“My family heritage has always been to promote and produce the very finest,” says Bill Paley of the famed La Palina cigar brand. “I grew up with an understanding that doing something okay wasn’t good enough. You had do something extraordinary.”
And with the La Palina Collection Goldie Laguito No. 5, the brand’s newest cigar, he certainly hit the mark. A lighter, smoother, more feminine blend than a typical cigar, the Goldie is sure to please casual smokers and cigar aficionados alike. Named after his grandmother, the cigar is the debut blend for the newly created La Palina Collection and pays tribute to women in the cigar industry, typical an undervalued group.
“It took about a year and a half before we came up with a blend that worked,” Paley told DuJour at the Nat Sherman store in New York City on Thursday night. “It’s a medium blend, but it has a lot of nuance to it and the flavor changes, expands and contracts. It’s not overpowering, and I think it’s very pleasureful.”
Paley’s attention to detail didn’t stop just at the creation of the blend. When Paley met Maria Sierra, Fidel Castro’s former cigar roller, he knew he wanted her as a collaborator. Known for her artistic touch, the level 9 roller is able to create the Laguito-style fan cap at the end of the cigar—”She’s probably the only person in this country who can do that legitimately,” Paley added—and has become the sole roller for the Goldie line.
“I still have a love for it, and do it with great admiration,” Sierra explained through a translator, while rolling cigars and displaying her expert fan tip. “I’m really enjoying every minute of it.”
“What’s so intriguing is that everyone used to say ‘You have to have a Cuban,’ but Cuban cigars are really a very full, rich, hearty cigar,” said Michele Sherman of the Nat Sherman cigar empire. The Goldie, she says, is a much a more feminine blend in comparison.
“I’m a woman, I smoke a variety of different things, but there’s nothing like a really gentle, easy smoke that’s welcoming to my palate,” Sherman said. “And I think they hit it!”