Babe (Robusto), 5.25 x 50
Wrapper: Costa Rica
|Cigar age||0 yr. 2.6 mo.|
BACKGROUND: La Palina is a historic cigar brand that was originally
founded in 1896 by Samuel Paley. The brand was reborn in early 2010,
84 years after the original company closed its doors. Bill Paley called
the first cigar “1896” to honor the year Samuel founded the Congress
Cigar Company. Then, in September of 2010, Bill Paley introduced the
La Palina “Family Series” offering a tribute to the family members behind
the brand. These include the “Pasha,” “Babe,” “Alison” and “Little Bill”.
“I’m very excited to announce the next chapter of the La Palina brand with the introduction of the Family Series,” said Bill Paley. “The journey of revitalizing my grandfather’s cigar brand has brought me an incredible amount of personal satisfaction and I look forward to continuing the La Palina tradition with the introduction of this very special offering.”
Like 1896 (and unlike El Diario), the Family Series is made at the Graycliff factory in The Bahamas. Two of the vitolas in this four-size line come with a Costa Rican wrapper—Pasha (7.25 x 50) and Babe (5.25 x 50)—surrounded by a Costa Rican binder and filler tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua. The other two sizes—Alison (6 x 52) and Little Bill (4.5 x 52)—feature the same binder and filler tobaccos, but are bound in an Ecuadorian wrapper.
This week’s featured stogie is named for Bill Paley’s mother, Barbara “Babe” Cushing Paley. As Truman Capote once observed, Babe was a woman of “only one fault… she was perfect. Otherwise, she was perfect.” Babe was one of the last century’s icons of fashion and style. She maintained her position on the best-dressed list fourteen times before being inducted into the Fashion Hall of Fame in 1958.
Introducing this week’s featured cigar, the 5.25” x 50 ring gauge “Babe.”
TASTING NOTES: This stogie starts with bright grassy and woody flavors on the palate. The strength is medium while the body and flavor are medium-full with a bright and clean finish.
The retrohale showed white pepper on my nasal mucosa, which made me moderate the amount of smoke that I retrohaled.
I was very impressed with the construction. The draw was perfect and I don't say that about too many cigars. The thin, black burn line was just slightly meandering, but was razor sharp. The chalk white ash was nicely formed and spackle-like in appearance and I tapped off in regular 3/4-inch chunks. I really couldn't have asked for more from the cigar's performance.
FINAL THOUGHTS: As the second half rolled around the body and flavor picked up some earthy and beefier flavors. And, the core tobacco sweetness kicked in, which rounded out the flavors and gave the body a heavier feel on the palate.
The Family Series Babe is a well-balanced cigar with predominantly woody flavors and a clean grassy finish. It is smoky and toasty in the retrohale with a dash of white pepper. With a touch of natural tobacco sweetness, the cigar gains a depth of complexity and balance. This is a well-made cigar, having been produced at the Graycliff factory in the Bahamas.
La Palina has a great stable of cigars and the Family Series is another excellent achievement from this company that already sports a fine historical pedigree. I can recommend the Babe to a wide range of smokers. But, at nearly $12 per stick, this may be a hard sell to some folks. Further, if you are a fan of big, full-bodied beasts, the Babe may also not be to your liking. Nevertheless, this is a good smoke and one worth trying.
The La Palina Family Series Babe comes in a near humidor quality box, which is just cool enough for me to want to keep it out on top of my cabinet humidor. So, I put in a 69%RH Boveda humidity packet and keep the box on display.
This is the first of two podcast reviews on this stick, which has been in my humidor for 2 months, 17 days.
Cigar Info Page » for La Palina, The Family Series
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