La Palina Black Label, Robusto

La Palina, Black Label

Robusto, 5 x 52
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazilian Bahiano


Review date 3/11/2015
Reviewer Doc (
Overall 91.3
Review # 1093
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BACKGROUND: The La Palina brand was started back in 1896 by Sam Paley. The brand flourished until Sam retired in 1926. Since then, the brand was alternately abandoned and then revived by Bill Paley, grandson of the founder. With a tradition for excellence and an eye for quality, Paley has led the revival of the La Palina brand that his grandfather rode to success so many years ago.

La Palina Black Label Robusto

La Palina recently added the Black Label to its portfolio, a cigar purported to be the strongest La Palina blend to date. The line, which is manufactured in the Dominican Republic, sports a very dark and rustic Brazilian-grown Bahiano wrapper that covers a Dominican binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

The Black Label was released in 4 sizes: the Petite Lancero (6 x 40), the Toro (6 x 50) the Gordo (6 x 60) and the cigar I’m reviewing, the 5 x 52 Robusto.

La Palina Black Label Robusto

TASTING NOTES: This cigar started out bold, rich and earthy. There were flavors of espresso, bittersweet chocolate and an underlying earthy sweetness. Retrohaling brought out vanilla notes, spiced rum and a hefty dose of black pepper spice. The medium gray ash was solid and the burn line was just slightly blistered, but was dead even.

I was surprised at the complexity that was displayed by such a bold cigar. The Black Label had great natural tobacco sweetness, which tempered the earthy backbone. Overall, this stick was lip-smacking good.

I have to mention that of the three samples I smoked, one of the cigars had a rather nasty tunnel, which caused a bad runner up one side of the cigar and I had to put it out of its misery. Happily, the rest of the samples burned straight and true.

La Palina Black Label Robusto

FINAL THOUGHTS: While the Black Label may be the fullest bodied cigar in the La Palina stable, it’s not over the top. I found the cigar to be medium-full in body and strength and full in flavor. But the complexity and natural tobacco sweetness displayed throughout the smoke should make it a favorite among serious cigar smokers.

This cigar would be a perfect match with dark craft beers, aged bourbons, rye whiskies and with a favorite dark roast coffee and/or espresso.

This is an outstanding smoke from La Palina and one I can recommend highly. You can pick these Robustos up at a price of $8.50–$9.00/stick, which is a fair price for this ultra-boutique cigar.

Final verdict: Pick up one or two and see if this doesn’t light your fire, like it did mine.



These cigars are in the singles drawer of my Aristocrat M+ cabinet humidor. The cigars did not come with cellophane sleeves so I have placed them together in a plastic sack so the aromas and flavors of other cigars will not cross-pollinate.

This is the first of two reviews on these cigars which have been aging for 6 months and 11 days prior to this review.


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