La Palina has a unique history that started in the late 1880s when Sam Paley emigrated from the Ukraine to Chicago. He soon started working as a lector at a cigar factory where he read novels, magazines and newspapers to the cigar rollers in the gallery. Over time he started gaining interest in the tobacco industry and started using personal time to gain knowledge on everything cigars. Shortly after, he was promoted to roller, then to blender. In 1896 Mr. Paley opened Congress Cigar Company, his first cigar shop, with an adjacent factory whose first product was named La Palina in honor of his wife Goldie Drell Paley. In 1910, the family and Congress Cigar Company moved to Philadelphia with William, Sam’s son, joining as Vice President of Advertising. After several years of success, the Congress Cigar Company was ultimately liquidated in 1926 when Sam retired. Fast forward several decades later and grandson Bill Paley went back to his roots and resurrected the La Palina brand and released their first cigar in 2010.
Hailing from Honduras, the La Palina Classic Natural is sure to win a permanent place in your humidor. This medium bodied cigar features a handsome Honduran wrapper that secures an Ecuadorian binder and a bevy of long-fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Complex and balanced down to the nub, this stogie has notes of spice, earth, and caramel. Our panel loved this cigar and recommended pairing it with a dry Riesling such as Hillick & Hobbs Estate Dry Riesling 2021.
Honduras has been a tobacco growing and cigar manufacturing area for hundreds of years, but it was the Communist revolution in Cuba that really put Honduras on the map. In the 1960s, many Cuban cigar makers fled their homeland and arrived in Honduras to re-establish their way of life. The immigrants took advantage of the climate, soil, and geography, which were well-suited to tobacco growing, and began producing high quality cigars. The center of the Honduran cigar industry is the city of Danli and the nearby Jamastran Valley. The majority of the world’s pure Corojo tobacco is grown here, now that Cuba has stopped production of this iconic, spicy, and rich variety in favor of Corojo hybrids. Other important areas of Honduran cigar production include the Talanga Valley, Copan, and Trojes.
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