May 3, 2012

Cigar Review: La Aurora Cameroon Belicoso

La Aurora
When I think of Cameroon wrapper and cigars, I think of La Aurora. Heck, when I think of Dominican Cigars I think of Cameroon wrappers. I know a lot of companies use the wrapper, not as many as there use to be, but I truly think Cameroon and La Aurora go side by side. While they have had several lines with a Cameroon wrapper, the La Aurora Cameroon is a line that has been around for who knows how long, and has featured that delicate and flavorful wrapper. I talked about the Cameroon wrapper before, but I am going to talk about it again because it is a wrapper that has a great history and interesting story of information. You might now know this, but the Cameroon leaf is one of the most difficult tobacco leaves to work with, and there are several reasons for that; but first let us talk about Cameroon tobacco.

Cameroon!
Tobacco grown in Cameroon is actually Sumatra seed, which is the same type of seed that is grown in Indonesia or Ecuador. The name Cameroon merely comes from the country in which the tobacco is grown, Cameroon. The tobacco grown there is very thing to begin with, and because of this, it makes it very difficult to work with. It takes some time for the fermentation process with Cameroon wrappers, and because the leaf is so thin and delicate, many leaves can be damaged along the way. With that being said, Cameroon tobacco is very expensive, and for a long time was much more popular than it is now a days. Many makers, once they left Cuba, began making cigars with Cameroon wrappers because of the wonderful flavors they possess, and some considered it a better wrapper than that of Cuba's. Obviously the Fuente Family uses the wrapper a lot, but you also see it with a lot of General Cigars, and saw it with a lot of Perdomo Cigars and even Torano Cigars has the 1916 Cameroon.

While the La Aurora Cameroon has been out for several years, it is recently that the blend has been changed and improved. Obviously it still features that great Cameroon wrapper, but the change was in the filler blend. With a filler blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco, the blenders modified the cigar to make it somewhat stronger and in the process more flavorful. I forgot to mention that the binder is Nicaraguan, but then again I just did. Like all of the cigars by La Aurora, the cigar is made in their Dominican factory, which is also the oldest in the Dominican Republic. For this review I chose the Belicoso vitola, and I did so because I wanted to get a little bit more flavor from the filler tobacco, but at the same time I did not want to smoke their Short Robusto which is not my preferred size. The Belicoso measures 6.35" and has a ring gauge of 52. Like most Cameroon wrappers, the wrapper is very toothy, and has a nice light oily sheen to it. There are some veins present in the wrapper, and it has a lovely coloring of Natural Brown to it. Holding the wrapper and foot of the cigar to my nose I get aromas of wood, nuts, soft spices and some sweetness as well.

I light up the beautiful Belicoso and I am immediately greeted with those standard Cameroon flavors. I am getting this light and natural sweetness to the cigar, and it is also showing some woody notes, mostly cedar, along with some nutty characteristics and a soft spicy finish. It's really showing this lovely soft start to a cigar, and along with the subtle but enjoyable flavors there is a strength level that is slightly about mild in character. I would say it is somewhat close to being between mild and medium in body. In terms of construction the cigar is burning wonderfully, solid burn line, and it is leaving a nice light gray ash that is holding on to the cigar firmly.
Better photo of the Cameroon wrapper
Entering the second third of the cigar I find that it is increasing in every department. The flavor profile is becoming more and more complex, and there is a nice rise in a flavor profile of toast, hay and some grassy characteristics. There is still that core flavor profile of sweet cedar, nuts and soft spices, and I really love the second third. The cigar is still performing well in terms of construction, and it is showing that perfect burn line with that solid light gray ash. Along with the flavor profile increasing, I find that the strength of the cigar is increasing as well, and I would say the cigar is approaching that medium body characteristic. Overall this cigar is going down the right direction, and I don't even think I have hit the sweet spot yet.

In the final third of the cigar now, and it is now that I am seeing the true greatness of this cigar. While in the second third I saw a rise in toasty notes, there was a nice addition of earthy qualities to this third, and it really is coming together as a cigar. With all the flavor present right now it is very complex, and does so without being overly full in terms of strength. Those hay and grass notes are softer in this third but still present, and the sweet cedar and nutty notes play off wonderfully with the toast and earthy qualities. The strength of the cigar has increased to a solid medium in this third, and it has a lovely finish with more depth than before. As to be expected the cigar burns perfectly all the way to the end and it has a lovely light gray ash even at the tapered nub. I enjoy this cigar till I am burning my fingers and lips, and even on the last draw it is cool and flavorful.  

I must say that the work they put into this cigar to re-blend it has really paid off. I always enjoyed the original version of the La Aurora Cameroon, but this new version is just more captivating overall. I found that the Double Corona vitolas were great at the beach or when you were working on something and your attention was elsewhere, but this new blend is a cigar that you want to pay attention to it. From the second you light up the cigar, both the strength and flavor profile increase. While it is never above medium in body, it does end stronger than it begins and can surprise you. The flavor profile was perfect for me when smoking a Cameroon wrapper, and this cigar is a smoke I would enjoy in the morning frequently. I give this cigar a 92, and it was probably one of the best Cameroon wrappers I have had since the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon.
Belicoso

Tweet

No comments:

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home