30 Aug 2011
I’ve found all La Palina cigars to be enjoyable, but the prices (often $18-20 apiece) make them hard to enjoy regularly. The new El Diario line, introduced at this year’s industry trade show, is an attempt to change that. It sells for around $10 each.
“El Diario” is Spanish for “the daily,” a nod to both the daily newspaper and the fact that, at least compared to the La Palina Family Series, it’s a more affordable “daily” cigar. Currently five sizes are available, with a sixth in production and on the way, though details of the new size haven’t yet been released.
El Diario is a collaboration between La Palina and Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley. It is made at the Raices Cubana factory in Honduras, where many Alec Bradley cigars are made, in addition to such highly regarded cigars as Illusione, Viaje, and many of the Padilla lines.
The cigar features Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco. The wrapper is an oily Honduran corojo ’99 rosado leaf. Underneath are dual Honduran criollo ’98 binders that surround the Nicaraguan filler composed of corojo ’99 and criollo ’98 leaf.
For this review, I smoked two in the Gordo size, which is a thick super toro (6 x 58). The cigars were generally well constructed, though the draw on one of the samples was a bit tight. Each featured smooth earth, powdered chocolate, a hint of pepper spice, and a bit of clove. Though I’ve heard La Palina owner William Paley describe the cigar as medium-bodied, I found the Gordo to be more full-bodied.
The flavor profile is pleasant, accented by a bit of char on the finish but dominated by earthiness. On multiple occasions, I found myself thinking it was a similar profile to the Tatuaje Havana VI, though slightly stronger.
There’s not a ton of variation from start to finish, and it certainly is not as complex as the original La Palina line, but it’s a flavor profile that will be right up the alley of fans of Nicaraguan cigars like Tatuaje and Illusione. And the fact that El Diario costs $9-12 per cigar, as opposed to nearly $20 for the Family Series, makes it easier on the wallet.
Ultimately, this cigar is good enough to keep me interested for a full two hours, which is why I’d give the La Palina El Diario Gordo a rating of four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys