Photo via halfwheel.com
Released in 2010, these cigars are known as “ the cigars that Guillermo [Leon] smokes everyday”. Guillermo Leon being the owner of La Aurora cigars, a brand known as the leading cigar factory in the national Dominican market, with its brands are sold in more than sixty countries all around the world. This specific line is known for its complex blend with a dark Ecuadorian Habano Vuelta Arriba wrapper, two binders (Cameroon and Dominican Corojo), along with long-fillers from Peru, Brazil, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. I was given this cigar from a neighbor who had just recently traveled to the Dominican Republic, and we decided to try them with another neighbor one night around a fire pit. The cigar has a very nice aroma and the cold draw gave me strong hints of cedar and leather. I wet the cap and used a punch cut and then lightly toasted the cigar with my torch lighter before fully lighting. The draw was very easy, and produced a nice thick smoke.
First Third: Right off the bat there’s a nice black pepper taste, that is strong but not overpowering. I also got some notes of leather and cedar which blended very well with the pepper. The finish is not too long, the pepper flavor will stay for a little while but the other notes fade quickly.
Second Third: The black pepper flavor retreats nicely to the background and the leather and cedar flavors have come to the forefront. I also got a few nice puffs of cinnamon in this stage as well, but it was inconsistent. The construction is fair as the ash does not hold on for too long, but long enough to keep the cigar lit.
Final Third: Both myself and my neighbor noticed the flavor profile changed quite a bit in the final third. It got quite spicy and rather unpleasant for the both of us. It was a drastic change in flavor profile that was just so unexpected we both rejected it. The black pepper flavor came back, almost too strong, and there was a sour fruit taste that I was just not anticipating.
I had paired this with a sweet chocolate stout beer, which may have explained why the last third was such a change for me. Had I been drinking a citrusy IPA the flavors might have blended better together. (Writers Note: A couple weeks later I tried another of these cigars with a citrusy IPA and they did pair perfectly for that final third). The first two-thirds of the cigar did go together nicely with the stout however, as the sweetness of the beer went well with the first few hits of black pepper in the cigar, and especially well when I hit the few pockets of cinnamon.
I don’t want to call this a negative review, as I think it was more a case of user error than problems with the actual cigar. Looking it up after I had smoked it to see reviews like “bold” and “complex”, it’s no surprise that there was quite an array of flavors being thrown into one cigar. I would absolutely smoke it again at least once, and either not pair it at all or try it with something on the sour and citrus side like an IPA or a floral scotch. I hope you’ll use this review to give it a shot, as it was given a 92 rating from Cigar Aficionado. My overall takeaway is probably just do a little research before blindly pairing cigars with bold flavored drinks.
Mfr: La Aurora
Length: 6 in
Origin: Dominican Republic
Product: Guillermo Leon
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan,