Friday, April 30, 2010

La Aurora Serie 107 Review

Size: 4 ½ “ X 50
Shape: Robusto
Origin: Dominican Republic
Body: Medium - Full
Wrapper: Equador
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan

Yesterday, I took my seat by the window and, noticing how gorgeous it was outside, decided that it was a day to celebrate. Picking up the cigar for the day, the La Aurora 107 Anniversario, I knew what I’d be celebrating: the 107th anniversary of La Aurora.

This cigar has a lovely equadoran wrapper with consistent color and an oily sheen. Passing the stick under my nose reveals cedar notes with an underlying creaminess that hints at a delicious blend. After cutting the head off with my guillotine (feels very French revolution, non?), I gently drew through the cigar, revealing an underlying peaty quality and some body, which surprised and excited me. I’m accustomed to La Aurora cigars being mild and flavorful. The promise of a La Aurora with some body filled me with anticipation!

The first light was full of oak and cedar notes which carried through to the end. There was a subtle nuttiness that joined the profile early thereafter but the nuttiness came and went as it pleased. At this early stage, the smoke was thick and creamy, providing some spice on the palate and through the nose. The spice in the profile reminded me of perique, a rare and high quality leaf from St. James Parish in Louisiana, primarily used in pipe tobacco. This was a very nice start to say the least.

Throughout the remainder of the stick, the flavor profile remained consistent, but what was surprising is that this La Aurora really does have some body! About half way through the smoke, I became a little light headed, which was surprising, considering my experience with La Aurora. It should be mentioned that I always smoke before I research so I can be as objective as possible with each stick and I didn’t know before I lit up that this guy was supposed to be medium to full. This was a very pleasant surprise.

The body of the cigar continued to pick up through the end, but the intensity only increased in small increments after the initial revving half way through.

I was also very impressed with the construction of this cigar, specifically in reference to the ash. The ash held on very firmly for a the majority of the smoke, finally letting go with only a quarter of the stick remaining, and even then only because I gave it a firm tap over my ash tray. Very nice indeed.

I honestly enjoyed this smoke. There was a lot of thick creamy smoke which became chewy about half way through when the body revved up. The flavor profile was full of sweet oak, cedar, and spice and remained consistent to the end, never becoming bitter or unpleasant. This cigar was a great way to spend a day in celebration. Happy anniversario, La Aurora. And thanks for the gift.

Presentation: 8/10 – Classic La Aurora band showcasing the emblem of La Aurora, the male lion with full mane. Very attractive and elegant.

Appearance: 10/10 – The equadoran wrapper was lovely and oily with no blemished, spots, patches, tears, or holes. Very nice.

Construction: 35/40 – Very good construction overall. The cigar was dense but provided an open draw. I noticed a knot towards the head, but it didn’t prove to be problematic.
Burn: 18/20 – The burn was angled throughout the entirety of the smoke, but it remained consistent and didn’t require any touch ups until just before the end after the ash let go. The 107 gets 3 bonus points for exhibiting its fine construction with an ash that wound up being three times longer than the nub before it finally released its hold.
Draw: 17/20 – The draw was open, allowing me to enjoy the experience without having to work for it.

Flavor: 35/40 – The flavor of the cigar was very nice and straight forward, providing me with excellent pure flavors that I expect from La Aurora with a body that was delightful and surprisingly medium to full. The smoke was consistent and delicious throughout, but the profile was relatively uneventful.

Overall: 88/100 – I enjoyed this cigar and got several delightful surprises from it. I really liked the sweet and spicy oak and cedar notes which were present throughout the smoke, the open draw, and solid construction. This is a cigar that I would recommend to mild to medium fans who are interested in trying something with a bit more body, as well as to those who enjoy a fuller body as well as delicious wood notes in their smoke.

A note on the La Aurora Factory:

From the La Aurora website: ”La Aurora is the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic, founded in 1903 by Don Eduardo León Jimenes, son of a family dedicated to the harvesting of tobacco. It all began in a modest place, on the outskirts of Santiago de los Caballeros, where Don Eduardo implemented his own technique for rolling cigars, one which has prevailed over time. Later, in 1912, at the suggestion of his brother Herminio, the factory was moved to the flourishing city of Santiago, and has continued expanding to the present day.”

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