William Paley has made a change to his original La Palina cigar. Paley has shifted production of his La Palina Family Series from The Bahamas to Miami, turning over the manufacturing reins for the pricey cigars to El Titan de Bronze.
The original La Palina Family Series, which debuted in 2010, was rolled in The Bahamas by The Graycliff Cigar Co. The new smokes are being rolled not only in a different country, but with a new blend, too. Gone are the Costa Rican and Honduran tobaccos in the original, replaced by a mix of Ecuadoran and Nicaraguan leaves. The filler is all Nicaraugan—some Jalapa for balance; Estelí for strength—and the binder and wrapper are from Ecuador.
"I spent over a year trying to get the [new] blend right," Paley said on a visit this week to the Cigar Aficionado offices. He showed off a prototype of the Pasha size, which will be the first in the line to make its debut.
The new Pasha will measure 7 inches long by 50 ring gauge. The cigar will showcase about one-half inch of exposed filler tobacco at the end—Paley calls it a brush-footed Churchill—giving the cigar smoker a chance to taste only the filler before the cigar burns to where the wrapper and binder exist. (The original Pasha had a longer, shaggier piece of exposed filler and was a quarter-of-an-inch longer.)
The Pasha will make its debut in special boxes of 20, each in individual coffins. Paley expected the cigars to be on sale prior to this summer's International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailer trade show. During the show he intends to show off the other two sizes, The Babe (a robusto measuring 5 1/4 by 50) and The Alison (a 6 by 52 torpedo), which will be presented in the regular packaging of 10 cigars to the box.
Plans are still being finalized on the cigars, which Paley said would retail for between $17 and $20 apiece, roughly 10 percent less than the originals. While labor prices are high in Miami, the duties charged on imported tobaccos in The Bahamas are one of the reasons the original Family Blend was so pricey.
This is the third La Palina blend rolled at El Titan de Bronze, joining the limited-edition Goldie and Mr. Sam.
Paley has some of the Bahamian Family Blend La Palinas left, which he said he would place in storage for aging and sale as vintage cigars at a later date.
For the history of La Palina cigars, read La Palina's Next Act.