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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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Eugenio Polanco invites to know how a good cigar is made

The La Aurora Factory Tour guide, Eugenio Polanco, invites cigar lovers to come to visit the factory to learn all about the processes related to the manufacture of a good cigar. “We show from the beginning to the end everything that has to do with a good cigar,” he says in this video in which he is excited to belong to the great family of La Aurora.

“When people speak to me about La Aurora, my eyes light up. This has been the job of a lifetime, allowing me to provide for my family and give us a great lifestyle”, explains proudly Eugenio Polanco.

“To the cigar enthusiasts in the US, I’d like to recommend to you a way to learn more of the process, come and take the seminar here at the Cigar Institute at La Aurora, where we show you everything about cigars from beginning to end”, he underlines.

“You really have to come to the factory to see everything that’s involved in producing a world class cigar”, Polanco concludes.

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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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La Aurora 1903 Edition Preferidos, colorful perfection

Perfection is often insurmountable. Therefore, when reached in the world of cigars, the only thing missing is decorating them and protecting them in a colorful tube. This is the case of La Aurora 1903 Edition Preferidos Doble Figurado Tubo, also called Perfectos. These seven cigars are manufactured in the same way within the centennial tradition of the company since 1903.

And why they are so extraordinary? Because they are made with the best selection of leaves, which spend only four years in curing and maturation, and an additional year aging in barrels of rum. But the dedication given to these cigars does not end there—once rolled, they remain six to eight months at rest.

And the best of all is that there is a choice of seven cigars made with this love and care, all with different blends, to please all types of smokers. To beautify the quality of these Preferidos cigars, they are presented in tubes of assorted colors and are named after different minerals of those same colors.

Let’s see the strengths of each of these “gems”:

  • Black Diamond: in an elegant black tube, this cigar has a wrapper of Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco from the United States, a binder of tobacco from Valle del Cibao (Dominican Republic) and a filler of tobaccos from Valle del Cibao and Nicaragua.
  • Emerald: protected in an emerald green tube, this cigar is made of tobaccos from Valle del Cibao, Brazil, Nicaragua and Peru in the filler, held within a binder of tobacco from Valle del Cibao and enclosed in a wrapper of Sumatra-seed tobacco cultivated in Ecuador.
  • Sapphire: as the name suggests, it’s distributed in a metallic sapphire blue tube. It holds tobaccos from Valle del Cibao, Brazil and Cameroon in the filler; from Valle del Cibao in the binder and Connecticut cultivated in Ecuador in the wrapper.
  • Platinum: this cigar presented in a platinum tube is made of a wrapper of Cameroon tobacco cultivated in Ecuador, a binder of tobacco from Valle del Cibao and a filler of tobaccos from Valle del Cibao, Brazil and Cameroon (Africa).
  • Gold: its golden tube holds a cigar whose wrapper is made of Corojo tobacco cultivated in Valle del Cibao, a binder of tobacco from Valle del Cibao and a filler made of tobaccos from Valle del Cibao, Brazil and Cameroon (Africa).
  • Ruby: this cigar held in a ruby-red tube is made of a wrapper of Arapiraca-seed tobacco cultivated in Brazil, a binder of tobacco from Valle del Cibao and a filler of tobaccos from Valle del Cibao, Brazil and Cameroon (Africa).
  • Double Barrel Aged: this is the last, but not the least important. It’s perfect for pairing with a drink, especially whisky, but also with rum, among other drinks. Its filler is made of tobaccos from Valle del Cibao and Nicaragua, held by a binder of tobacco from Valle del Cibao and enclosed in a wrapper of Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco from the United States.

The average strength of this family of seven cigars is 9, except for the Emerald, which is 7, and the Diamond, which is 8.5. They are all 5” long with a ring gauge of 54, so they must be smoked with time and in peace. That being said, rush is their worst enemy, since it doesn’t allow for tasting them and appreciating all of their splendor. So, relax and enjoy…

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La Aurora Original Blends, also in honor of its wrappers

To celebrate its 113thbirthday, La Aurora created three blends that are both new and, as the name suggests, original: La Aurora Original Blends cigars. Specifically, there are three types of cigar dedicated to the years in which their corresponding mixtures came into use and also to highlight the wrappers that surround them: La Aurora Cameroon 1903, La Aurora Corojo 1962 and La Aurora Connecticut 1987.

The best way to make a wise choice is to have a detailed knowledge of each of these cigar’s features and smoke:

Cameroon 1903

This a medium body cigar that offers a pleasant flavor to the smoke, where we can highlight the sweetness of its spicy cinnamon notes, together with a touch of cocoa and other wooden and red citrus fruit notes, which endure throughout the smoke.

La Aurora Cameroon is named after the African country where the tobacco used in its colorful and glossy wrapper was cultivated. More precisely, in the east side of the country, right where the deepest jungle of the continent beings. Today, this cigar’s wrapper is still a seed from Cameroon, but it’s cultivated in Ecuador.

To that Cameroon wrapper, we add a binder from Ecuador and a filler with a mix of tobaccos from Valle del Cibao (Dominican Republic) and Nicaragua, which results in a well-balanced classical blend that provides an aromatic smoke. It also has a wide variety of formats and ring gauges:

  • Churchill Aluminum Tube: 7” long and ring gauge 47
  • Churchill: 7” long and ring gauge 47
  • Cetros: 6 ½” long and ring gauge 42
  • Cetros Crystal Tube: 6 ½” long and ring gauge 42
  • Belicoso: 6 ¼” long and ring gauge 52
  • Gran Toro: 6” long and ring gauge 58
  • Toro: 5 ¾” long and ring gauge 54
  • Corona: 5” long and ring gauge 38
  • Robusto: 5” long and ring gauge 50
  • Robusto Aluminium Tube: 5” long and ring gauge 50
  • Sublime Aluminium Tube: 5” long and ring gauge 39

Corojo 1962

In this case, that combination of tobaccos from Valle del Cibao (Dominican Republic) and Nicaragua, which form the filler of the cigar, and tobacco from Ecuador in the binder, is complemented by a wrapper of Dominican Corojo seed tobacco. What does the wrapper bring to this line? New shades and perceptions that make its smoke very distinct, while preserving good flavor and aroma.

Thanks to all the components in its blend, this cigar is elegant and creamy due to its notes of roasted coffee, but also features a touch of spice interspersed with notes of flowers and leather, always over a basis of wood and nuts. In addition, it provides average to strong honey sensations throughout the smoke.

In this line, La Aurora offers six models:

  • Churchill: 7” long and ring gauge 47
  • Cetros: 6 ½” long and ring gauge 42
  • Gran Toro: 6” long and ring gauge 58
  • Toro: 5 ¾” long and ring gauge 54
  • Robusto: 5” long and ring gauge 50

Connecticut 1987

Finally, La Aurora 1987 has a Connecticut wrapper, cultivated in the shade, on a Dominican tobacco binder and a Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco filler. All this makes for a well-rounded cigar in the mouth, also with wooden notes, which appear at the start of the smoke, as well as a touch of very creamy coffee and notes of nuts. Its touches of red citrus fruits that cover this excellent smoke cannot be neglected either.

  • Churchill: 7” long and ring gauge 47
  • Cetros: 6 ⅜” long and ring gauge 41
  • Gran Toro: 6” long and ring gauge 58
  • Toro: 5 ¾” long and ring gauge 54
  • Robusto: 5” long and ring gauge 50

 

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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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