Cigar Review: Fernando León Family Reserve Corona Gorda by La Aurora

Fernando León Family Reserve

In 2009 the great Fernando León passed away. For years he was head of La Aurora, and while at the head of the company there was a cigar that was made only for him, and available in only one vitola. This was a cigar he only shared with family and close friends, and it was discovered to “the masses” when he held a cigar event at Cigar Inn in New York City. When his son took control of La Aurora, Guillermo that is, in 2011 he began the quest of producing that cigar for the national market in honor of his father. The cigar was shown at the 2012 IPCPR, and is now available. I have read that it is not suppose to launch until an event at Cigar Inn in October, but I got them so I don’t know what is up with that. 

The cigar is going to be available in five vitolas, and one of them being the same vitola that was made specifically for Fernando. The cigar features predominantly Dominican tobacco, but like most  La Aurora smokes, takes incredible tobacco from regions throughout the world as well. We begin with a Dominican Corojo wrapper, and we have seen  La Aurora do wonders with this wrapper on such cigars as the Cien Años. Under that is a Dominican binder that is also Corojo, and fillers from the Dominican  Brazil and Peru. I am a big fan of Peruvian tobacco, and I really began to show a lot of interest when the form blogger Barry Stein discussed it. Barry by the way is now with Miami Cigar & Company who handles distribution for  La Aurora. The wrapper has a true rustic feel to it, and has a great Colorado coloring. At the foot of the cigar I am getting a nice aroma of cedar, hay, grass, lemon peel, sweet spices and it has this comforting aroma to it. There are some minor veins present on the cigar, and it is also slightly oily to touch. For this review I went with the Corona Gorda vitola, and the cigar measures 6″with a 47 ring gauge.        

Dominican Corojo

Lighting up the cigar, the initial puffs show a unique and reminiscent flavor profile. There is this grassy, coffee and lemon peel flavor profile. It remains like this for a little while, and then it begins to show some great cedar notes with a nice bit of spices present with that. The spices show some natural sweetness to it, and it is very sugar cane like. I am getting some lemongrass notes, and it has a lovely finish. In the first third of the cigar I had a lovely burn, and it was producing a solid charcoal colored ash. There was a good amount of smoke with each draw, and it was a cool and flavorful draw. I would say the strength level of the cigar was slightly over the medium body level, and between medium and medium full in body. The first third is really reminiscent to some great cigars I have had in the past, and it has a lovely Dominican and Cuban quality to it. In the second third of the cigar the flavors have toned down some, and that spicy flavor profile from the beginning has toned down a bit. I am getting a stronger presence in cedar notes, and there is this lovely seasoned wood and dry earth flavor. I am still picking up some lemongrass notes, and with that those lemon peel, grass and hay flavors. Continuing with the great smoking characteristics from the first third, the second third still showed a lovely charcoal colored ash on the cigar, and it still produced a great amount of smoke. Each draw was very cool, and with that a lovely flavor profile. You can really pick up the Peruvian and Dominican Corojo tobacco flavor with the cigar, and it is a lovely blend. I am still saying that the cigar is between medium and medium full in body, and it is a cigar that has a strength presence, but it showing more flavors.

Lovely ash and burn line

As I come to a close, the final third is really rocking in terms of flavors. There is still that great amount of hay, grass, cedar, lemongrass and coffee flavor profile, but the spices really have faded away. It is giving off this summer afternoon in the country vibe to it, and that is old school in my opinion. There is a nice bit of barnyard flavors present in the end, and the cigar remains like this to the nub. The final third of the cigar is still showing those great qualities from before, and this cigar was constructed wonderfully. I really shouldn’t be surprised with this though because La Aurora always does an incredible job with construction. I loved the strength level that the cigar was getting off as well because it really wasn’t there to grab attention, but to provide a slight bit of backbone to all the flavors. Smoking the cigar towards the nub it remained cool, and of course very flavorful.

This cigar really captured those great La Aurora Dominican flavors, and it also had this great Cubanesque quality to it. I loved that it had this dry, spicy and warm flavor profile to it, and it left this old school cigar impression with me. It almost seemed like a blend between a Cuban Cohiba and Bolivar in my opinion, and that might be one of the reasons why I really loved it. The cigar definitely pays a wonderful tribute to  Fernando León, and I believe this cigar will do well in the US market, and incredibly well if it were to hit the European market. In terms of construction the cigar was top notch, and the flavors were always in abundance as well. This was a great example of La Aurora sticking to its roots, but at the same time releasing a cigar for today’s smokers. I give this cigar a 92, and with the Guillermo León Signature Series, I found the two La Aurora smokes I will enjoy often.

Corona Gorda
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