke, the wood notes became primary. The pepper dialed back into the background and was joined by the cream notes. I also detected some grass in the background.
During the first third, the wood notes upfront developed some more dimensions. They started to change to more of a cedar flavor. These cedar notes gave the Goldie Laguito Especial its first sweet notes. The black pepper on the retro-hale now also had a little herbal spice mixed in. Meanwhile on the tongue, the pepper was a background note. The grass also remained in the background while the cream dissipated.
The second third saw the cedar notes as primary. The sweetness from the cedar also now had a little of that butterscotch quality I detected on the Goldie Laguito No. 5. Meanwhile the grass and pepper remained in the background and was now joined by a subtle citrus note.
In the last third, the pepper notes increased joining the cedar notes in the forefront. The grass and citrus notes remained in the background. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When it comes to burn and draw, the Goldie Laguito Especial scores extremely well. This doesn’t surprise me when it comes to the combination of La Palina and El Titan de Bronze. The burn line of the Goldie Laguito Especial remained razor sharp from start to finish. This cigar required minimal touch-ups to keep the burn straight. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. The ash was tight and firm and came off the cigar in clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito Especial|
The draw performed excellent as well. This was a draw that was not too loose, nor too tight. The Goldie Laguito Especial provided a low maintenance draw that made smoking this cigar enjoyable.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found this cigar to have a little more power than the original Goldie Laguito No. 2. This surprised me as given this was a 6 x 38 for the No. 2 versus a 7 x 40 for the Laguito Especial. Overall I found the Goldie Laguito Especial to be a medium to full strength cigar from start to finish. I definitely felt the influence of the medio tiempo early on.
In terms of the body, I also found the Goldie Laguito Especial to be medium to full-bodied. When comparing strength versus body, I found the two attributes of the Goldie Laguito Especial balanced each other nicely.
As I mentioned at the start, the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial is an excellent cigar, however I did rank it below its predecessors the Laguito No. 2 and the Laguito No. 5. The difference is I found those two cigars to offer more in the way of complexity than the Laguito Especial. I also found the previous two releases to have better overall flavor. This shouldn’t be a knock on the Laguito Especial as it still is a very enjoyable smoke.
Like its predecessors, the Goldie Laguito Especial is positioned as an ultra-premium cigar. It carries a price point of $16.50. This isn’t a part of our numeric score, but we do mention for buying power consideration.
While I’d gear this more toward the experienced enthusiast, I wouldn’t discourage a novice for trying this. As for myself, this is clearly a cigar that I would smoke again – and certainly one that is worth a box split.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
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