Cigar Review: La Palina, Red Label, Toro

La Palina, Red Label, Toro, 6 x 50

La Palina Cigars

Construction –

 The stick smells like cedar. It has a very pleasant smell from the wrapper. 

Slight tooth. 

Visible thick veins, invisible seams

Ornate band – hard to get a good picture because of the sheen and overhead lights 

Second band signifying “red label”.

Overall a good looking cigar that wants you to pick it up for a look. 

Draw –
Good draw. Slight resistance like I prefer

Burn –
1/3 – fairly even but a little off but self corrected. Ash held on for 1-1.5 inches. 

At the end of the first-third the draw tightened up and it took some good puffs to produce a decent amount of smoke. It also became quite warm in the middle – I think it was getting through a knot. 

2/3 – Razor sharp burn. Ash held on for 1.5-2 inches before I tapped it off. 

3/3 – Fairly even.

Length of Smoke – 

1 hour 15 minutes

At Light    Spice right off the bat but more like white pepper at the front of my tongue. Spearmint, woodsy but not distinct on what type of wood just yet. 

First-Third –  Spice died down to zero. Woodsy – wet cedar. A touch of leather and creamy on finish. Very smooth on retrohale.    

Second-Third –  

 Not much changes in this section. Still strong cedar notes, a bit of leather but there is also a refreshing hint of mint on the finish.   Final-Third – 

 Leather is much more prominent, and cedar and spearmint are still there. Still smooth and creamy on finish. Retrohale was also smooth and intensified the leather and cedar notes.   Overall – 

A very good cigar. I would’ve preferred to let it sit in my humidor to rest for a bit but wanted to get a post up. 🙂

Body – Medium. A good balance in the body for the flavors. 

Strength – Medium. Can feel the nicotine in the second-third. Strength picked up a bit in the final-third. 

Complexity – Pretty straightforward. Same flavors throughout but I enjoyed how they played off of each other like they were battling for supremacy. 

Golf or Session – Session. Not long enough of a smoke for golf. 

Smoke Again? – Last September I was sitting outside in Atlanta enjoying this cigar and was going to review it but then it started raining – dangit. But before I got rained on I knew it was one I would want to smoke again. And yes, I would smoke it again. 

This time I enjoyed the La Palina Red Label at David’s Fine Tobaccos in Des Moines. David’s has become a regular stop for me when I’m here for work. It’s a great shop. Very friendly, (Iowans are the nicest people in eaeth!), plenty of leather chairs and high tables with bar stools. The air is very clear and not smoky at all – they do a great job on ventilation. 

Wilson – 

This guy…  …is here all the time…at least every time I come here. I call him Wilson. Sometimes Wilson falls asleep while enjoying his cigar. He’s big and tall and has a voice that booms reminiscent of Andre the Giant…but without the accent.  He’s super nice, as is everyone in Iowa. Seriously, again, EVERYONE in Iowa is uber-nice – it’s uncanny. 

A Few Pics of David’s Fine Tobaccos in Des Moines, IA 


  • GarnishGirl

    Hi there! I love your site and your cocktail recipes, but I’m a cigar newbie. Do you have any go-to cigars that are good for novices, not too expensive, and easy to find? There are a couple of decent cigar shops in Boston but I never know what to pick. I’d love to hear your suggestions!