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Category Archives: La Aurora Cigars

E. León Jimenes Rum, a perfect partner for cigars

It’s the fifth anniversary of La Aurora Rum. The company wanted to celebrate its 110th anniversary by releasing, in 2013, a product other than cigars, but also very characteristic of the Dominican Republic: rum. And so, the E. León Jimenes 110 Anniversary Rum was born.

It is a unique super premium distillate that has a very limited annual production. The E. León Jimenes Rum is a blend of different reserve rums, with an extra aging in Sherry wine barrels, which gives it a touch of sweetness. It is a product that can only be purchased at La Aurora store.

This dark Amber-colored rum is the perfect complement for La Aurora cigars, since it brings out many of their flavors. “The rum strengthens notes like caramel, bitter coffee, chocolate and ripe fruit. It also highlights leathery notes,” explains the master blender of La Aurora, Manuel Inoa.

This is a rum that goes well with all cigars because it was made to complement tobacco. However, Manuel Inoa specially suggests to drink it with the following cigars:

Family Reserve (Fernando León and Guillermo León)
La Aurora ADN Dominicano
La Aurora 107 (regular and Maduro)
La Aurora Edición 1903 Preferidos (Black Diamond, Emerald, Sapphire, Platinum, Gold, Ruby and Double Barrel Aged)
León Jimenes (Connecticut, Doble Maduro and Prestige)
Puro Vintage

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La Aurora 107 cosecha 2006, an “epic” cigar

Our cigar La Aurora 107 Cosecha 2006 Corona Gorda Especial was granted second place in the “2017 Cigar of the Year Countdown” prize, last January, by Cigar Coop. We have been awarded the plaque that acknowledges the prize during the last edition of the United States International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) convention.

“Over the years, La Aurora has been established as one of the iconic factories in the world. This factory has manufactured many excellent cigars. There have also been times when we manufacture an epic cigar… I feel very comfortable in saying that La Aurora 107 Cosecha 2006 Corona Gorda Especial is in the epic category”, wrote William Cooper—founder of the daily Internet magazine on the cigar world, Cigar Coop—in recognition of our cigar.

Our limited-edition cigar, released at the end of 2016, has an Equatorial HVA wrapper, Brazilian binder and a filler made from a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The cigars were produced in three sizes, in boxes of ten units and production was of a thousand boxes per size. According to Cigar Coop, what really shined was the 6×47 Corona Gorda Especial.

As this publication points out, La Aurora 107 Cosecha 2006 Corona Gorda Especial offers notes of fruit, cream, earth, natural tobacco, wood and a touch of black pepper. With this cigar, it’s the third time La Aurora is awarded a “Cigar of the Year Countdown” prize. The last time it was thanks to La Aurora Cien Años Edición Especial, which won first place as cigar of the year of 2013.

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More details about La Aurora Puro Vintage 2007

The La Aurora Puro Vintage cigars are limited editions of exceptional quality that the company began to launch from 2003. The last to see the light has been La Aurora Puro Vintage 2007, a cigar made with cigars from the same year of harvest, 2007, considered as exceptional.

With a Dominican wrapper, a binder from Ecuador and a mixture of Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan tobaccos in the filer, it has extra time of aging, which gives it maximum expression and flavor. In this animation, you can learn more details about La Aurora Puro Vintage 2007.

La Aurora presents La Aurora Puro Vintage 2007

Since 2003, La Aurora is used to launch limited editions of exceptional quality where the wrapper, binder and filler tobaccos come from the same year of harvest. Considered as exceptional by the experts of La Aurora, the tobaccos are submitted to a process of extra aging in order to achieve their maximum expression of its organoleptic characteristics. 

La Aurora Puro Vintage 2007 will be presented at the next the Annual International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR). 

The tobacco used in the production of La Aurora Puro Vintage 2007 come from the 2007 harvest and have been scrupulously selected in order to ensure maximum quality. 

Presented in Salomon format (6 “1/2 X50), the production of La Aurora Puro Vintage 2007 is limited to 6,000 boxes worldwide. The Limited edition box of La Aurora Puro Vintage 2007 has trays of cedar that contains 10 cigars composed of a Dominican wrapper and a binder from Ecuador while the filler is a mixture of tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Nicaragua. 

The main characteristic of this new cigar is its complexity in perfect balance with a high strength and strong wood, leather and nuts notes with rich sweet nuances of wild honeys, all in perfect combination with the elegance of the bitter taste of cocoa and notes of tropical fruits. 

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La Aurora launches La Aurora Hors d’Age 2017 Limited Edition

La Aurora, S.A. launches Hors d’Age, a new Limited Edition of an extra-aged cigar, which will be presented at the next the Annual International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR). 

The main characteristic of this new Super Premium cigar is that La Aurora has invested 12 years from sowing the seed until the cigar is finished. All the tobacco used in the manufacture of this cigar has been harvested in 2006, the ageing to which this product is subjected is twice the usual of the most premium lines of La Aurora and the production is limited to 6,000 boxes for all the world. 

For the production of La Aurora Hors d’Age, a wrapper and a binder from Ecuador have been used, while the filler is composed of a mixture of tobacco from Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. 

Its unique blend offers incredible creaminess and aroma. It is a well-balanced cigar with a start unique to a cigar with extra years of aging, in which spicy notes of black pepper predominate, which give way to more complex and delicate flavors. The presence of wood is evident throughout the smoke but is enriched with nuances of cinnamon, nuts and even citrus. With touches of roasted coffee, its finish is powerful and creamy, at the height of a demanding smoke. 

The box of the Limited Edition of La Aurora Hors d’Age contains 15 cigars, format Toro (6×54).

 

To commemorate this launch, La Aurora has also produced an extremely limited amount of humidifiers with a humidification system called Cigar Spa. The lid has been made with Spanish olive root and cedar wood has been used for the interior trays. The metallic finishes are pink gold. 

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Words of thanks from Guillermo León

The president of La Aurora Cigars, Guillermo León, thanks consumers for his appreciation for the cigars that the company produces and shows his satisfaction for being in charge of the company that his grandfather founded in 1903.

For my family and I, it’s very important to continue the legacy that my grandfather established when La Aurora was founded in 1903“, says Guillermo León in this video.

“Thank you so much to all of you who support us in enjoying our products that we produce with enthusiasm and love. Thank you from my heart and continue supporting us”, he concludes.

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Keys to detect the notes in a cigar

When smoking a cigar, we can detect through our mouth four basic flavors—sweet, salty, acid and bitter—which leaves out the last flavor discovered, the umami. On the other hand, smell can identify up to 10,000 notes, according to our Master Blender, Manuel Inoa. “We must learn how to use our nose with the cigars. This is the only way to determine which cigar pleases us,” he says.

In this regard, Inoa points out that the notes in a cigar evoke memories of the past. “Notes are feelings from the past, things that bring us memories,” says Manuel Inoa.

Specifically, he explains that through our smell, we can detect notes:

  • Earthy: dry ground, wet ground.
  • Herbal: freshly cut green grass, dry hay, mint, basil, oregano, eucalyptus.
  • Fiery: white and black peppercorn, red peppers, chilies.
  • Spicy: nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, paprika, curry, ginger and anise.
  • Sugary: caramel, molasses and brown sugar.

Let’s listen to a few words of advice from the master in one of his classes:

The cigar evolves with the smoke

In any case, the cigar—in order to be a good one—must change gradually, evoking distinct notes throughout the smoke. “To be good, a cigar must be dynamic,” underlines the Master Blender of La Aurora. “A cigar that always tells us the same things is a dull cigar. That doesn’t make you happy,” he says. And he adds that cigars never develop their notes at the beginning, middle or end—the notes gradually change. “The best is always last,” he claims.

We you start smoking, there are a few key aspects that will allow you to detect the notes and aromas of the cigar, which are:

  • Cutting the cigar at the cap using a cigar cutter that cuts it precisely and evenly. Inoa doesn’t recommend other types of cuts, like the V-shaped cut and the punch cut, because he believes these don’t allow us to perceive the aromas. “To perceive a cigar’s notes, the air must flow freely,” Manuel Inoa advises.
  • When lighting it, the Master Blender doesn’t recommend gasoline lighters because the smell of fuel penetrates the cigar and changes its own notes. However, he points out that there are different ways of lighting a cigar that allow for enriching it. “There are those who love wooden notes. For them, the market offers cedar spills that are lit, and then used to light the cigar in order to impregnate it with these wooden notes,” he adds.
  • It’s important not to light the cigar before cutting it. “The flame heat remains inside it. We must let the cigar breathe, evolve. Many people try it cold, because there are notes that give you an idea of what that cigar has to say,” Manuel Inoa tells us.
  • The cigar can be enjoyed accompanied by a drink that enhances its notes, like rum, whisky, wine or even beer. “They serve as vehicles to enhance flavors,” says the Master Blender of La Aurora.
  • It’s important to realize that the cigar wrapper plays an important role in the smoke. “Its presence will be greater or smaller depending on the filler’s intensity,” Inoa explains.
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What factors influence a cigar?

In order to appreciate the notes and qualities of a cigar, it’s important to know the factors that influence the features of the tobaccos that compose it. The Master Blender of La Aurora, Manuel Inoa, speaks of eight basic factors that influence the making of a quality cigar, with plenty of body and flavor.

According to Manuel Inoa, they are as follows:

  • The land: the nutrients contained in the land offer distinct features, different aromas and varied flavors to tobacco. “Cuban, Dominican and Nicaraguan land are not the same”, he says.
  • The variety of seeds: depending on the seed, there will be different sensations in the mouth and distinct emotions when smoking. “There will be very strong seeds, like the Cuban seeds, including Piloto Cubano, San Vicente, Criollo 98; and there will be very aromatic seeds, like the ones from the Dominican Republic”, he details.
  • The climate: it is a relevant factor, since the tobacco is only planted in the soil in the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Nicaragua in November, December and January because of the sunlight. If there’s plenty of sunlight, the tobacco will be very thick, i.e., it will have lots of flavor, a lot of good properties, but it won’t burn well. If there’s a lot of rain, the tobacco will come out very thin, which is very good for combustion, but lacks flavor. “Climate is very important. Tobacco plants need the perfect amount of sun and rain”, says Inoa.

  • The leaf level: depending on the position of the leaf in the plant, the flavor will be more or less intense. From the bottom upwards, we have the volado, seco, visoand ligeroleaf levels, with ligero(light) providing the strongest leaves, and seco(dry) the weakest. “Leaves from voladolevel are used for the picadura(short filler) and to be infused with artificial flavors to make flavored cigars (the flavored Príncipe cigars)”, Inoa explains. On the other hand, dry level leaves have a lot of wooden and earthy notes. In the visolevel, combustion is much better, and notes like nuts and tropical fruits stand out; while in the ligerolevel, there is much more strength, and darker and bitter notes, with flavors like chocolate, coffee or honey.
  • The curing: it is the process undergone by leaves when they go from green to yellow and then brown. If it’s not done well, there will be problems in the smoke.
  • The fermentation: on average, lasts between 1 year to 1,5 years, or even as much as two years. According to Inoa, on this stage “there’s a lot going on”, so, if anything fails, the smoke will fail to.
  • The aging: lasts a minimum of two years if you want to use the tobacco quickly, but La Aurora takes its time and dedicates tobacco four to five years of aging in bales. Then, the tobacco is kept for another year in oak barrels, which provide notes of molasses or caramel, for example, and also of smoked wood, since these barrels are burned inside for their prior use in rum manufacture.
  • The harvester: is of great importance. Depending on how he handles the land, we can have a problem four years later. For example, if plants are affected by fungi, worms or pests, if you make a mistake when applying antifungal treatments or pest prevention mechanisms, there will be metallic flavors in the smoke. “There are many bad flavors that can, in part, be blamed on the harvester”, he concludes.
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Meet the great family of La Aurora Cigars

The manufacture of cigars would not be possible without the love and effort devoted to them by the members of La Aurora Cigars. To show our gratitude to lovers of cigars, part of the team expresses in this video what it means to be part of this great family:

Guillermo León, President of La Aurora Cigars: “My name is Guillermo León and I am the president of La Aurora. I’ve been in this position since 1996. I feel very fortunate to have found a job where I get to enjoy so much what I do. For me, to work here at La Aurora is more like a hobby. I always make a joke where I say that I’m retired or that I’ve been retired my whole life, because I feel like I’m doing a hobby”.

Manuel Inoa, Master Blender de La Aurora: “La Aurora Cigars are the best in the world because they give you moments of pleasure, moments of enjoyment. Los blends that La Aurora produce are exclusive blends to fully satisfy each and every cigar smoker in the world.

Eugenio Polanco, La Aurora Factory Tour Guide: “My favorite part of my job is to enjoy cigars. Here, daily I have the privilege of being able to enjoy the prestigious brands that we have made here since 1903. When someone enjoys one of these cigars, it is to enjoy the native tradition of the Dominican Republic, pure Dominican pride”.

Wascar Aracena, Brand Ambassador of La Aurora: “I’m very proud of what La Aurora has become, with the passion that we all make our products, and the dedication and delivery that we do throughout the entire day to give our consumers a high quality product”.

Carlos Peña, Warehouse Supervisor: “The best part of my job and my favorite department is shipping. I’ve been working in this position the longest and I like it the best because of its dynamics nature and I get to interact with different people all over the world”.

Willman Hernández, Quality Control Manager: “My wife worked here in the factory for 16 years. I have to thank La Aurora for believing in my abilities 6 years ago and making me part of their workforce, giving me opportunities of growth and development and for new strategic planning that today shows very good results. For that I have to thank the Leon Familiy very much”.

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From the plant to the cigar: processes of the tobacco leaf

Like all good products, tobacco leaves also take a long time since the plant is harvested until they become a cigar. The fresh, green and moist leaf collected from the fields in which the tobacco plants are grown must go through a series of processes to acquire the color, texture and moisture required for a cigar, as well as the aromas and flavors felt in the smoke.

Harvesting a tobacco plant takes about a month, from making the first cut to harvesting the last leaf. According to the Brand Ambassador of La Aurora, Wascar Aracena, the farmer gradually picks the lower level leaves from the plant, until the top level is reached, depending on the climate.

These are the steps a tobacco leaf undergoes from the moment the plant is harvested until it ends up in a cigar:

  • Curing: when the tobacco is collected in the field, it is taken to a farm, where it will be joined in bundles or “hands”, tied with different colored strings to identify the cut corresponding to the leaf level for the curing process.The curing takes about 40 to 50 days, depending on the tobacco variety. Three factors come into play: moisture, temperature and air velocity. Considering these factors, the bundles or “hands” are constantly moved so that the air aids in the curing.When the leaves are taken to the curing farm, they contain 80% to 85% water. This moisture is important to start the curing process, since it has an important role in the color changing process of leaves, from green to yellow. In the second step of the process, the yellow color turns into brown, and the last step of the curing process is completely physical: it’s when the tissue and the main veins of the leaves are dried. Finally, the dried tobacco is subjected intermittently to moisture and drying in order to make the colors in the leaf tissue uniform.

  • Pre-fermentation aging (raw tobacco):once the tobacco arrives the processors’ warehouses, it is sorted according to its texture, size, and dehydration. It is then subject to the first pre-fermentation aging process (minimum three months) before being destemmed. During this aging process, tobacco acquires the necessary consistency to withstand the humidity to which it will be subjected during the fermentation process.
  • Fermentation: it’s an intense and controlled process with a minimum duration of one year, in which the heat produces significant changes in the chemical composition of the leaves. The tobacco starches are converted into sugars and ammoniacal nitrogen is released, making the tobacco leaf smokable. “The more complete the fermentation, the more balanced the smoke will be”, says the Brand Ambassador of La Aurora.The bundles are undone and placed on piles, sorted by well-identified leaf levels, one leaf placed against each other. The fermentation process is completely natural. The combination of the moisture in the leaves and the pressure (density) of a leaf on top of another in the piles generates heat, which causes the bacteria responsible for fermentation to reproduce. This first process lasts about six weeks before the leaves are destemmed. Tobacco can be fermented 2, 3 and 4 times.
  • Destemming of the filler: in the tobacco leaves used in the filler, stems are cut at two thirds from the head of the leaf towards the ends; while in the case of the binder, stems are cut from the leaf removing completely the main vein. In both cases, they are sorted (selected and separated) by texture, by damage level, and classified according to size: big, medium and small.
  • Aging: normally, the leaves are placed in bales for two to five years. “The better the aging technique, the more flavor and aroma the tobacco will develop”, notes Aracena.

Since a cigar has three types of tobaccos (filler, binder and wrapper), each is handled with different moisture levels: the filler has 16/17 percent moisture; the binder 16/17 percent; and the wrapper 18/20 percent. The goal of the aging process is the homogenization of moistures, which will still be noticeable once the cigar is lit and burning: the tobacco burns irregularly, with the wrapper burning more slowly.

La Aurora is the only manufacturer with a double aging process in Super Premium lines (rum barrels). The making process of a Preferido cigar takes, on average, nine years with two aging processes. The second aging process is made in oak barrels, that previously contained rum, which gives a distinctive touch to La Aurora products: well accentuated notes of wood and toasted notes from the barrel. The last aging process occurs when the cigar is made.

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