My Sunday started in Houston following STOGIES World Class Cigars’ annual Wingding event on Saturday. It ended in Dallas with me staring at my redux box in the office. In between I purchased some cigars at STOGIES and while I was walking around the humidor I stumbled across a box of La Palina Goldie Dalias and I wondered, “how are those smoking?”
I didn’t review the Dalia so this isn’t a redux of that, rather, the Laguito Especial that came out the year before the Dalias.
The Goldie debuted in 2012, a limited edition release offered in a different vitola each year. The first five were all rolled by one person, Maria Sierra, a former roller at the famed El Laguito factory in Havana, the home of the Cohiba brand, who finished her career at El Titan de Bronze in Miami. Sierra retired this year and now Lopez “Chino” Perez has been selected as the new roller for the Goldie, which began shipping in its newest size last month.
The Laguito Especial was the third release in the series, limited to 2,500 boxes of 10 cigars. At 7 x 40, it’s the longest of the series so far and my favorite amongst the first five releases. When I first smoked it shortly after it came out, I thought it needed a bit of rest, so I reduxed it six months later and it managed to score a 92, one point higher than the initial 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.
- 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
- Length: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $16.50 (Boxes of 10, $165)
- Release Date: May 2, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
While it looks like a Goldie with its signature cap, it doesn’t really smell like a Goldie, at least from a wrapper perspective. In truth, it doesn’t really smell like much of anything. My best attempt is that there’s some sort of artificial vanilla flavor, but even that is extremely faint. The cigar has been stored in a plain cedar box basically since the cigar came out as I designated a couple of samples for the redux process. Fortunately, the foot has a lot more flavor with macadamia nuts on top of floral and cinnamon ice cream at a medium-plus level. The cold draw has that familiar floral flavor over some peanut butter cookies, also at medium-plus.
The Goldie Laguito Especial starts sweet with vanilla on top of a myriad of other sensations: toasty, acidic and salty. For better or worse, the sweetness fades quick. Instead, the Goldie turns woody with damp leaves closely behind. There is some sweetness in the form of a Pixy Stix-like sugar candy, but it’s fading quickly. A spice develops on the lips at some point, but there’s none of that flavor in the smoke itself. Flavor and body are both medium-full and showing sings of building, while strength is medium. Construction is great with an extremely impressive amount of ash.
With very little warning or fanfare, the curse of small ring gauges emerges. At some point, despite no change in the amount of time I’m taking in between puffs, the Laguito Especial gets hot. There’s still a fair amount of flavors, a toasted onion-bagel like sensation over top of walnuts and damp leaves. I try to let the cigar rest a bit more, but that ends up almost leading to the cigar going out and my lighter is needed to avoid that from happening. Flavor picks up to full right around the halfway mark. Not much changes from that point on and I try to let the cigar cool down without the La Palina Goldie going out. For the most part, it works, but the flavors hit a virtual wall in their progression, though it remains full in that category until I put it out.
The Goldie has always been flavorful, but it’s never been something I find particularly full in any capacity. That’s why I’m surprised, three years later that the Goldie Laguito Especial tastes like this. If I didn’t know any better, I certainly wouldn’t guess this was rolled in early 2014. It’s full in flavor and quite honestly, not particularly mature. I would have certainly appreciated more sweetness and perhaps a bit smoother of flavor. Touch-ups cost the cigar a handful of points, both for the issues themselves and the affected flavor.