Finally back to smoking cigars after my gallbladder removal, and the first cigar I lit up for review was the La Palina Mr. Sam.
According to the La Palina website, “Sam Paley founded La Palina cigars in 1896, and Mr. Sam was the moniker bestowed upon him by the workers in his factory. The La Palina Collection Mr. Sam is rolled at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, Florida. A dark Ecuadorian wrapper surrounds a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan filler, creating a beautifully crafted blend that is rich with flavor.”
The cigars are rolled in Miami at the famous El Titan de Bronze factory in Calle Ocho, and if you ever get the chance every cigar smoke should stop in and meet Sandy, one of the nicest people in the cigar industry.
Cigar: La Palina
Size: 6 x 50 (Toro)
Source: Two Guys Smoke Shop
The Look: One of my favorite bands in the industry is La Palina. The gold foil has a nice amount of detail to it over the cameo-esque matriarch of the La Palina family. The secondary band denotes Mr. Sam a reference to the founder of the brand. The dark Ecuador wrapper has a few thin veins and is evenly colored with some nice oils present. The cigar almost looks like it comes from the humidor of an estate sale.
The Notes: The cold draw of the cigar has a dried fruit nuance to it with hints of cedar and pepper. The aroma from the foot of the Mr. Sam has a slight hint of cocoa and continued cedar.
Once the cigar is lit there are notes of wood and a sugar sweetness that entices as a pepper note joins the mix creating a wonderful contrast. As the first third continues to smoke some hints of cocoa join the mix with a nuttiness.
The second third sees the cocoa become more of a caramel goodness with some wood and pepper thrown into the mix. The pepper note begins to take on hints of paprika and the sweetness remains the focal point.
The final third of the cigar sees the cigar remain the same but there is enough going on during this multi dimensional cigar that keeps it interest. Notes of caramel and wood bring the cigar to a finish that was satisfying.
The Burn: The La Palina Mr. Sam has a crisp burn line with a nice firm light ash that hold on for the first half of the cigar before falling off. The draw was perfect with the perfect amount of resistance and the cigar remained lit from first light to last puff.
The Finish: The La Palina line has jumped around in terms of production, and while this could be a brand killer it feels like each time the cigar moved its production, it improved. The La Palina Mr. Sam is a cigar with an enjoyable flavor profile that comes off as clean and classy much like the man currently at the helm currently, Bill Paley.
Price: $13.79 / $249.99