Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

11/18/15

La Aurora 107 - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
5:10pm
I had a heckuva day at the track today, gentlepersons.

THE CIGAR
La Aurora 107
Ecuador Habano wrapper
Dominican Republic binder
Dominican & Nicaraguan fillers
5 1/2 x 54 Toro
Compliments of Cigars City
PRELIGHT
Tight, even seams on a brick red undertoned dark caramel brown with low lights going as dark as Obscuro complected. There are prominent but not distressing veins and much spider veins, giving it a rustic look and hand-feel. As to the feel, its got a nice vibrant bit of oil which displays visually as a healthy sheen. Quite firmly and evenly packed. Tobacco peeks out from the foot to second that density in a rather red clay cocoa hue finished in matte. Upon close observation, there is a small divot of looser density at the foot.

The band is brilliantly tastefully garish. All gold leaf and lion head bordered in silver medallion. The red letters employed, echo that not subtlest of take.

As to schnozzing, there are not an abundance of notes at the shaft. Some saw dust and dry golden hay on a leathery tobacco back. Nibbling the well constructed cap, I get sawdust, hot cocoa powder mix on mute and distant but myriad sweet and hot spices. All on a medium+ draw.

LIGHT
Nutty oils on a leather backing are let loose on the toasting. Lights fine and willingly, to an even start. First hot pull is a leather note with very nice depth and a hint of brown sugar at end of draw to a developing finish. Second hot pull is retro-haled and leads with a black, then red pepper that's fairly high on the scale but still remaining pleasant. This fades quickly into leather/brown sugar notes. Dried flowers are added into the third hot pull and lighten the finish sans taking away from its sweetness.

Burn is ugly uneven, but I'll play the Waiting Game. Ash is pale grey to specks of near charcoal and seems to me laddering on in dense enough rungs. Burn-line is thin. Draw is medium+
ACT I
Brown sugar is moistening and maturing into a more molasses vibe. There is a sweet cedar that carries a hint of near citrus at the finish now. An earth note comes in now led by golden hay and a leather foreground develops.

Burn is coming even, burn-line remains thin. Draw stays put and foot-smoke is a pleasant light floral molasses on a leather backed tobacco.

Flavor-wise, cedar strengthens -- mainly on the finish where it is joined by a light honey and easy leather oil. Mouth-feel is nicely moist. Overall there is a pleasant mature sweetness with a nice sharpening via earth and leather primary notes.

Red peppers subdue on the retro-hale, but black peppers mainly stay. There's a bit of nuttiness there, as well -- a roasted walnut. Profile is a nicely balanced medium. I'd say the draw is a medium now, as well. Packing uniformly softens and construction holds perfectly. It seems the smoke output is gaining more floral notes off a very complicated cedar, and is quite nice with a medium+ to -full volume of white smoke.

At an inch of ash, I roll it off to inspect: quite dense with oily powder exterior and denser core. Some white pepper gets added to the immediate draw. Molasses gives way to an orange blossom honey. Interesting how that's developed and how quickly/delineated. Sweet hay, warm sunlit leather, a rich but not overly heavy tobacco, flowers, a milk chocolate, and a clarified butter hint. In that order. Finish is a amping up of butter in the background of leathery earth foreground and sweet cedar. Retro-hale is now a crisp sweet spice, sharpened by warmer red spices now including a bit of cayenne. Black pepper is goodbye.

ACT II
A nice milk chocolate powder whisper sets into the buttery mouth-feel and then becomes a part of the finish which is of medium+ length. White pepper comes in and out and cleanses. Primary notes remain a sunlit earth and leather. Earth and sweet hay to my tongue and leather to my palate.

Burn is almost even enough and burn-line is a comfy -medium.

At the half, a slight sour note plays off the slight citrus-like cedar and while not a white wine, is peasant enough but a tad drying as it cuts back the buttery mouth-feel. Moisture level in my smoke-hole is bordering on requiring a sip. The same is occurring on the retro-hale. Body then, is decreasing to a -medium, flavors at medium+ strength at medium. Call it a medium profile. Did you call it that? Excellent work. I agree.

Speaking of excellent work, all notes to construction hold as does an inch+ of pale to -medium grey ash. I roll it off to show it is unchanged. Coffee and milk chocolate notes rise as a sharper cedar gets introduced sans citrus cutting, as the third act looms.

ACT III
Flavors mature and dampen now, and the Nicaraguan influence is more apparent now. Coffee darkens, as does chocolate. Tobacco deepens and the burn slows. Black pepper returns to the retro-hale. All very nicely. Cedar is gone and only was around in that amped up manner for a 1/2". Floral notes have left, as well, but a nice molasses undertone remains from the matured honey remnants.

Sweet spices come back at the band point and all told, this La Aurora offering is a very nice way to celebrate an odd 107 year anniversary (2010 release) of the oldest Dominican Republican factory. Sour notes have long abated and as I reach for a toothpick and a bite of Hershey bar, I shall see ya gentlepersons in the following segments. All told, I'd end the profile rating with a very nice medium+.
NOTES
Very complex flavors which see many of their nuances morph. Leather, for instance, is on from start to finish, but differs throughout in intensity and flavor. As does chocolate. All is on the back of a primo tobacco. The La Aurora 107 is a quality blend, one which you can chuck in your smoke-hole and go about yer business, or sit and appreciate more mindfully. It goes as deep as you're willing. And at a very nice price point, I might add.

In the interest of full disclosure, this was the second of two offering I smoked. The first saw a bit of construction issue via unwrapping a spot or two and needing a relight at the start of 3/3. To be clear, this second one was spot on.

PAIRINGS
Coffee, taken however. Chocolate, taken however. An orange.

FINAL GRADE
****-A****
EPILOGUE
6:45ishpm
I'm editing and posting this review a bit later in the day than normal. I got to thinking over my morning smoke and coffee pot. I got to thinking about photographs of all things. Photographs and the passing of time. Every so often I feel the need to look through old family pictures; my dad as a kid, his dad, etc. The documented passing of time which anchors me to the present -- whenever that is.

I then thought I haven't added to my collection of photos in roughly a decade. Everything is in the cloud. All is digital. I'm no longer comfortable with that. I require tangible. Later today, I'll trek out toward the vague direction of a disposable camera. As a sort of family historian, shame on me for a decade of potential nothing on my watch. I'll too wear out my printer later.

Ah, the cigar! Buy you some from my good pals at Cigars City. La Aurora hits the nail on the head, with this 107.

Thanks, as always and forever, for your time.

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