Chances are you’ve heard of the La Palina Goldie line, and if not for the rave reviews that most people give it, then definitely for the neat way these are rolled. Maria Sierra is the only person who rolls the Goldies, and this tradition continues with this year’s release, a Robusto Extra.
Brooks Whittington’s review of the original release, Goldie No.2, has a nice little write up of Sierra’s history in the cigar industry:
The Goldie is a unique specimen for a few reasons, but the main one is that each and every cigar in the release was rolled by master roller Maria Sierra, who was one of the first women trained to roll cigars in Cuba, and who started her career at El Laguito, where Cohibas are produced, in 1967. Maria was trained by both Avelino Lara, who created the Cohiba blend, and Eduardo Rivera Irizarri, who was Fidel Castro’s personal cigar roller, and is a 95 rated Category 9 roller in her own right.
With the Robusto Extra, the release now sits at four sizes.
- La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 2 (6 x 38) — July 2012 — $15 (Boxes of 10, $150) — 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5 (5 5/8 x 54) — May 2013 — $18 (Boxes of 10, $180) — 2,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
- La Palina Goldie Laguito Especial (7 x 40) — May 2014 — $16.50 (Boxes of 10, $165) — 2,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
- La Palina Goldie Laguito Robusto Extra (6 1/10 x 50) – June 2015 – $18 (Boxes of 10, $180) – 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: La Palina Goldie Laguito Robusto Extra
- Country of Origin: USA
- Factory: El Titan de Bronze
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/10 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $18 (Boxes of 10, $180)
- Date Released: June 9, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
The first thing that always strikes me with La Palina Goldies are how beautiful they look. The medium brown almond colored wrapper is applied wonderfully, with the pigtail cap and impressive band finishing off the entire look. There’s almost no give to the cigar when squeezed, while the wrapper has an incredibly smooth feel to it. The wrapper’s aroma is different, forgoing your usual barnyard affair for a very vegetal saltiness – almost like the ocean breeze and some seaweed. The cold draw is night and day different from the wrapper’s aroma, with cinnamon, hay, some sweetness and just a touch of pepper and banana
Starting into the first third, the first thing that shows up on my palate is a sweet spice. Not too far behind is a nuttiness, some light leather and a touch of fruitiness. Despite a quarter inch run that happened right after I lit the cigar, everything has evened up to a very nice burn line by the half inch mark. The draw is nice, well within the ideal range, but perhaps a touch on the looser side of ideal. The ash holds easily past the inch mark, though the ash does get slightly flaky and wants to sprinkle ash everywhere. The retrohale is quite smooth, though there is some pepper among the nuttiness and sweet spice that is even more prominent. The sweet spice continues to dominate the profile, with the leather, fruit and nutty notes mostly in the background.
As I move into the second third there isn’t too much change in the profile, with sweet spice still up front and leather, fruit and nuts following not too far behind. The burn continues to be great, though the ash is still flaking off all over my lap. Right about the halfway point a very distinctive note of berries comes out of the previous general fruit note. With the sweet spice still there, the whole thing gives a very interesting pastry-like flavor to the cigar.
The final third sees a shift in the profile again, with a return to a more generic dried fruit note, with a little less sweetness but still plenty of spice, leather and nuts dancing around each other. The burn continues to be mostly even, though the flakiness has started to get worse, to the point where I’m not letting more than a half an inch of ash build up before I roll it off just to keep things clean. The cigar finishes up with more of the spice, leather and nuts and not very much sweetness or fruit, but it doesn’t get hot or harsh either, ending on a nice note.
- Both samples I smoked performed almost identically, from the notes in the middle matching to the same flaky ash that got grew worse as the cigar went on.
- Each release has featured the fan pigtail cap and comes in a box that cradles the cigar and protects it from getting broken off.
- I love the size this year. Fluctuating between thinner and fatter ring gauges, I was hesitant to see a larger ring gauge on a blend that I think works great in a smaller format. The 50 ring gauge of the Robusto Extra however works great and fits within the range that I enjoy smoking, so it was a nice size.
- The cigar has traditionally been shipped in two shipments, and seeing as there is only one roller doing the work, it makes sense. As a limited release its nice too, because if you forget about it the first round you can always keep your eye out for the second round of shipments.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged right around two hours.
- Site sponsors Elite Cigar Cafe (972.661.9136), Lone Star State Cigar Co. (972.424.7272) and STOGIES World Class Cigars have the La Palina Goldie Robusto Extras in stock. Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigar Hustler and Serious Cigars list the Robusto Extra as out of stock, so don’t forget to check back in the fall.
While I thought the Goldie No.5 was a good cigar, it didn’t blow me away like so many people experienced with the Goldie line. The Robusto Extra is a really good cigar that I enjoyed, but also had some surprising moments in that genuinely made me stop and think what a good profile the cigar had. It definitely hits its stride at the midpoint of the cigar, with the fruit note getting quite distinctive and great, though it fades back into just a good enjoyable cigar by the final third. Construction was very impressive, as far as looks, burn line and ash retention, but the flakiness of the ash was quite annoying. With such a minor gripe though, it is a cigar I can easily suggest you seek out and pick up when you see it, as these go quick and can be difficult to get a hold of.