La Palina is revamping its highly rated value-priced Classic line to include three new blends: Rosado, Connecticut and Maduro.
The "new" Classics are made by General Cigar Co. in the Dominican Republic. The Connecticut blend features an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper draped over a Dominican binder and filler from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Rosado is mostly Honduran tobacco, save for some added Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf in the filler. Maduro also wears a Honduran wrapper, but the leaf is significantly darker, and it also contains a Honduran binder with filler tobaccos from Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
The original Classic cigars were produced by Abe Flores at his PDR Cigars Dominicana factory in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. The company says it will maintain a limited inventory of the original Classic, which scored high ratings in Cigar Aficionado upon its debut, but will no longer be producing the blend.
La Palina Classic first hit the market in September 2012 as a four-size line. The smokes scored an average of 89.8 points in an April 30 vertical brand tasting in Cigar Insider, the semimonthly cigar newsletter from Cigar Aficionado. The tasting included a blockbuster showing for the Toro, a 6 by 50 cigar that scored 93 points, later earning a spot on Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 Cigars of 2013.
The new Classic Rosado comes in three sizes: Robusto, measuring 5 1/2 inches by 50 ring gauge; Toro, 6 1/4 by 52; and Lonsdale, 6 1/2 by 44. Classic Connecticut is available in Robusto, measuring 5 by 52; Toro, 6 1/4 by 50; and Churchill, 7 by 48. While Classic Maduro comes in Robusto measuring 5 by 52; Toro, 6 1/4 by 50; and Gordo, 6 by 60.
The Classic line will remain a value-priced brand, with each cigar carrying a retail price between $6.50 and $7.99. The cigars come 20 to a box, which will be marked with four stars on the inside lid to differentiate it from the previous Classic blend.
La Palina Classic Rosado and Connecticut are out now, but Classic Maduro will not begin shipping until the end of March.