La Aurora 100 Anos
Just like Tony, I’m NOT Slacking this week! haha! And not only am I not slacking, but I decided to pick up a special stick to review for today. On the edge of my ashtray and ready to be lit is a Limited Edition cigar coming from the La Aurora factory, the 100 Anos (or Cien Anos).
Today we also have a special appearance from a great BOTL known as JerseyJay (Jay L.). Jay has recently launched a very unique and interesting cigar blog centering on Cigar Photography. Please check it out over at CigarPhoto.net. He takes some amazing and unique shots of cigars like none other on the web! We also have two photo’s from him included in today’s review. Everyone make sure to check out Jay’s blog and leave him a comment about how great his photos are!
This cigar was created and released to mark the special 100 year anniversary of the La Aurora factory in Dominican Republic. And in proper form, La Aurora decided to make this a Dominican Puro, meaning all the tobacco contained in this cigar comes only from the Dominican Republic. The 100 year anniversary was celebrated in 2003 and that’s when this cigar was first released. The limited production ran for 3 years and ended with the production of the Lancero vitola. Other vitolas that were available included a No. 4, Robusto, Belicoso and Churchill. Although no longer produced, some resourceful searchers can still find stock of these cigars in some B&Ms and online sites.
One thing I’d like to point out is that although this was a limited release it was also widely available and large number of sticks were produced. This is a unique quality for a special edition cigar as you can see some brands producing limited cigars that are extremely hard to track down and produced in very small quantities. The wrapper was aged a minimum of 4 years, and amazingly the Piloto Cubano and Domican Corojo filler has been aged since 1996!
La Aurora has produced a lot of top quality stick in it’s long history. I’ve said this before but that track record can be both a curse or a blessing. When I pick up a La Aurora stick I’m expecting an excellent smoking experience every time because of their history and my expectations are likely even higher because of the limited and special edition tags attached to this cigar. I’ve had the chance to enjoy these cigars in the past and am choosing to sit down with the Robusto vitola tonight to give you my opinion.
Cigar: La Aurora 100 Anos
Drink: Quinta do Todo Fine Tawny Port
Vitola: Robusto (5 x 50)
Filler: Dominican Corojo, Piloto Cubano
Price: About $12
Burn Time: 1.5 hours
• A gorgeously shiny cinnamon brown wrapper surrounds this cigar
• From head to foot, the cigar is evenly round and is fairly firm but still offers a bit of spring
• There are no pronounced veins on the wrapper, only some smaller ones
• The foot appears to be very well packed with evenly colored tobacco
• The triple cap is finished cleanly and evenly
• The band adorns itself with the signature Lion of La Aurora and also has a second band beneath it which individually numbers each cigar produced (See second image from the top)
• The cut was firm but very clean with my double-bladed guillotine
• Draw is spot-on with just enough resistance to make it interesting
• Torching proved to be a long affair, have some patience with this cigar to get it toasted evenly
• The burn started off very wavy and one side burned incredibly fast
• The cigar seems to be burning out a bit so I’m having to give it a few extra draws now and then
• Despite a scary start the cigar actually corrected itself amazingly and I’m not needing to draw as many times to keep it lit
• A couple minor touch-ups were needed past the halfway mark but they didn’t affect the flavor as much as I would have expected
Smoke & Ash:
• A big mouthful of smoke right from the first draw
• Resting smoke is apparent but not over-powering and is giving off just a slight burning cedar aroma
• The is ash is fairly clean and compact, so far holding steady into the first inch
• The color is fairly odd with some parts being a bright white and others an almost dark black, likely due to the odd burn at the start
• First ash lasted about 1.5 inches before I tapped it off, despite looking a little weak at that point it still took some effort to tap it off so it’s a nice strong ash
• The wrapper aroma gives off an interesting tart-like spice along with a nice cedar
• The aroma on the foot brings nutmeg and cloves to the mix along with a touch of espresso and cedar
• Pre-light draw is dominated by cedar with some nice hints of clove and nutmeg spice
• Initial draws are full of cedar flavors and accented by more spices including nutmeg, cloves and a touch of pepper
• The retrohale is fairly mild so far with no bite and a creamy cedar finish
• Body has been just below medium for the first third but it has been very well balanced with a smooth and creamy finish on each draw
• Getting a touch of leather into the mix at the end of the first 3rd
• I need to stress how well everything is balancing and taking turns being the prominent flavor here
• Despite this cigar being wrapped and filled with Corojo leaves, it’s so smooth and balanced that it’s barely feeling like a medium bodied cigar
• Some earthy and coffee notes are sneaking in near the halfway mark
• As the cigar progresses the body is building a bit more and the coffee and spice notes are developing very nicely
• The spice and body of the Corojo is becoming more apparent in the last third but it’s still well balanced and super smooth
• The espresso and clove flavors developed the most near the nub of the cigar and are balancing nicely with a smooth cedar finish
• Body definitely ramped up near the end, but the smoothness and balance kept it from being overpowering.
This is a cigar that is definitely worthy of celebrating 100 great years of making great cigars. Despite some burn issues here and there the flavors never disappointed and kept changing. From the initial draws straight to the nub the flavors kept changing and keeping each draw interesting. The key that made this cigar so enjoyable with the smooth and balanced profile it provided from start to finish. It clearly had some body but it never came through as over-powering. The price is a little high but when you factor in tobacco that has been aged since 1996 it’s easy to see that it’s more than justifiable and the flavors only proved to make the price worthwhile. I would highly recommend picking up a few of these cigars, if not a whole box to enjoy!
Here’s another great shot by Jay from CigarPhoto.net
Yes I know, you’ve seen this pairing quite a few times lately. I promise both bottles are now finished and you won’t see it again! lol. As I’ve mentioned in my other reviews including this Port (Monte Pascoal, Miraculous Templar or G.A.R.), it is a fairly fruity and easy drinking pairing that can be enjoyed by anyone, even those new to Port wines. I found the fruity notes to pair very well here although I think a bolder Port would have paired even nicer. I think the higher sugar content in the Port helped fend off any nicotine kick I might have gotten from this cigar. Other pairings here that would serve well include a nice Scotch, strong coffee or a dark porter/stout.