La Palina Cigars is spreading its wings and going to Nicaragua.
Known for its Dominican-made La Palina Red Label and Black Label brands and the Miami-made Goldie and Family Series Miami, La Palina is now offering two cigars made in Nicaragua—a first for the company.
Called La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro and La Palina Nicaragua Connecticut, the two new lines are rolled at the A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua factory, located in Estelí. Sam Phillips, co-president of La Palina, explained why the company chose to work with Fernandez:
"Our relationship with A.J. Fernandez goes a bit deeper than the usual manufacturing agreement," Phillips told Cigar Aficionado. "[Clay Roberts, co-president and chief operating officer of La Palina] was the vice president of A.J. Fernandez Cigars for several years, while I have been a personal friend of A.J.'s for a long time. A.J. has a true passion for tobacco."
La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro wears a dark, Ecuadoran wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. Nicaragua Connecticut is draped in a lightly-hued Connecticut wrapper from Ecuador over Nicaraguan binder and filler. Both cigars share the same pricing and are available in the same three sizes: Robusto, at 5 inches by 52 ring gauge ($7.99); Toro, at 6 by 50 ($8.50); and Gordo, 6 by 58 ($9.50). The cigars ship in 20-count boxes.
The cigars debuted at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show this year and are on store shelves now.