Of all the cigars I’ve reviewed this year, no cigar’s maturing process has been more intriguing to me than the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial. When the cigars first arrived in April, it was clear that time would help them reach a higher peak, and with a few weeks they transformed into a complex cigar worthy of the Goldie’s reputation.

It’s been just over six months since I reviewed the original; the second batch is starting to hit stores and perhaps most importantly for me, the minimum amount of time we require to pass before a reviewer can redux a cigar has indeed passed.

The full details of the Goldie Laguito Especial are in the original review, but in short, it’s a limited edition cigar rolled by a single roller. This is the third consecutive year of the release and the third different size.

La Palina Goldie Laguito No 2 No 5  Especial

Here’s what I said when I reviewed the cigar in May 2014:

I think the Goldie Laguito Especial still needs a bit of rest. When the box showed up at the halfwheel offices a week ago, the cigars were rough, very rough. A week has done wonders, but it’s still not pure bliss. If you smoke the cigar at a normal rate, it will get harsh, if you slow down and respond to the tobacco, the cigar produces some incredible flavor. Unfortunately, the cigar also goes out largely without warning, and while the flavors do not become awful, the Goldie is no longer the same. It’s hard to make a buying recommendation on these, because they will sell out—and probably quickly—but, my guess tells me they will be better, if not easier to enjoy, this time next month. There are some wonderful flavors, but at this point it’s a slightly flawed rendition of an excellent cigar.

Because the cigars are rolled by a single person, La Palina ships the cigars in two batches, the most recent of which began shipping in mid-November.

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Factory: El Titan de Bronze
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Ecuador
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Size: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $16.50 (Boxes of 10, $165)
  • Date Released: May 2, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

The Goldie is not shipped in cellophane but there’s still a fair bit of sweetness coming from the foot. I move quickly into the cold draw, which shows off a ton of complexity with floral notes, mushroom, a touch of cinnamon and a sweeter candied lemon. Things start off with a big floral note, a bit of cinnamon and the mushroom flavor through the nose. Things are still quite finicky, particularly if you smoke a bit too quick. Sweet barbecue and hickory add themselves in the mouth, but it’s largely just a rearranging of the initial flavors. Leather, coffee and earth join in the second third while a big salty bread note emerges on the finish. Once again, the mushroom note is prominent through the retrohale. The Goldie harshens up as the final third begins, I think it’s largely due to the increased puff rate. Below the big harshness on the tongue is a ton of flavor including nuttiness on the finish and squash, floral notes, a generic sweetness and cornbread through the nose.

La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial

Construction is impressive through the first two thirds with ample amounts of smoke and over inch-long chunks of even ash. The Goldie has a tendency to get hot and by the final third, there’s a struggle to keep things lit. Unfortunately, that requires a quicker puffing rate and a slightly harsher profile. Strength is medium throughout.

Disclosure: La Palina sent a variety of samples, halfwheel has purchased additional samples. I’m not sure where this particular sample came from, but it was from the original batch that shipped in the spring. 

Site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. has the La Palina Goldie Especial listed as backordered, given the recent shipment, this status could change.

92 Overall Score

Six months in the humidor has done the La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial a lot of good, at least for five inches. It would be hard to argue that the first two thirds of the one cigar I smoked for this redux were not amongst the two or three best cigars I’ve smoked this year. Unfortunately, the final third is not reminiscent of even one of the 15 best cigars I’ve smoked this year. Underneath that harshness is a plethora of unique and well developed flavors, but my tongue still felt the agitation of an alcohol burn. The sample I smoked was the best Goldie I’ve had to date, not just in the size, but of the series. Yet despite that bold statement, I still remain utterly perplexed how the next month—let alone six months—will treat the Goldie Laguito Especial.

Original Score (May 2014)
Redux Score (Dec. 2014)

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.