The limited-edition La Palina Goldie has made its annual appearance and started recently shipping to retailers. A La Palina tradition since 2012, Goldies have been released each year in a single vitola. This year, the cigar is called the 2015 Goldie Laguito Robusto Extra, and measures 6 1/10 inches long by 50 ring gauge.
La Palina says that the Goldie line was launched to celebrate the contributions and achievements of important women in the company's history, as well as the cigar industry in general. The name is an homage to Goldie Drell Paley, the wife of Sam Paley (founder of Congress Cigar Co., who started the La Palina Brand in 1896).
Now in its fourth release, the company says that each and every Goldie cigar is rolled by a woman named Maria Sierra, a master roller at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, Florida. The line is made under the supervision of factory owner Sandra Cobas, another successful woman in the cigar industry.
La Palina says that Sierra rolls 100 Goldie cigars per day. Her history as a cigar roller goes back many years and started in Cuba. She was trained at the famous El Laguito factory and began rolling her first cigars in 1967. Her teachers were titans of their craft: Fidel Castro's personal roller Eduardo Rivera Irizarri, and Avelino Lara, the man who oversaw production of Cohiba cigars at El Laguito.
Similar to its predecessors, the 2015 Goldie Laguito Robusto Extra cigar is finished with a wide, flattened pigtail cap, often referred to as a fan cap, as it resembles a paper fan. The cigar features an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, an Ecuadoran binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. La Palina says that the Goldie contains a portion of medio tiempo in the blend—a small, highly sought tobacco leaf that grows, rarely, on the highest part of a tobacco plant.
Only 2,000 boxes of the 2015 Goldie Laguito Robusto Extra will ship to retailers this year, each signed & numbered by Sierra. Though the first 1,000 boxes shipped two weeks ago, the next 1,000 boxes won't enter the market until the IPCPR trade show in July. There are 10 cigars per box. The Goldies retail for $18 each.
This article first appeared in the June 16, 2015 issue of Cigar Insider.