The La Palina El Diario line has recently been brought into Emerson’s, and there’s plenty of buzz in and out of the shops concerning these cigars. I’d heard a lot about how much flavor the La Palina line had, and was excited to try my first stick. The El Diario (“The Daily”) line is medium bodied, but the special releases within the line are more full bodied. The prototype 4.25 x 40 KB – named the “Kill Bill” because La Palina owner Bill Paley couldn’t finish it – created a strong enough interest in the cigar world for a larger size to be made: the 6 x 40 KB II/”Kill Bill 2″. After a nice dinner, I began my adventure:
La Palina El Diario KB II
Country of Origin/Production: Honduras
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo ’99 Rosado
Binder: Honduran Criollo ’98 x2 (double binder, that is)
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
Box Count: 30
Let me start by saying that I love the size of this smoke. Personally, I’m a big fan of smaller ring gauge cigars when I really have the time to fully relax and enjoy a cigar – I can take my time to focus on all the intricacies of the smoke, and it’s much less likely that I’d get bored. The KBII is well-constructed, and exhibits a wrapper mottled with rich reds and browns.
The smell off the foot is a rich, damp hay. After clipping, the cigar shows a moderately open draw, and reveals some telling flavors on the cold draw: the aformentioned damp hay, a mild spice, and a raisin-like sweetness. The wrapper itself is mighty tasty, and leaves a lingering taste on the lips after I pull the cigar away…
That’s quite literally what I said after lighting this bad boy up! The first draw unleashes a heavy, deep combination of spices and pepper that really sits on the tip of my tongue. Subsequent draws reveal a thick, rich, heavy tasting smoke. There are loads of white pepper through the nose, and the finish shows lots of graham cracker and cinnamon. I’m repeating myself here, but once again I have to say that the flavor on this is really immense. The underlying dark fruit/nutty sweetness adds a tremendous depth to the pepper and spice onslaught. Only five minutes into the smoke, I have to slow down because my palate is absolutely swamped…and that’s a great problem to have. FULL bodied.
A creamy taste emerges as the pepper tones down. The cigar becomes more easygoing – I’d say it’s on the lighter side of medium-full – but it still has plenty of flavor. A mild cedar note also comes into play. I’m told that the aroma is quite pleasant – I find it to be rich, sweet, spicy, and floral in character. While “floral” might not sound appetizing at first, it is a taste I find in many Honduran (and some stronger Dominican) smokes, and it really is quite nice. I find the cigar to have a bit of a kick – it’s not knocking me out though, so I’d say it’s medium in strength.
The body of the smoke ramps up a bit, moreso into the upper levels of medium-full, and stays there. Another woody note comes out – this time, not cedar, but more of a mesquite wood: sweet, but having a campfire-like smokiness (also another taste I frequently find in stronger Honduran smokes). The creaminess remains, and the cinnamon note that was so bright in the first third returns, along with some clove. A bready, doughy character also emerges. These sweet, smoky, spicy, and bready elements come together for a knock-out combination. This is a hell of a cigar.
Simply put, if you like fuller bodied cigars, you have to try the Kill Bill 2. The KBII filled my palate with rich, complex, and satisfying flavors. It had been a while since a cigar made me say “wow”, but this smoke delivered a memorable experience. I would certainly not suggest this cigar for the new smoker, but veteran smokers will be able to appreciate the big, powerful, complex taste in this stick. SMOKE THIS CIGAR. You can thank me later.
La Palina El Diario are available at all 5 Hampton Roads Emerson’s Cigars locations and can by purchased online at www.emersonscigars.com