In 2019 La Palina Cigars released its fourth exclusive release to the Tobacconists Association of America (TAA), the La Palina Silver Label. It was also the third consecutive year that La Palina unveiled a new blend as a part of the TAA Exclusive Series. At the time it was announced, it was billed as the strongest La Palina to date. La Palina in the past has announced strong cigars – most notably the La Palina El Diario KB (Kill Bill) and the La Palina Black Label. One thing I will state up front is that the La Palina Silver Label does live up to its reputation as being the strongest La Palina cigar released to date. Today we take a closer look at La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive.
TAA Exclusive Series consists of cigars made by leading manufacturers that are exclusively sold at TAA member retailers. The TAA is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers is approximately 80. The TAA has defined itself as:
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.
There are 14 cigars released for 2019 as a part of the TAA Exclusive Series:
- AJ Fernandez New World Redondo
- Brick House Ciento Por Ciento TAA Exclusive by J.C. Newman Cigar Company
- CAO Brazilia Select
- Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2019
- Don Pepin Garcia Original TAA Exclusive Limited Edition 2019 by My Father Cigars
- E.P. Carrillo La Historia 656
- Eiroa Jamastran 11/18
- Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Gran Reserva Presidente
- Joya de Nicaragua Selección de Torcedor 2019
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 50th Segunda Edición Natural
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 50th Segunda Edición Maduro
- La Palina Silver Label Toro
- Timeless 2019 Limited Edition for Nat Sherman
- Tatuaje TAA 51th
The following have been the La Palina TAA Exclusive Series offerings:
- 2016: La Palina Bill’s Blend
- 2017: La Palina Bronze Label
- 2018: La Palina Blue Label
- 2019: La Palina Silver Label
- 2020: La Palina White Label (Announced for 2020)
The La Palina Silver Label is also the fifth installment in La Palina’s “Color” (unofficial name) series. The first two were the La Palina Black Label and La Palina Red Label. Just before the 2016 Deeming Regulations went into effect, Bronze Label, Blue Label, Silver Label, and other numerous colors were reported to be Stealth Releases.
One final note, each of the previous La Palina TAA releases were eventually added to regular production by La Palina. At press time, no announcement had been made on the La Palina Silver Label going regular production.
Without further ado, let’s break down the La Flor Dominicana TAA 50th Segunda Edición Natural and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Like the Bronze Label and Blue Label releases, the La Palina Silver Label is produced at the El Paraiso factory in Honduras. The blend is highlighted by a Honduran wrapper and also includes a Costa Rican binder and filler tobaccos from Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua
Binder: Costa Rican
Filler: Costa Rican, Honduran, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: El Paraiso
The La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive was released in one size – a 6 1/2 x 50 Toro. The cigars are presented in 20-count boxes.
The Honduran wrapper of the La Palina Siver Label Toro had a roasted espresso bean color to it. There was a slight amount of oil on the surface. Upon closer examination of the wrapper, some mottling can be seen on the surface. This is a wrapper that had some visible seams and some thin visible veins. The surface of the wrapper was slightly bumpy.
There are three bands on the La Palina Silver Label Toro TAA Exclusive. The primary band is a variation of the classic La Palina band found on several other La Palina lines. The band features the black and white image of Goldie Paley on the front-center on the band. The image is surrounded by a silver-colored frame. The upper part of the band has the text “LA PALINA” in a thin white font on a silver background. Below the image is the text “EST 1896” in a smaller white font that is also on a silver background. There are also three medallions just below the image. There is a thick white stripe to the left and right of the band with two silver-colored pinstripes sitting on the upper and lower portions of it. On the blue stripe are a stream of silver-colored fleur-de-lis images.
There is a secondary band resting just below the primary band. It is white in color with the text “SILVER LABEL” in silver font resting on it. The band is finished with a silver pinstripe across the top and bottom.
Finally, there is a footer band on the La Palina Silver Label Toro TAA Exclusive. The upper portion of the band has a white stripe with silver trim. Sitting on the white stripe is a black and white TAA logo. The lower portion is black with silver trim with the text “TAA Exclusive” in white font.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive. Once the cap was removed it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw delivered a mix of chocolate, cedar, and citrus. This was an excellent pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band of the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive, light up the cigar and move on to the smoking phase.
The start of the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive continued with notes from the pre-light of chocolate, citrus, and cedar, but also added in notes of earth and white pepper. While there was no dominant note early on, the chocolate notes took over as the primary note for a short time. The citrus, cedar, earth, and white pepper settled in the background. By the end of the first third, the earth notes displaced the chocolate notes as the primary note. Meanwhile, the retro-hale delivered extra layers of black and white pepper.
The second third saw the earth notes remain grounded in the forefront. The pepper notes were close secondary notes. As for the cedar and citrus, these notes were further back. The chocolate notes slowly dissipated during this stage of the smoke.
By the final third of the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive, the white pepper notes joined the earth in the forefront. The cedar and citrus notes continued to round out the flavor profile. This is the way the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
There was some occasional curvature on the burn line, but overall the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive maintained a straight burn path. The cigar produced a firm ash that was silver-gray in color with some medium-gray streaks in it. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
The draw of the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive had a touch of resistance to it – which is something I have stated many times is a positive when it comes to a draw. At the same time, the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive produced a nice amount of smoke and was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
As stated earlier, the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive is the strongest La Palina to date. It’s important to know that this cigar had about 10 months of age on it when being reviewed. This cigar comes out of the gate full strength and actually increases along the way. The body started out medium to full, but by the second third, the depth of the flavors progressed to full-bodied.
In terms of strength versus body, the strength maintained a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
In terms of the boldness of the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive, I was happy that the cigar lived up to its billing – even after ten months of aging on it. During those ten months, I found the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive responded well to age. The cigar maintained its quality, and the flavors become more refined and the profile of this cigar became more balanced. Given the La Palina Silver Label TAA Exclusive is bolder cigar, this is one I would recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would purchase again. While this cigar certainly earns a buy recommendation, an 89 score isn’t what I expect from a TAA cigar. The bar is higher when it comes to TAA Cigars and this one still falls short.
Key Flavors: Earth, Chocolate, Pepper, Citrus, Cedar
Body: Medium to Full (1st Third), Full (Remainder)
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop