February 13, 2012

Cigar Review: La Aurora 100 Años Preferidos

100 Años
In 2003 La Aurora was celebrating its 100th birthday as a factory/company. The company was founded by Don Eduardo León Jimenes in 1903, and to honor the company and his family, the 5th generation owner Don Guillermo León Herbert, who still owns the company to this day, launched the La Aurora 100 Años. The cigar was to be limited to four vitolas, a Robusto, Corona, Belicoso and Churchill, and limited to 400,000 cigars. The release of these cigars was scattered over the years from 2004 to 2006, but a majority of the cigars were rolled in the Belicoso vitola. The cigars were masterpieces, and I personally enjoyed the Robusto and Belicoso vitolas often. I actually still have a hand full of the Belicoso's in my humidor, but I doubt I will smoke them or even review them.

Eventually the cigars were no longer available, and La Aurora announced that they would be launching the line once again in the Preferidos vitola. The La Aurora 100 Años Preferido would be limited to roughly 12,500 cigars, and would be released in early 2009. The Preferidos vitola, is one of the most unique vitolas on the market, and it often goes hand in hand with a cigar by La Aurora. Later in that year, La Aurora announced that they would be extending the release beyond the Preferidos vitola, and the cigar was going to be launched in the Lancero vitola, also very limited, roughly 20,000 cigars. The cigars would be of a slightly different blend than the original releases, but would still be Dominican puros. They still blended the cigars similarly, but the tobacco was of different vintages, so there were some differences. Either way, the the band is still the same on the cigar, except for the extra band representing what cigar number you are smoking, and I love the La Aurora Lion with that beautiful sunset behind it.    

The preferido is beautiful in hand, and it is hard not to be impressed with a cigar that is rolled in this fashion. The cigar measures 6" in length, and at the center of the cigar the ring gauge is a 58. Obviously it decreases in any direction from that, but at the largest point the ring gauge is fairly large. The cigar is similar to the original line in the sense that it is a Dominican puro, but it is not identical in the sense that the tobacco is the same. The filler and binder are still all Dominican tobacco, and the wrapper is Dominican Corojo, but the tobacco comes from different vintages. The cigar is firm in hand, and has a nice toothy appearance to it. There are very few veins present in the wrapper, and it has a coloring that is a combination of red clay and sand. It is most definitely a Colorado wrapper in terms of the coloring, and once I cut the cigar there is a nice cold draw to it. The aroma of the cigar is that of hay, wood, leather, sweet earth, floral and spice notes.
Dominican Corojo Wrapper
As I light up the first third I am immediately greeted with those flavors from the wrapper. Because of how the cigar is rolled you begin by getting a lot of wrapper notes, then a lot of fillers notes, then back to those wrapper notes. I am getting those nice dry and spicy Corojo flavors, and there is a bit of leather, wood, hay and floral notes present. It is different from the original line in the sense that the cigar is not as rich, rather dry, but still very flavorful. The preferido has a great burn line to it, practically razor sharp, and the ash has a great conical shape while remaining a dark gray in terms of coloring. The strength of the cigar is between medium and full for me, probably closer to full, and very enjoyable.

I am in the second third of the cigar now, and I am beginning to get a lot more flavors from the filler tobacco rather than predominantly wrapper flavors. The cigar has become more rich and earth in this third, slightly sweet, and it is fairly similar to the original release of this fabulous line. There are still a lot of spice notes, and I am also getting some wood and leather notes. It is not as dry as it was in the first third, and there is a lush finish to the cigar. The burn line was perfect in this third, and because of the size of the cigar I am still holding on to the ash from the first third, and I am half way through the cigar. The cigar is still drawing cool and producing a good amount of smoke for rings, and I would say the strength of the cigar is more medium in body right now.

As I find the cigar getting smaller and smaller, I am beginning to pick up those dominant wrapper flavors again. The rich and sweet notes have subsided, and there is a resurrection of hay and floral notes. The wood and leather notes are still very strong, and so are the spice notes. The cigar is definitely full bodied in this final third, and I am loving the finish that this cigar is giving off. The ash had fallen shortly after the halfway point of the cigar, but the final third ash is still on the cigar, and the burn line is razor sharp. As I smoke the cigar down to the tapered head the draw is still pleasant and cool, and I put the cigar down when there is very little for me to smoke and I am burning my fingers.    

This was a terrific cigar, and I wouldn’t expect anything other than that when you give the cigar the name 100 Años. I really loved the flavors in each third of the cigar, and it was great to see the preferido flavor change profile with this cigar. The blend is different from the original line, but it still captures those great Dominican flavors profiles, and the great Dominican Corojo flavor profile. I wouldn't say this cigar is better than the Belicoso vitola in the original line, but I thoroughly enjoyed this cigar. Why I have not picked up more of these since they were released in 2009 I do not know, but the time is upon me and I am definitely going to act. The cigar will perform consistently from cigar to cigar, and you will have no troubles in terms of construction. The flavor profile will definitely captivate more towards certain smokers, but I absolutely loved it. I give this cigar a 95, and it is probably tied for current favorite cigar. Job well done La Aurora, and Happy 109th birthday!   
100 Años Preferidos
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