Tabacalera Palma, the Dominican factory owned by José “Jochy” Blanco, is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, which means new cigars being released under the La Galera brand.

The La Galera 85th Anniversary is a new, limited edition release made up of two cigars, one blended by Blanco and one by his son, Jose Manuel Blanco. “When we sat down to think of ways to accurately convey what this occasion meant to us, we both decided to consult our fathers,” said Jose Manuel Blanco in a press release. “My father revisited dozens of scribbles and stand-alone paragraphs in my grandfather’s notebooks and reexamined the tobacco growing and processing wisdom of two generations, along with the cigar manufacturing wisdom of one generation. I borrowed my father’s wisdom after bribing him with some cheap whiskey,” he added.


Both cigars are 6 x 52 toros and share a common Dominican corojo binder along with Dominican piloto cubano and criollo 98 fillers. They both also use American-seed wrappers, though the younger Blanco’s is a Connecticut broadleaf, while Jochy Blancho’s is an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.

“My father’s blend was inspired by my grandfather, Don Nanán, who loved Connecticut wrapper almost as much as his nine children,” Jose Manuel Blanco said. “He combined decades of unused blending techniques with Dominican seed tobaccos and produced a traditional Dominican cigar made with corojo binder, with Piloto Dominicano and Criollo 98 filler from our Jacagua and Gurabo farms, giving it the typical raisin and nutmeg notes of Dominican tobaccos.”

He went on to describe his cigar as being a more leathery smoke, with his inspiration coming from his father’s incessant obsession with experimenting with different tobacco blends. The binder and filler come from the company’s Potrero and La Canela farms.

The La Galera 85th Anniversary comes in a box of 20 cigars that contain 10 of each blend, with a total of 2,021 boxes produced. The full box has an MSRP of $290, while individual cigars are priced at $14.50. Additionally, the box features a lid that can be used as an ashtray.

The cigars will be on display at the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show, which runs from July 10-13 in Las Vegas. It is slated to begin shipping in September.

NullDrew Estate is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show.


Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.