In March 2012, La Palina released an extension of the company’s El Diario line that was jokingly referred to as the “Kill Bill”, or “KB” for short. The moniker was given to the new cigar due to the fact that Bill Paley, the company’s owner, couldn’t finish smoking the first prototype during its initial testing stages because of the blend’s overwhelming strength.

The Kill Bill debuted in a 4 1/4 x 40 petit corona packaged in four-pack cartons that began shipping in March 2012, while a second vitola—a 6 x 40 corona gorda—with the same blend was released later that same year. Appropriately named Kill Bill II, the second size was packaged in boxes of 30 instead of cartons.

At the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show, La Palina showed off a new version of the Kill Bill Series made up of four different regular production vitolas, including the two original sizes that have been renamed as Part One and Part Two. Each vitola is being sold in 30-count boxes that feature updated artwork; specifically, Paley is featured on the front of the new boxes with his eyes crossed out, while the back of the bands feature a line that says “He’s Almost Dead Anyway.”

In terms of the blend, all four of the newest Kill Bill cigars are made with a Honduran corojo wrapper covering a Honduran criollo double binder and a filler composed of Nicaraguan corojo and criollo tobacco. However, the blend was “tweaked” in both the Part Three and Part Four vitolas with the addition of higher primings of ligero according to the company.

The KB Series is currently made up of four different sizes that are being produced at the Raíces Cubanas factory located in Danlí, Honduras.

  • KB Series Part One (4 1/4 x 40)
  • KB Series Part Two (6 x 40)
  • KB Series Part Three (5 x 52)
  • KB Series Part Four (6 x 54)

Here is what I wrote in my original review back in February:

You know how you hear or read a cigar is really, really strong, but then you smoke it and think “Oh, what are they thinking, this is like, medium at best?” Well, the La Palina KB Series Part Three is not one of those. In fact, this is a powerhouse from almost the first puff, and by the halfway point of the first sample, I was wishing I had eaten a much more substantial breakfast. Of course, having that much strength in a blend has consequences, specifically when it comes to the balance of the cigar, which—while not nearly as bad as it could be in the first two thirds—becomes problematic starting around the start of the final third. Lovers of strong, spicy blends will want to try this, but those looking for a more balanced profile will have no issues finding what they seek in some of La Palina’s other offerings like the Goldie line.

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Palina KB Series Part Three
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Honduras (Corojo)
  • Binder: Honduras (Double Criollo)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Corojo & Criollo)
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.25 (Box of 30, $307.50)
  • Release Date: December 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

We purchased this La Palina KB Series Part Three at the same time as the cigars used for the original review, so the rustic, red-tinged mocha brown wrapper looks very familiar to me when I pull it out of the cellophane. That wrapper is sandpaper rough to the touch and has quite a bit of oil noticeable, but there are no major veins visible that I can see. The aroma from the wrapper is not nearly as aggressively sweet as the cigars six months ago but is still strong enough to remind me of sweet oak, earth, cinnamon and creamy leather. Notes from the foot are stronger and include milk chocolate, cloves, creamy oak, fruit juice sweetness and cocoa nibs. Finally, after a straight cut the cold draw brings flavors of sweet hay, cloves, dark chocolate, leather, toasted bread and espresso beans.

Black pepper and cocoa nibs coat my tongue from the moment I take the first puff but the profile quickly shifts to strong flavors of anise and leather tack. That combination is followed by secondary notes of oak, dark chocolate, hay, earth, roasted coffee beans and cinnamon, while there is some spice noticeable on my tongue throughout the first half. The retrohale includes plenty of both black pepper and brioche bread sweetness, although more of the former than the latter at the moment. Flavor ends the first third at a solid medium while both the body and strength are at a point just over medium but increasing. In terms of construction, the burn is wavy but not problematic through the first half, while the draw is excellent and the smoke production is quite copious off of the foot.

The second half of the KB Series Part Three seems to be an extension of the previous half in many ways. This includes the main flavors of leather tack and anise that continue to top the profile, as well as some of the additional notes that include dark chocolate, hay, oak and earth. However, there are a couple of changes as well, including new secondary flavors of nutmeg and peanuts. In addition, while the spice that was present on my tongue in the first half has dissipated, there is a bit of new mineral saltiness on my lips that seems to be getting stronger in the final third. There is also a bit more black pepper and brioche bread sweetness on the retrohale, but the major change is the amount of strength, which—while not nearly as overwhelming in the final third as I remember from the first review cigars—is still easily strong enough to hit a point very close to the full mark by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch remaining. Flavor ends at medium-plus while the body also hits medium-full by the end of the cigar. Finally, the burn needs a couple of quick corrections with my lighter to stay on track, although the smoke production and draw both have no issues whatsoever.

85 Overall Score

The biggest issue with the La Palina KB Series Part Three when it was first released was the overwhelming strength, which really had a negative impact on the overall balance as a whole. I am happy to report that six months of rest has really helped in that regard—the strength now tops out on the higher side of medium—while also introducing some new flavors in the profile. This is definitely a more rounded, more balanced and—frankly—more enjoyable cigar now than when it was first released and I feel it will continue to improve in the months ahead.

Original Score (February 2022)
85
Redux Score (August 2022)
85

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.