Cigar Industry

Master Cigar Roller Maria Sierra, 70, Dies

Jan 23, 2019 | By Gregory Mottola
Master Cigar Roller Maria Sierra, 70, Dies
Photo/Jeffery Salter

A fine cigar roller has passed away. Maria Sierra, best known for rolling the La Palina Goldie Series at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, died at age 70.

Classified as a Category 9 roller, Sierra had made cigars at the prestigious El Laguito Factory (home of the Cuban Cohiba brand) in the Miramar section of Havana for 32 years, giving her an elite status among rollers.

In 2011, Sierra began working at El Titan de Bronze in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, and became quite well known among cigar enthusiasts for rolling the La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 2, an impeccably made panetela with the same parameters as the Cohiba Corona Especiales she used to make in Cuba. The cigars had exquisitely crafted flag caps.

"Maria was an icon of the cigar world," said Bill Paley, owner of La Palina Cigars. "Her passing had great impact on us, as her passion and professionalism was emblematic of La Palina’s core values. Maria single-handedly rolled the Goldie cigar for us, identified by a fantail cap she developed while working at the El Laguito factory in Cuba. A true grand master."

Because of her high skill level and finesse, Sierra was the only roller in the small Miami factory who made Goldies. After its success, she followed up with the La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5, an elegant cigar with a pigtail cap the same size as the Cohiba Behike BHK 54. Goldies became an annual limited-edition release for La Palina.

“Cigar enthusiasts from all over the world came to see her work her craft for the exclusive Goldie series for La Palina,” says Sandy Cobas, owner of El Titan de Bronze. “We were blessed to have called her one of our own. We at El Titan will miss her incredibly and our hearts and prayers go out to her family."

Sierra finally retired from the cigar business in 2017. She is survived by her daughter Danay Vento of Miami.

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