Team Cigar Review: La Palina Bronze Label Robusto

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Cigar Details: La Palina Bronze Label Robusto

  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Wrapper: Honduras
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Honduras and Nicaragua
  • Factory: El Paraiso
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $8.99
  • Release Date: February 2018
  • Source: La Palina

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is medium brown and has a fair number of veins present with some slightly raised. The seams are smooth but slightly visible due to the vein placement. The head is finished off with a well applied double cap. There are two bands with the primary being the traditional company design but carrying a bronze border. The secondary band is a strip band that is bronze and gold and designates the line and is a bit hard to read unless it’s in the right light. The aroma from the wrapper is wood and slight barnyard mustiness. The foot brings leather along with stone fruit and tobacco sweetness. The pre-light draw brings oak, some honey sweetness and a slight saltiness.

Pre-light Experience

The La Palina Bronze Label Robusto has a dark chocolate wrapper. There is a primary and secondary band with the same color schemes of bronze letter and accents, against red, with white highlights. The secondary band indicates “Bronze Label”. Nosing the wrapper, I pick up strong leather, with baked pastries underneath. In the foot, there is very sweet tobacco.

Pre-light Experience

The La Palina Bronze Label Robusto has a slight red hue to the wrapper making it very close to a Colorado Red wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head finished off with a deep layered cap. Aromas from the wrapper give strong cedar and a hint of wet barnyard. Aromas from the foot give cedar, white pepper and dried nuts. Cold draw gives cedar and hay.

First Third

My initial reaction is how mild in strength the cigar begins. There are notes of soft wood, maybe sandalwood, with a subtle cinnamon. At a half inch in, the wood becomes more robust, but is still a soft wood. The retrohale also carries soft wood notes, something like sandalwood mixed with a slightly spicy cedar. As the third comes to a close, the wood and cinnamon are a bit fuller, creating a pretty nice profile. The strength was mild-medium.

First Third

There is sweet hay flavors to open. Medium strength baking spices are present on the retrohale, with that baked pastries that I was getting from the aroma. Light chocolate develops at approximately the 10 minute mark. Wood flavors begin to settle in on the post draw at medium minus strength. As the cigar progresses, chocolate picks up in strength bringing the baking spices along with it. The cigar begins to take on a Horchata like experience. By the halfway point, the chocolate is defining the post draw.

First Third

The flavor profile has pronounced minerals as a backbone to the entire cigar. Following this are dry red peppers, cedar and a natural creaminess coming off dried nuts. Retrohaling gives greater depth of both minerals and creaminess. The finish is namely dry wood (oak and cedar) and minerals. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, a slight cream joins the mix of soft wood and cinnamon. At a half inch in, the soft wood moves to more of a light oak while the cinnamon and cream are now quite faint. At an inch and a quarter, the oak gains a slight char while the cream picks up a bit. The cinnamon has completely left the profile. The retrohale carries the slightly charred oak along with a bit of mustiness. The same profile carries through to the end of the third. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly below medium.

Second Third

Baking spices and chocolate still define the profile going into the second third, but the two have switched positions, with chocolate being at the front of the palate and baking spices finishing into the post draw. Once the second third has settled in, there is a clearly defined cinnamon spice at just under medium strength. There are no other notable flavor changes for the rest of the second third.

Second Third

The second third gives more influence to minerals and dry red peppers. Luckily, the natural creaminess is still intact so the profile doesn’t seem so spice and minerals driven. Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, some mustiness joins in with the charred oak. There is a faint baking spice now in the background. At a half inch in, the baking spice picks up and the flavor profile overall becomes a bit fuller. The retrohale carries the exact same profile. At an inch in, there is a light pine note that joins in with the musty charred oak and baking spice. As the cigar comes to a close, it warms up and a fair amount of mintiness joins in with the musty charred oak, pine and baking spice. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Final Third

There is a toasted bread note going into the final third. Each puff delivers flavors of toasted bread, then light cinnamon and then a brown sugar sweetness. Once the cigar settles in, the chocolate and baking spices are completely gone, replaced with a drying cedar.

Final Third

The last third is a continuation of the second third. Minerals, dry red peppers, natural creaminess a plenty. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was wavy throughout and required two touch-ups to keep things from getting too far off. The cigar went out once at the beginning of the final third and required a re-light. The ash held on in one inch increments.

Burn

The burn starts out straight, with ash holding up to 2 inches. The last half of the 1st third is wavy, eventually resulting in a canoe and a touch-up. The second third also has a canoe at the beginning of the burn and in the last half, both requiring touch-ups.

Burn

The burn had its share of issues. The main issue was about half the side of the cigar refusing to properly burn in which I assume is due to improper leaf placement. This resulted in some major touch-ups the entire smoking experience.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with soft wood and cinnamon. As it progressed, the soft wood transitioned to oak and some mustiness joined in until the final third when some pine and baking spice appeared. The burn could have been better, but the draw was perfect. Strength built up slowly and only reached medium. The way the cigar started, it reminded me of some of the early Family Series. I’ve moved away from La Palina for a bit as the cigars seemed to have gotten away from the profile that I enjoyed a few years ago. This cigar brings some of that back and gives me hope that they may find that profile in some other cigars once again. If you’re a La Palina fan, this is a definite must try. If you’ve gone away from the brand like I have, this might be the one to bring you back.

Draw

The draw is roughly a half to 3/4 of a notch towards the open spectrum, but still in the ideal zone of resistance.

Overall

I rated the La Palina Bronze Label Robusto good overall. The flavor profile was a complex and very desert like experience. Notes of chocolate, cinnamon, baking spices, baked goods and wood, all combine well throughout the entire smoking experience. Although there were some burn issues, they never seemed to affect the flavor profile.

Draw

The draw on the other hand was perfect. No issues at all.

Overall

It’s been quite some time since I tried La Palina’s offerings (less the purchased boxes of early batch Goldies). I say that because I never realized the type of range La Palina cigars have. In the instance of the La Palina Bronze Label Robusto, I was surprised especially by the minerals. In general, the flavors of minerals, dry red peppers, natural sweet creaminess off dried nuts was range I didn’t expect and worked well. The only let down was the subpar burn in which I hope it is a one off situation. I’ll gladly smoke it again even if I have to fight the burn.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
GoodSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Good
AverageBurnGoodBurnSubpar
AmazingDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
GoodOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$1.38

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.62

Cost/Point

$1.36

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.77

Cost/Point

$1.33

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: La Palina Bronze Label Robusto
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: La Palina Bronze Label Robusto

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5 comments

Join the conversation
  • Shlomo - February 26, 2019 reply

    Now that La Palina is back to their core roots and is rediscovering quality blends with poor construction rolls with this release, does this Bronze Label robusto share some of the Cubanesque properties on the palate as the discontinued Family Series?

    Aaron Loomis - February 26, 2019 reply

    The first third of this cigar definitely reminded me of the early Family Series releases.

    Shlomo - February 26, 2019 reply

    Aaron, do you reckon if we put this away for 3-5 the remaining 2/3 will mature into what the early Family Series was once was with the rough edges rounded or removed?

    Aaron Loomis - February 27, 2019 reply

    I couldn’t say one way or another on that, but I would say that I wouldn’t be interested in doing that experiment. Too many other cigars that are good all the way through as they are now to have to invest that time into something.

    Shlomo - March 1, 2019

    I think I agree. Every time I am at my local cigar lounge there is a joker that is telling me all about Cuban cigars and how they age them for 5 decades into the 5th maturation and they turn into gold. I always tell them I have quality Nicaraguans in my humidor that are good to go RIGHT NOW.

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