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Cigar Review: La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro Robusto

10 Jun 2019

La Palina has accomplished a lot in the decade since the brand was launched, or technically re-launched. (The original La Palina was introduced in 1896, and later developed by the vision of William S. Paley, who went on to found CBS.)

We attended the La Palina launch event in 2010 when the company introduced its first cigar, made at Graycliff in the Bahamas. If you had told us then where this brand would be now, we would have been both impressed and surprised.

Since 2010, La Palina has debuted a steady stream of new cigars, many of them highly rated here at One of the latest, introduced in 2016, is La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro. Like its sister blend that was launched the same year, La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut, it—along with so many other brands—aims to capitalize on the industry’s growing fascination with all things Nicaragua.

La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro is crafted at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. with an Ecuadorian oscuro wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. It is available in three vitolas, each packaged in boxes of 20: Gordo (6 x 58, $9.50), Toro (6 x 50, $8.50), and Robusto (5 x 52, $7.99).

The Robusto is a beautiful-looking cigar with handsome double bands of white, cream, black, and gold. Beneath is a dark, slightly reddish wrapper leaf with abundant oils and a few prominent veins. The cap is a bit sloppy, though it clips easily enough to reveal an effortless cold draw with some faint sweetness on the lips. The foot exhibits a relatively loose packing of filler tobaccos and dry pre-light notes of oak and syrup.

The Nicaragua Oscuro has the look of a full-bodied cigar, and the introductory profile lives up to that expectation. Espresso, leather, almond, and black pepper comprise the core, while notes of sweet cherry and cream add balance. As the cigar progresses into the midway point, the flavor remains consistent (save for the black pepper tasting more like white pepper and the cream becoming more prominent), but the body settles into the medium spectrum. The mouthfeel is thick and chalky.

From there, I find few changes; the final third is more of the same, which is fine by me. I like the profile from the get-go, and the only major shift (from the first third to the second) is an improvement: less body, but a more balanced taste. Fortunately, the physical properties only add to my enjoyment. The burn line is straight, the white ash holds well off the foot, the smoke production is voluminous, and the draw is smooth.

A.J. Fernandez makes many fine cigars, and La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro Robusto is no exception, especially when you consider the sub-$10 price point. In my book, this fine cigar is worthy of a box consideration and a rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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