Cigar Reviews

La Aurora Cameroon

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So I’m back from an awesome long weekend of fishing north of the city. Feels great to have some time to unwind and relax. Glad to see Tony wasn’t a total slacker while I was away! 😀 Nothing beats enjoying cigars in the middle of a calm lake under awesome weather and catching some tasty fish! Was hard to get back to work this week but Tony chained me back to my desk and put me right back to work!

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard us and other blogs jabber on about La Aurora. They’ve been turning out some fantastic cigars as of late so I can’t really blame all the great press they’ve been getting. Also worth mentioning, Guillermo Leon recently bought out La Aurora and is now running the successful ship! He’s not shy to turning out quality smokes as you can see in our review of the fairly new Guillermo Leon Signature Cigar. I decided to pick up a La Aurora cigar but instead of one of their fancy new blends, I went with one of their blends that’s been a staple on their profile for awhile now. That cigar is simply called “La Aurora” but a lot of people seem to call it the La Aurora Cameroon so it’s easier to differentiate.

The Cameroon addition to the common name comes from the wrapper used to hold this cigar together. The majority of the leaf used in this cigar is harvested from the El Cibao Valley in Dominican Republic, the hometown country of the La Aurora factory. The La Aurora Cameroon is available in a variety of boxes not typically seen in other blends. You can actually pick these up in full presentation boxes of 5, 10, 20 and 25 cigars. As you can see from the pictures, I managed to get myself a 5 pack box of the Doble Coronas.

Let me note that this cigar is huge! It’s much bigger than what I normally smoke as my max comfort range is usually in the Toro/Torpedo range. But at the price they are I couldn’t resist. Be sure to check out some of our previous La Aurora reviews as well, such as the 107, 100 Anos, Broadway Series, or the 1495 Connecticut. The weather here in Toronto is wacky as usual. It’s gone super hot and dry back down to very cold and damp all within a couple days. At least it was some nice cigar smoking weather while it lasted so I sat down with this cigar and prepared for a long review session. Let’s see how it went…

Cigar: La Aurora Cameroon
Drink: Waterloo Brewery Dark Ale
Vitola: Doble Corona (7.5 x 50)
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano and Nicaraguan Olor
Price: $3.50
Burn Time: 2 hours

Construction:
• This cigars wrapper has an interesting dark cinnamon color with specks of a darker brown here and there
• It has a velvety touch to it and a bit of toothiness
• There are some major veins running down the side of the cigar but I’m hoping they don’t cause any major issues
• The foot of this cigar was well packed, and given it’s size that kind of worried me that it would be a tight draw
• Given the length of this cigar, I’m amazed at how even the diameter is from start to finish, very well made
• The head of the cigar is finished with a slightly messy double cap, a few folds can easily be seen
• For the most part, the length of the cigar has a soft spring to it, but I did notice one very firm part about an inch above the foot
• The cap clipped off easily and made a slight mess in the ashtray
• Draw is perfect! I’m amazed because I usually have bad luck with large vitolas

Burn:
• Toasting took a bit longer than usual and even after 30 seconds with my large culinary torch I couldn’t get it glowing properly but I started smoking it anyway
• As expected, my poor toasting led me to require a retouch within the first inch
• After that first touch up, the burn was been excellent up to the halfway mark here
• As I make my way into the last third, still no burn issues and continuing along fairly razor sharp

Smoke & Ash:
• This thing is producing a ton of smoke, each draw fills my mouth completely and with ease
• The resting smoke is still fairly full and gives off a nice sweet woodsy aroma
• The ash on the La Aurora is nothing pretty, it has some light and dark grey tones and is fairly flaky through the first inch
• The ash lasted just over an inch before I tapped it off because it was flaking and looked like it was snowing every time I moved the cigar
• The second ash was a little less flaky and held on for nearly two inches, this was also the part of the cigar that was a little firmer and could explain the difference

Tasting Notes:
• Wrapper aroma gives off a light sweetness and earthy aroma
• The pre-light draw is woodsy and earthy with a touch of spice on the lips
• Initial draws bring earthy and woodsy flavors mixed with a bit of coffee, a nice start
• As the cigar progresses, I’m picking up some sweetness here and there, almost like some sugar was added to the coffee flavor
• Cigar has been mostly mild through the first bit
• Approaching the halfway mark, the sweet coffee notes are becoming more prominent and I’m getting some raw cinnamon notes in there too, the earthy and woodsy flavors are still there but are more in the backseat now.
• The retrohale is very smooth with a small bit and a roasted coffee finish
• As I get into the last third stretch, the coffee has developed very nicely into a roasted coffee flavor, the sweetness and raw cinnamon still remains
• The finish at this point has turned super creamy as well, a very tasty touch!
• The intense sweet coffee and cinnamon flavors continued to the end, with some added roasted cedar. Although the last half didn’t change much it was still very enjoyable
• The retrohale developed a stronger kick to the end, still tasty and not overpowering
• The body also developed towards the end of the cigar, coming in at a comfortable medium

Final Thoughts:
Let me start by saying I was very impressed by the overall construction of this cigar. I always tend to have burn or draw issues when it comes to very large vitolas, especially ones that are well priced. This cigar hit those marks with flying colors offering a perfect draw and great burn. The flavors were also extremely enjoyable and offered a bit of dimensionality to keep it interesting. This cigar is still larger than what I would normally smoke and I think it would be even better in a smaller vitola. I also found through some searching that these are commonly offered as “Factory Seconds” at some retailers with this huge vitola selling for under $2! That’s just crazy good! Even the normal retail of this massive vitola is under $4, that’s a hard price to ignore for such a good cigar. These will definitely be part of my regular rotation at this price and I would highly recommend you seek them out.

Pairings:
For today’s I went with a trusty brew that I always have on hand. It’s from Waterloo Breweries located only about an hour from my house and it’s their Dark Ale offering. Their Dark Ale is surprisingly light and refreshing but offers the great notes of roasted hops and a slight bitterness mixed with a mild fruity and malty flavor. The La Aurora Cameroon is a fairly mild stick so this brew fit it well with it’s crispness. The bitterness and mild fruits paired excellently and accented to roasted and sweet notes of the cigar. I think an IPA or Amber lager would also pair well here. The flavors of the cigar could also compliment a nice coffee.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

9 Comments

  1. Cigar Inspector

    May 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I was impressed with the draw on this cigar and the amount of smoke each draw produced. The flavors just got better and better as the smoke progressed too!

  2. Jay

    June 2, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Daniel,
    Good review. Never smoked this specific La Aurora specimen. Vitola is way too large and not something that I would normally buy. I need to look for some coronas and smoke couple. Thanks !

  3. jjo

    June 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Great review, Daniel. I’ve looked past these, because I assumed they would just be a pedestrian smoke. Just goes to show that I need to try things before passing judgement.

    Dammit! Now I’m going to have to try these out, at least in a smaller size. Good thing CI has them at closeout pricing. Looks like another one to add to the morning rotation.

  4. Dalamscius

    June 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    @Cigar Inspector – Agree completely there, and you just can’t go wrong at these prices.

    @Jay – Thanks bud! These are definitely overlooked since they came out long before La Aurora picked up all the steam and popularity it now has. Check em out and let me know what you think!

    @jjo – Thanks! I overlooked them quite a few times as well but not anymore. Definitely an underrated stick. The price CI has on these is insane! Grab a few and let me know how they smoke!

  5. jjo

    June 8, 2011 at 3:25 am

    OK, Daniel. I’m going for the 2nds in the corona size (5.2″ X 43). $17.95 for a bundle of 15, and free shipping. No more excuses at that price. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Dalamscius

    June 8, 2011 at 7:07 am

    That’s awesome jjo! and that price is sweet! I expect a full report once you get them! 😀

  7. jjo

    June 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    OK, but be careful what you wish for! LOL

  8. jjo

    July 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Daniel,

    Sorry for the delay in updating you on this, but I wanted to be sure that I gave these a fair shake.

    I got the 2nds about 3-1/2 weeks ago, and tried one after a couple of days in the humidor. I haven’t had the regular Cameroons, but I would venture to guess that the 2nds do not get the same TLC and aging. That first one seemed a little green and harsh and the draw tightened up about half-way through.

    I’m now on the fifth one 3 weeks later, and what a difference the extra time in the humidor makes! Much smoother, the sweetness comes out more readily, and the draw with a punch cut – this is the corona size vitola – is great. I haven’t picked up on very much of the sweet coffee flavors that you did, but maybe the difference in size (or my admittedly jaded taste buds) would account for that. Funny thing is that it seems to go better with a light ale than coffee, although I haven’t tried that for a couple of weeks.

    Would I buy more? Hell, yes. I’d just be sure to put them away for at least a month or so before smoking them.

    Thanks again for the heads up on these. You guys do a great service for all of us out here!

  9. Dalamscius

    July 6, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Thanks for the great write up jjo! I had these sticks in the humi for a few months before I smoked one. Not on purpose, it just happened that way! lol
    Sounds like you found yourself a tasty smoke at a super low price point! These are getting harder and harder to find lately so I’m glad I was able to help!
    Enjoy the rest of the box Jeff!

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