Today we look at La Palina Nicaragua The Connecticut in the Toro size. When Bill Paley first resurrected the La Palina brand back in 2010, he went to the Graycliff factory in the Bahamas to produce its first line, the La Palina Family Series. As his portfolio grew, Paley started contracting with many leading factories in the cigar industry. By 2016, La Palina had built up its portfolio, but there were two things it didn’t have: a Nicaraguan-made cigar and a Connecticut Shade cigar. That would change when the La Palina Nicaragua line was released. This is a line with two blends: an Oscuro and a Connecticut. Those lines were initially produced by AJ Fernandez. Fast forward to 2022, and La Palina announced at PCA 2022 that the two blends of the La Palina Nicaragua were being reblended at another factory and repackaged.
One change is the naming of La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro and La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut. The cigars are now called La Palina Nicaragua The Oscuro and La Palina Nicaragua The Connecticut. As for the factory change, La Palina kept the line in Nicaragua but would start contracting with a factory it hadn’t worked with – the Joya de Nicaragua factory. The La Palina Nicaragua line was released to retailers in 2023.
As for La Palina, today, it has three Connecticut Shade offerings in its portfolio: La Palina Classic Connecticut, La Palina White Label, and La Palina Connecticut.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Toro size of La Palina The Connecticut and see what this cigar brings to the table.
La Palina The Nicaragua Toro Cigar Review
Blend and Origin
The blend for the La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut utilizes a Connecticut Shade wrapper over all Nicaraguan tobaccos.
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
County of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, S.A.
Both La Palina The Connecticut and La Palina The Oscuro are available in the same three sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 x 50
Gordo: 6 x 58
The Connecticut Shade wrapper of the Connecticut Toro had a light brown color. Depending on how the light shines on the wrapper, it might give off a rosado tint. There wasn’t much in the way of oils on the wrapper, but there was some toothiness. The wrapper itself had a bit of a rustic look to it. The wrapper seams were prominently visible. In addition, there were some visible veins.
Before lighting up the Connecticut Toro, a straight cut was used to remove the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered notes of cream, wood, cedar, and a slight amount of baker’s spice. Overall, this was an excellent pre-light draw experience. At this time, I toasted up the Connecticut Toro and prepared for the smoking phase.
The Connecticut Toro opened up with notes of cream, earth, baker’s spice, and natural tobacco. Early on, the cream notes moved into the forefront. The earth, baker’s spice, and sweet natural tobacco settled into the background. These background notes complemented the creaminess very nicely. Meanwhile, an additional layer of natural tobacco was present on the retro-hale.
The sweet natural tobacco morphed into a strawberry-like note on the tongue during the second third of the Connecticut Toro. This note increased in intensity and joined the cream notes on the tongue. As the Connecticut Toro reached the midway point, the cedar increased on the tongue and the retro-hale. In addition to the cedar notes, there were still earth and baker’s spice in the background. The retro-hale also still had the classic natural tobacco notes present.
The final third saw the cedar notes join the strawberry notes in the forefront. The cream notes receded into the background, joining the earth and baker’s spice. This is how La Palina Nicaragua The Connecticut Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Connecticut Toro had a slight amount of jaggedness, but generally, it maintained a straight burn line and straight burn path. This was a cigar that did not require an excessive amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was firm with a salt and pepper-colored ash complexion. Meanwhile, the burn rate and temperature were both ideal.
The draw of the Connecticut Toro was on the open side but not loose. I usually prefer a touch of resistance on the draw. In this case, the open draw did not have any adverse effects.
Strength and Body
The Connecticut Toro isn’t overly bold. This cigar was mild in strength and had medium-bodied flavors. There was a slight increase in the intensity of both attributes, but in the end, the Connecticut Toro stayed mildly strong and medium-bodied.
The body maintained an edge throughout the smoking experience in terms of strength versus body.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
I liked La Palina’s packaging upgrade on the La Palina Nicaragua line. The La Palina Nicaragua uses the alternate “LP” La Palina logo instead of the Goldie Paley (Bill Paley’s grandmother) portrait. When La Palina first introduced this logo, I didn’t like it. The logo has grown on me and looks good on this packaging. It also allows La Palina to differentiate La Palina Nicaragua The Connecticut from La Palina White Label.
Based on my experience with the Toro size, La Palina did a nice job revamping La Palina Nicaragua The Connecticut. I was particularly impressed by how the creaminess remained present pretty much from start to finish. The flavors were also nicely balanced. This cigar is mild enough in strength for the novice, yet the medium-bodied flavors make it appealing to the more seasoned cigar enthusiast. Ultimately, I have no problem recommending this cigar to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would not hesitate to buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Cream, Natural Tobacco, Strawberry, Earth, Cedar, Baker’s Spice
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Revamped La Palina Nicaragua Showcased at 2022 PCA Trade Show
Brand Reference: La Palina
Photo Credit: Cigar Coop