Cigar Reviews

Guillermo Leon Belicoso

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It seems that lately I’m seeing La Aurora and Miami Cigars all over the place. There’s been quite a few top quality releases from them and I’ve been eagerly chasing them all down. They are making a big splash in the online community, especially with Twitter and their recent release of the La Aurora 107 Lancero to cigar stores that responded to them via twitter. It’s fantastic to see a company embracing new technologies and using them to their advantage.

The La Aurora factory has recently released this new line called Guillermo Leon. The Leon family business, Grupo Leon Jimenes, has been around for over 100 years and La Aurora is one of the many companies under its umbrella. Guillermo had his hand in creating this blend and was out to create something that is complex and a bit stronger then some of their other offerings but still brings lots of flavor to the table. The Guillermo Leon line is also the first cigar by La Aurora which is made with two binders.

The two binders in this cigar both have a specific purpose. The Cameroon binder offers a smooth sweet creaminess to the blend while the Dominican Corojo offers some spice and strength. The concept is interesting and I’m excited to see how they blend together as I smoke it. The Guillermo Leon line is currently available in Corona, Gran Corona, Belicoso and Gran Toro. They were recently released in mid-October 2010 and should be in your local shop already or arriving very soon. Today’s review will look at Belicoso vitola as I sit outside on a chilly afternoon.

Cigar: Guillermo Leon
Drink: Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Tawny Port (2005)
Vitola: Belicoso (6.25 x 52)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Vuetta Arriba
Binder: Cameroon & Dominican Corojo
Filler: Peru, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Nicaragua
Price: MSRP of about $8.50
Burn Time: 1.5 hours

Construction:
• A soft cinnamon brown colored wrapper holds this cigar together
• The wrapper has some bumpiness to as well as some medium sized veins, none appear to be a potential problem though
• The cigar is firm but springy and consistent the whole way through
• The foot appears fairly well packed but not overly filled
• The cap is amazingly clean, almost impossible to see unless you really examine it
• Cutting was easy and effortless, I started with a small cut and got plenty of draw, so make sure not to over-cut on this vitola
• Got a bit of tar build-up that I commonly see with tapered heads, I cut off a bit more and problem was solved. I think my initial cut was too small

Burn:
• Toasting was a bit slow but still produced a nice evenly glowing foot
• The burn started out by creating a bit of a peninsula but it quickly corrected itself without my help
• Past the half-way mark and I’ve had no issues with the burn
• The cigar stayed lit with very little effort and allowed me to enjoy slowly
• A couple minor corrections were needed near the end

Smoke & Ash:
• First few draws are producing a ton of smoke
• The cigar gives off a moderate amount of resting smoke which gives off a nice cedar aroma
• Ash is a bit wavy and rigid but appears fairly strong
• The color of the ash is a bit on the darker side, leaving alternating lines of light and dark grey
• Ash held on just past an inch before being gently tapped off into the ashtray
• This cigar was a smoke machine the whole way through, never letting down and always producing a nice aroma

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper has a soft cedar aroma on it, very light and pleasant
• The foot has more cedar aroma but is complimented but a fruity sweetness and a touch of spice
• The pre-light draw brings a mixture of interesting spices, I’m getting some pepper, nutmeg and a bit of cloves paired with a smooth cedar
• Initial draws bring more cedar, the same interesting spice mix and now I’m getting a flavor of freshly baked bread, starting out great so far
• The spices are slowly settling down and balancing nicely with the cedar and toasted bread flavors
• The body started in the low end of the medium range and is holding steady so far
• Retrohale is very smooth, there is no bite but has a great creamy finish
• As the cigar progresses near to the half way mark the creaminess from the Cameroon binder starts to become more apparent giving the cigar a very tasty finish
• Past the halfway mark and the spices are coming back a bit, mixing nicely with the new creaminess
• As the cigar progresses I can feel the body ramping up a bit but it’s so smooth you can almost barely tell
• The retrohale has developed a small bite now but still has that great smooth finish
• The flavors balanced excellent right up to the end giving a nice variety but blended into a smooth experience

Final Thoughts:
This cigar was right up my alley, it had a fantastic blend of flavors, body, construction, smoothness and balance. Even before you light it, the Guillermo Leon had a great aroma on it that just drew you right in. The cigar started off with a burst of various spices and the balanced out nicely with the cedar and toasted bread. The finish on this cigar never disappointed. It also never left my palate dry. The sweetness and creaminess from the Cameroon binder and the strength from the Corojo binder really showed through and I think they achieved their goal with this dual binder creation. I enjoyed every bit of this cigar and the flavors changed just enough to keep me interested the whole way through. The MSRP prices fall just below the $10 mark. Some people may see this as a bit high, especially when taxes are mixed in, but I think they are worth their cost. The body may be a bit much for a new smoker but are definitely worth a try. I will be looking for more of these, I’m especially interested in trying the corona vitola. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Pairings:
I’ve paired Tawny port with a variety of cigars and I always find it pairs best with something that has a bit of body and spice to it. This pairing didn’t disappoint at all. The berry, oaky and tart flavors of the Grahams Late Bottled Vintage Tawny Port from 2005 was just right. The price of the bottle is also very accessible and offers lots of flavors. This is a good starting point if you’re interested in trying out some Tawny Port. Some other good pairings would include scotch, coffee or a dark soda.

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

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