The La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5 ended up ranking #3 in my top cigars of 2014. When the La Palina Black Label, a full bodied blend, was announced, I was eagerly anticipating their arrival.
The nose on the La Palina Black Label is rich fermented tobacco.I picked up notes of sweet molasses and light pepper.I used a v-cut and found the draw leaning slightly towards the tight end.
My initial flavor impressions are sweet, earthy and a pepper chaser at the end of the draw. On the retrohale the pepper is sharp, medium strength and the profile balances out some sweetness. Post draw I’m getting hints of leather that coats my tongue between each draw. There is a decent amount of smoke production, even early on. Once the first third has settled in I’m getting chocolate notes that fade in after the draw, but are end up overpowered by the pepper and leather. At 10 minutes I start to get a quite faint and almost smoky barbeque flavor. The pepper picks up in strength, to medium-full about 2 inches in. As the first third winds down I’m getting almost a vegetal note.
The middle third is still largely the earthy flavor present from the first third. My tongue is still coated between draws and starts to push away any sweetness that was present. The retrohale is more balanced here with the pepper falling back to a more manageable medium level.The vegetal note I was getting is still present here, though at a light level.
I’m finding myself having to slow down draws as the full bodied nature of the cigar is kicking in here.
By the halfway point the earth is started to give up ground and the La Palina Black Label becomes more savory. I feel like the cigar has hit it’s stride here. I start to taste something like black tea, with elements of slight tannins and some smokiness. As the medium third winds down the leather starts to take over.
The last third consists of some spices, including nutmeg, that mix in with the leather to play off of each other.
Total smoking time was 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The La Palina Black Label would be a great choice for anyone after a full bodied cigar. The strong earth and leather fall outside of what I personally enjoy, but it’s an interesting and very different blend than the Goldie Laguito No. 5. Where the Goldie is subtle and nuanced, the Black Label is bold and in your face.
With so much leather and pepper you’ll want to reach for some cold root beer, Cabernet Sauvignon, or a rich rum like a Flor de Cana.