Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

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Cigar Details: La Palina 125 Años

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6.25″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TABOLISA
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $25.00
  • Release Date: December 2021
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Aaron: The wrapper on the La Palina 125 Años is a matte medium brown with a few lightly raised veins present. The seams are pretty smooth and the head has caps with lifting edges and is finished with a flag. The band is matte black, matte red, gold and white and has an old look to it. It denotes the brand and anniversary on the front and the year of release on the back. The aroma from the wrapper is a mesquite smokiness while the foot brings lightly sweet wood and mild spiciness. The pre-light draw brings a sweet and slightly creamy cedar.
Seth: The La Palina 125 Años is finished with a dark Natural Maduro wrapper that is toothy with veins present throughout. There are some oils present, and the cigar has an aroma of rich earth, minerals, red pepper, tobacco and oak.
John: The La Palina 125 Años comes in cellophane and has a UPC sticker that tears in half when the cellophane is opened. The cigar has an additional complication of a fan cap, which unfortunately, I broke off while removing it from the cellophane. Aromas from the cigar included a sweet wood, mustiness and fermented tobacco. From the foot, there was hay and sweet tobacco.
Jiunn: The La Palina 125 Años has a Colorado maduro wrapper shade that looks dull, but on the touch, has lively oil content. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper tell quality humidor cedar. Aromas from the foot give white pepper, quality cedar and subtle hay. Cold draws reveal dried nuts and hay.

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with lightly toasted oak and baking spice. At a quarter inch in, the profile gains a mocha note. At three quarters of an inch in, the mocha note lightens as some earth joins in. The retrohale is toasted oak, a zinging black pepper and light earth. At an inch and a quarter, the baking spice transitions to black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the profile is toasted oak and dry earth up front, with black pepper a bit behind and a light mocha note in the background. The strength was right at medium.
Seth: The first third starts out with dry cedar and mineral qualities. I am getting some earth and cocoa powder with that, and the finish has this creamy pepper sauce profile. Some herbal qualities as well. Medium to medium-full in strength and body.
John: Mild spices and wood combine to open the first third as dry wood carries into the post draw. The post draw also gains pepper at medium strength at the back of my throat. There isn’t anything to remark on until almost the halfway mark where some mild astringency joined the post draw. In the bottom half, mild baking spices are present on the retrohale.
Jiunn: The first third’s flavor profile is well balanced. The flavors touch almost every flavor spectrum; sweet, savory and earthy. Specifically, flavors of toasted nuts, cedar, balanced dry red pepper spice and barnyard. Retrohaling introduces minerals, as well as further highlight dry red pepper spice and toasted nuts. The finish is short but clean, having a drawn out cedar. Strength and body is medium.

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Second Third

Aaron: The second third sees the mocha note pick back up a bit. At a half inch in, the black pepper mellows a bit. The retrohale is musty, toasted oak, dry earth and light amounts of pepper and mocha. At an inch and a quarter, the overall profile has become a bit dry. At an inch and a half in, the toast level increases a bit. The third wraps up with toasted oak and dry earth up front with black pepper a ways behind and mocha in the background. The strength remained at medium.
Seth: The second third shows some transitioning and it is delivering a flavor profile of cocoa powder, peppery spices and cedar. Mineral qualities are on the finish so it is less intense up front with a stronger finish. Medium to medium-full in strength and body.
John: The second third gets going with wood and baking spices. The post draw is still defined by wood with mild astringency. Some mild mustiness makes it into the middle of the profile as it progresses. By the halfway mark, some bitterness has also joined the post draw. In the bottom half, mild chocolate attempts to break into the retrohale.
Jiunn: The second third gives shifts to showing more minerals. The minerals are well complemented by the softer notes of toasted nuts as well as the same dry red pepper spice. Strength moves to a medium-full and body remains medium.

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Final Third

Aaron: The final third sees the mocha note depart. At a half inch in, the dry earth takes a slight lead over the toasted oak. The retrohale is now dry earth up front with light amounts of toasted oak and pepper. As the cigar comes to a close, the dry earth is slightly ahead of the toasted oak with some black pepper a bit behind that. The strength remained at medium.
Seth: Flavor profile of cocoa powder, minerals, cedar, earth and pepper. No cream on the finish, but there is this mild herbal and green like quality. Medium to medium-full in strength and body.
John: Dry wood leads the cigar into the last third. As it progresses, some mild char comes through at the end of the draw. No other flavor development through the last third.
Jiunn: The final third tips the scale on the minerals being too raw and bitter. This in turn shows less of the softer notes that I enjoy. Strength and body is unchanged at medium-full and medium, respectively.

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Burn

Aaron: The burn was straight the entire way and the ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.
Seth: Not a pretty burn, but not a problem.
John: The burn was straight through the entire review with the ash consistently holding on just around the 3/4 of an inch mark.
Jiunn: Burn performance was great. Even burn, good smoke production, solid ashes and cool burning temperature.

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

Draw

Aaron: The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.
Seth: Draw was nice throughout.
John: The draw had a noticeable amount of resistance to it, roughly 3 to 3-1/2 notches into the resistant spectrum.
Jiunn: The draw was fairly snug. It didn’t annoy me too much but it is two levels below perfection.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with lightly toasted oak and baking spice. A mocha note joined fairly quickly and some earth joined a bit later. The baking spice later transitioned to black pepper. The second third saw the overall profile become a bit dry. The final third saw the mocha note leave and the dry earth take the lead in the profile. Construction was absolutely perfect. The La Palina 125 Años started well, with a nice combination of flavors. By the second third, the dry earth was playing a significant role which dropped the profile to average and maintained that level the rest of the way. With an anniversary release of this magnitude and at this price point, the flavor profile wasn’t wowing. Nothing wrong with the cigar, I just don’t see myself coming back to it.
Seth: In some ways I would consider this La Palina 125 Años the best La Palina I have had in a while, but they have a long way to go until they reach the level they were at many years ago. One of the better blends they have gotten, or blended, but it still needed more. Lack of complexity and depth throughout. Nice strength and body, solid core flavor profile, but they needed more. Price is painful.
John: The La Palina 125 Años didn’t ever seem to rise above the pleasant flavor delivery of the first third, which didn’t offer much in the way of complexity or engaging flavor combinations. The cigar became rather monotonous by the last third, which is not something I would have expected to be writing about a cigar in the super premium price category. The burn was flawless while the draw had a noticeable amount of resistance to it. The flavor profile wasn’t engaging at all for me, and when you add in the significant price point this is a hard pass for me. La Palina has released a number of spectacular releases over the years and those would be an easy alternative choice. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Jiunn: I haven’t liked a La Palina release this much in quite some time. This La Palina 125 Años almost seemed like a return to what I loved about the glory days of the brand; well balanced, super flavorful and good construction. The only issue is, it held up the goodness for half the cigar. It is at least a step in the right direction.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
AmazingBurnGoodBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
AmazingDrawVery GoodDrawAverageDrawGood
AverageOverallAverageOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.10

Cost/Point

$4.10

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.40

Cost/Point

$4.63

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.30

Cost/Point

$4.72

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.15

Cost/Point

$4.07

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: La Palina 125 Años

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