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La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 1


Since the Goldie Series started in 2012, La Palina had never released more than one vitola in the same year, until this year when the company shipped two different Goldie sizes at the same time: the 7 x 38 Laguito No. 1 and the 6 1/2 x 48 Prominente. While the Laguito No. 1 was offered to all of its stores, the Prominente was sold exclusively to retailers who attended the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show that took place in July.

 

The subject of today’s review is the aforementioned Goldie Laguito No. 1, which gets its vitola moniker from the classic Cuban vitola, which in turn was named after the famous Cuban cigar factory El Laguito where it was invented. However, while that Cuban cigar has historically come in at 7 1/2 x 38, this version is a half-inch shorter.

Blend-wise, both of the new additions incorporate the same tobacco as past releases, specifically an Ecuadorian habano wrapper covering an Ecuadorian binder along with filler leaves sourced from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, including medio tiempo, a high priming leaf known for its strength and flavor. They were also both rolled at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami.

When it debuted nine years ago, every Goldie cigar—which is named after Goldie Drell Paley, who was the wife of the founder of La Palina cigars Sam Paley—was rolled by master roller Maria Sierra, who started her career at the famous El Laguito factory in 1967 and was one of the first women trained to roll cigars in Cuba. That continued to be the case until Sierra’s retirement from cigar rolling in 2017, when Lopez “Chino” Perez took over the rolling duties of the Goldie series.

With the two new sizes added earlier this year, there are 11 vitolas in the Goldie Series so far.

The La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 1 has an MSRP of $23 each and is sold in boxes of 10, with only 10,000 total cigars produced. Half of those boxes shipped to retailers in August, with the other half showing up on shelves earlier this month.

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 1
  • Country of Origin: U.S.A.
  • Factory: El Titan de Bronze
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
  • Binder: Ecuador
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Length: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $23 (Box of 10, $230)
  • Release Date: August 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

While the La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 1 looks very similar to past incarnations—including the golden brown color and slightly rough to the touch wrapper—the shade of color seems a bit paler to me, especially when viewed in strong sunlight. With that said, the cigar is quite attractive visually and features only a few noticeable veins along with a bit of oil. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of hay, earth, generic nuts and cedar, while the foot brings notes of sourdough bread, leather tack, cocoa nibs and manure. Finally, the cold draw features flavors of creamy nuts, espresso beans, cedar, potato chips, slight mint and quite a bit of banana sweetness.

The foot of the Goldie Laguito No. 1 lights very easily, leading to an initial flavor of bitter espresso that is quickly replaced by a stronger combination of creamy cashews and toasted bread. Secondary flavors of hay, leather, cinnamon, cedar, slight mint leaves and cocoa nibs flit in and out, while the retrohale is full of both banana sweetness pulled over from the cold draw and white pepper. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a straight cut while the burn is razor sharp out of the gate and there is a copious amount of smoke emanating from the foot. Flavor is medium but obviously increasing, body is light and strength is between mild and medium as the first third comes to an end.

The profile of the La Palina shifts into high gear during the second third starting with the main flavors, which change from cashews and toasted bread to cedar and salted peanuts. It is noticeably creamier on the palate, with additional notes of leather, hay, rich espresso beans, dark chocolate and a touch of generic citrus all fighting for space. There is still plenty of both banana sweetness and white pepper on the retrohale, but I also notice some spice on my tongue that was not present before. In terms of construction, both the burn and the draw continue along their excellent paths—including a razor sharp burn—while the smoke production remains quite high. Flavor increases to a point just under full, body is a bit closer to medium while the strength level is very close to medium by the end of the second third.

A number of changes are in store for the Goldie Laguito No. 1 during the final third, including the top flavors, which have shifted to a combination of toasted bread and cedar. There are still additional flavors of hay, cinnamon, creamy cashews, ground coffee and lemongrass, but the spice on my tongue has dissipated totally, never to return. There is also a major change on the retrohale where the banana sweetness has morphed into a distinct snickerdoodle cookie note, although the amount of white pepper remains constant until the end of the cigar. Both the draw and the burn continue to impress—with neither giving me any issues whatsoever—while the smoke production remains high. Flavor ends firmly in the full range, body hits a solid medium and the strength level ends up just over medium by the time I put the nub down with about an inch remaining.

Final Notes

  • While not as widely known in the U.S., Maria Sierra was truly a cigar legend: she was trained by both Avelino Lara, who created the Cohiba blend, and Eduardo Rivera Irizarri, who was Fidel Castro’s personal cigar roller, and rose to be a category nine roller in Cuba. Sadly, she passed away in 2019 at the age of 70. 
  • La Palina has released three different Goldie cigars in the past 11 months: the No. 6 vitola was shipped to retailers last December. 
  • Willy Herrera, who was formerly of El Titan de Bronze and is now working for Drew Estate, was involved with the blending of the Goldie.
  • This is one of those cigars that will punish you severely if you puff too hard or too fast, so keep it slow and steady.
  • I cannot overstate how well constructed these cigars were: the draws were excellent after straight cuts, only one cigar needed a minor correction and the burn lines on all three samples were razor sharp for almost the entire smoking time.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged an almost shockingly quick one hour and 19 minutes, and that was with me taking my time.

92
Overall Score

Insanely complex, excellently balanced and extremely well-constructed, the La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 1 is one of those cigars that fired on all cylinders virtually the whole time I was smoking it. In addition to ever-changing main flavors, the banana sweetness that I have tasted in previous versions of the cigar is back, and there is also a new snickerdoodle note that shows up on the retrohale, albeit only in the final third. In the end, although the larger-sized vitolas are nothing to sneeze at, this is definitely a blend that works better in smaller ring gauges, and the La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 1 proves that point: it is not only one of best Goldies I have tried, but also one of the most enjoyable cigars I have smoked this year.

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.

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