La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5

The La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5 is the second vitola to be released in the La Palina Collection Goldie series.  This follows up 2012’s La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 2 – which was a petite lancero that won La Palina a second consecutive Cigar of the Year award on Cigar Coop. For the Goldie Laguito No. 5, the blend returns, but this time a toro format.  It was in our 2012 IPCPR cigar conversation with La Palina Cigars’ president Bill Paley where he first mentioned a larger size Goldie would be hitting the market.  One question many fans of the Goldie Laguito No. 2 was whether or not a blend that worked so well in the petite lancero format could perform as well in a larger ring gauge format.  After sampling some of the Goldie Laguito No. 5s, there is no question – the magic of the La Palina Goldie lives on.  This cigar is nothing short of a grand slam home run.

The Goldie Laguito No. 2 was the first release in the La Palina Collection line.. 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  As part of the line’s strategy, the cigars are made by a single roller at a single factory.  Once again Miami’s El Titan de Bronze will be the factory where the Goldie is made and once again the roller will be Maria Sierra.   Sierra is a 95 rated, category 9 roller trained by Fidel Castro’s personal roller Eduardo Rivera Izarri as well as Avelino Lara (Cohiba).  Each box of the Goldie Laguito No. 5 will also be personally signed by Sierra.

The Goldie is named after Goldie Drell Paley, who also is the namesake for La Palina Cigars.  She was the wife of Samuel Paley, the founder of La Palina Cigars.  According to the press release that was issued on the Goldie Laguito No. 5, Bill Paley, the grandson of Samuel Paley “created the e I.a Palina Collection Goldie to celebrate the history, contributions and accomplishments of women in the cigar industry“.  The involvement of Sierra as the roller certainly emphasizes this point.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5 and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

The tobacco components to the Goldie Laguito No. 5 are consistent with the tobacco components of the Goldie Laguito No. 2.  The blend contains the high priming Medio Tiempo leaf – something only found in 10 percent of tobacco plants.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican

Vitolas Available

The Goldie Laguito No. 5 brings a 5 5/8 x 54 toro into the line.  For completeness, we list the two vitolas in the La Palina Collection Goldie series.  It is worth noting the Goldie’s measurements are similar to the famed Cuban Cohiba Behike BHK 54.

Laguito No. 5 (Toro): 5 3/4 x 54
Laguito No. 2 (Petit Lancero): 6 x 38

The cigars are packaged in individually numbered boxes of 10.  Production will be limited to 2500 boxes of the Goldie Laguito No. 5 (up from 1000 with the Goldie Laguito No. 2)

Goldie Laguito No. 5 Packaging
(Photo provided by La Palina Cigars)


The La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5 features a light brown colored wrapper.  While a light color, the wrapper is a shade darker than an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.  I found the Laguito No. 5 had a more oily texture than the Laguito No. 2  There are virtually some visible veins, and the wrapper seams are well-hidden.  The cigar features a signature laguito fan cap.

The band is the same one found on many 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

For my smoking exprience of the Goldie Laguito No. 5, I opted to use a straight cut to remove the fan-tail cap.  Once the cap was successfully clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw.  The dry draw had a lot of nuances going on.  I was treated to a combination of wood, unsweetened butterscotch, pepper, and even some dried fruit.  Overall, I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw of the Laguito No. 5.  At this point it was time to light up the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5 and see what would next be in store.

Flavor Profile

Overall, the best way to sum up the flavor profile of the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5 is that it brings its own unique characteristics to the table when compared to the Goldie Laguito No. 2.

The start to the Goldie Laguito No. 5 provided some notes of pepper, wood, and unsweetened butterscotch.  It was the butterscotch-like flavors that really gave this cigar its own identity from its No. 2 sibling.  The wood and butterscotch flavors became primary flavors and were also joined by some grass notes.  The pepper receded into the background and was joined by some citrus notes.  The retro-hale provided a nice “cool spice”.  There are times the aroma from the retro-hale is sharper and I can only infer that is the medio tiempo at work.

Around the ten percent mark, the primary flavors transitioned into a combination of nut and butterscotch.  Meanwhile the spice notes in the background also took on some floral characteristics.

In the latter part of the first third, the butterscotch got sweeter.  At the same time, it had a natural tobacco taste to it.  The butterscotch and nut remained primary.  The citrus and spice remained secondary.

By the midway point, the nut flavors took control.  The butterscotch notes joined the citrus and spice as secondary notes.  The spice also started to increase.

Toward the last third, the nut flavors were joined by the spice – which reverted back to a pepper quality. There still was some nice sweetness from the butterscotch and citrus.  The end of the cigar had a spicy taste to it, but it was not harsh and not overwhelming.  The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Firm nub of the Goldie Laguito No. 5

Burn and Draw

From a burn perspective, the first couple of Goldie Laguito No. 5s did tend to meander unevenly a bit at the very beginning before straightening out.  The subsequent three I smoked did not seem to have as much as a problem.  Even in those first two cases, after the burn straightened out,  I found it became low maintenance to manage.  The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color .  The ash was on the firm side with no flaking.  The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.

Early burn of the Goldie Laguito No. 5

Later stage burn of the Goldie Laguito No. 5

The draw scored very well.  It was not loose and not tight.  It was a very low maintenance cigar to puff on.  I believe those cigar enthusiasts who do not like a 54 ring gauge will even be pleased with this draw.

Strength and Body

I was surprised but the larger ring gauge of the Goldie Laguito No. 5 did seem to have more strength than the petite lancero format of the Goldie Laguito No. 2.  The cigar uses the high priming medio tiempo leaf, so I’m inferring since there is (probably is) more in the toro that is the reason why the No. 5 seemed stronger.  The cigar pretty much is a medium to full strength cigar from start to finish.  The strength does increase, but doesn’t quite hit full strength.

The body also is medium to full.  Like the strength, the body does increase, but not quite enough to move into full-bodied range.  Overall, there is great balance between the strength and body attributes in the Goldie Laguito No. 5.

Final Thoughts

After smoking several of the Goldie Laguito No. 5, I am quite pleased with how this cigar smoked as a toro.  Without a doubt, this cigar is going to be a front-runner for our Best New Vitola of 2013. La Palina obviously knew they had something special with this particular blend, and now gearing it to the toro-sized format shows just how good this blend is.   This cigar has wonderful flavors and some outstanding complexity to it.  The cigar carries a price point with a $19.00 SRP and while we don’t factor this into our assessment rating and score, we do mention it for reference purposes. While I’d gear this more toward the experienced enthusiast, this is a great cigar for a novice to graduate to something stronger and fuller.  As for myself, this is clearly a cigar that I would smoke again – and certainly go and purchase a box of.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: Memorable
Score: 95

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.