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Quick Intros: “La Palina Family Series: The Alison”

Posted by dabyrdman33 on November 3, 2010







Let me say welcome back to my loyal readers and a hearty hello to my newcomers.  This week’s review is not a typical review but more of an introductory review on a cigar.  While my typical review consists of smoking between 3 to 5 cigars before passing judgement, this review is based upon a single cigar that I received at W. Curtis Draper’s Little Puff 2010.  This week’s cigar review is The Alison from the Family Series by La Palina. 

Just a quick note, this review is being performed on location at Cigar Connection in Arlington, VA. 
The La Palina brand and its history are quite a story which you can read here.  In the meantime, here’s a look at the technical specs on The Alison:

Wrapper: Ecuador/Costa Rica
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Honduras and Nicaragua
Size: 6 x 52
MSRP: $18-23??

From the La Palina website…”The “Alison” is dedicated to Bill’s  wife, Alison Van Metre Paley, whose support and encouragement have made  La Palina’s revival possible.”

Construction: The caramel colored wrapper has a noticeable vein or two.  The cigar is firmly packed but has some slight wrapper damage at the foot.

Pre-light draw: Upon clipping the head on this torpedo, I’m getting some sweet tobacco and a slight citrus undertone.

1st third: Upon lighting and settling in with a few puffs the noticeable flavor is slightly earthy and somewhat dry on the palate. The burn is a little off due to the wrapper crack but not grossly off. The ash is dark grey & fairly solid. Strength is mild while the body is medium. The cigar is producing a decent amount of smoke with each puff.

2nd third: The burn has evened out with no ill effects from the wrapper crack. The body and strength are now both in the medium range. The dominant flavors are dry tobacco with some earth and leather. The cigar does produce loads of smoke but so far it still hasn’t done much to resonate with my palate.  The ash managed to hold for about a half inch and now I’m merely ashing it to keep my clothes & the shop counter clean.

At the band/Final third: While the band states “Ligero”, I’m not getting much ligero flavor or strength. The strength and body are both in the medium range; however, something just seems to be missing. There’s a slight hint of pepper toward the end, but nothing really stands out.  Just as I write this, I am beginning to get a slight uptick in strength and beginning to taste the ligero. While this cigar is redeeming itself in the final two inches, my disappointment lies in the fact that “the sleeping giant” didn’t awaken until now.

Final thoughts:  If you like a cigar that builds to a crescendo, this may be your cup of tea. For me, if a cigar contains ligero, I want to know it from the beginning. Not much complexity exists in this cigar as it remained pretty consistent throughout with the emphasis being on the earth and leather. Given that this is based upon one stick, I am certainly open to giving this cigar or another La Palina vitola a shot.For the price point, I am hard pressed to give it a 5-pack recommendation, but I would give it a 4.0 out of 5.0 on my unofficial “official” scale just because of how it responded at the end.  The $18-23 price range is the real impetus behind my hesitation to try these again. I’ll leave it up to you, the readers. Leave me a comment on your La Palina experience or whether or not you think I should give it another shot.

I’m all ears…

Until next time, happy smoking,


3 Responses to “Quick Intros: “La Palina Family Series: The Alison””

  1. Solid review…I doubt I’d spend the money on it if it only builds to what I like.

  2. Bill Paley said

    Give it another shot, out of a box, rather than from a pile being manhandled at a cigar show. It might even be worth the money.

  3. I had one of the original release from La Palina and walked away with a similar impression: “Really? For that kind of money this is all?” Sorry, but…No. With all due respect, Mr. Paley, I’ve had many cigars (dozens? a hundred?) from shows (Big Smoke, CigarFest, countless events) that have smoked just fine…just like the out of the box ones I picked up at other times. Yes, there are anomalies with “show cigars,” but at this price point second chances are few and far between. When I know that I can buy 5 Padron Londres, 4 La Traviatas, or 3 Oliva Serie Vs for the same price as one of these…it just makes it a hard sell on my budget.

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