November 8, 2011

Cigar Review: Guillermo León (Belicoso)

Guillermo Leon Belicoso
When reviewing a cigar, one of the best things about the review is talking about the history of the cigar, and the company. La Aurora is the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic, and was founded by Don Eduardo León Jimenes in 1903. The company has always been family run, and is now run by the founders great-grandson Don Guillermo León Herbert. La Aurora is the cigar side of the company, and is a part of the mother company Grupo León Jimenes. They are known to produce beers and cigarettes, most notably Presidente beer and Marlboro cigarettes. The company La Aurora has always utilized Dominican tobacco, but has also used tobacco from many other regions throughout Central and Southern America. One thing that La Aurora Cigars is known for, is their preferido vitola. They still makes cigars in the shape of torpedoes, and that was once the popular size. The company has made successful cigars such as the Cien Años, the 1495, the Preferidos, the Puro Vintage and the 107. These cigars have all been pronominal, and I have always loved them, but I found my favorite of their cigars in one of their newest line Guillermo León.  

Launched in 2010 at the IPCPR, Guillermo León was a tremendous hit. The cigar was launched to honor  León's Family, and was aimed to be a cigar that was stronger than their regular production, but very flavorful as well. The cigar is packed with tons of different types of tobacco, eight to be precise, and it is from great regions as well. The cigar begins with a beautiful wrapper that is Ecuadorian Habano Vuetta Arriba. The binder is actually two binders, and is composed of Dominican Corojo and Cameroon leaves. Finally,we are at the filler, and it is composed of tobacco from Peru, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Nicaragua. With all of this tobacco the cigar is going to be very difficult to make, but when blended perfectly, you will get tons of great flavors. Using so many different types of leaves is very difficult for the bunchers, and it takes a lot of time as well.

The cigar has a beautiful reddish brown wrapper, that is definitely Colorado in coloring. There are some veins present in the cigar, but it is very oily and silky. When I hold the foot of the cigar to my nose I get lovely notes of rich earth, leather, stone fruit and chocolate, and it is absolutely amazing.The cigar is rolled beautiful with a great tapered head and very firm to touch.  I really love the Belicoso vitola in this line, and it is probably my second favorite after the Corona Gorda vitola. I know the robusto was recently launched with this line, and what a great addition it has also been. Every one of these cigars I have smoked has been beautiful and possessed a unique and pleasant aroma.
Belicoso
Upon lighting, and getting some way into the first third I am hit with an abundance of flavors. The cigar has nice bit of sweet and rich earth to it, and it pairs nicely with bits of coffee and oak. There are also flavors that really remind me of panetone in this cigar, and there is that raisin and stone fruit flavor there. There is a nice bit of spice with the cigar, and it is of anise, cinnamon and cloves. The first third is truly amazing, and it is smoking great. The burn line on the cigar is razor sharp, and I am also getting a nice aroma with this solid medium bodied smoke.

The second third is just as amazing as the first third. All the flavors that I was picking up before are still present, and the cigar is incredibly complex. I would say the flavors are still very similar, but some have become more prominent than others. There is an emergence of milk chocolate in this third, and the flavors of coffee and oak have become more pronounced. It has a nice sweet spice finish to it, and  it is paired with those fruit bread flavors. The cigar is smoking at a solid medium, and like the first third the burn is perfect. I am getting a lovely light gray ash on this cigar, and the smoke is very thin.

I am in the final third now, and I do not want this cigar to finish. Throughout this whole smoke the flavors have just been incredible and the strength has been perfect. I know people typically prefer full bodied cigars, but I find that if it is mild or medium I don't care as long as it has tons of flavors. When you have a cigar that is showing you rich and sweet notes such as chocolate, earth, stone fruits and bread, you are getting a cigar packed with flavors. But this cigar has all those plus more. It give you a  little sweetness and then gives you some more neutral and spicier notes such as leather, oak, anise, cloves and cinnamon. This is a very complex cigar, that is just stellar. I smoke the cigar all the way to the nub and it is cool the whole way through. The burn line is immaculate throughout, and this is a cigar that makes you want more.  

This was a phenomenal cigar, and easily worthy of 94 points. The cigar is gorgeous to look at to begin with, and when you begin to smoke it you get tons of amazing flavors. This is one of my favorite lines on the market, and though I am partial to the corona gorda vitola, this belicoso is just as amazing. I love the complexity in this cigar, and all the amazing flavors you get from it while it remains medium in body. I think this is a great cigar anytime of the day, but due to all the flavors you get, I think it would overpower any other cigar in terms of complexity. I find myself smoking these at the end of the day as my last smoke most often,but occasionally I have them early on in the day. I will say that I really have to cleanse my palate for the next smoke if I have it earlier on, but that is a great thing. If you haven't tried these you really should, it will give you a whole new outlook on La Aurora Cigars. Truly an amazing cigar, and worthy of Top 25.  
Beautiful Wrapper

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