Brand: La Aurora Barrel Aged
Ring Gauge: 43
Wrapper: Dominican Corojo
Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan
Origin: Dominican Republic
Price: Roughly $6.00
The Barrel Aged by La Aurora is a creation of one Jose Blanco. The Corojo Oscuro wrapper of this cigar is sealed within an oak barrel, which once contained Dominican rum. Wanting to try something different Jose first placed the wrapper leaves in barrels and allowed them to age for one year. Upon opening, the aroma was heavenly and the decision was made to let them rest once again.
There is some confusion on the total age on these cigars. Some sources say four years while other say five. In either case these leaves have undergone some serious aging and are ready to be smoked.
While the barrel aging process isn’t something new for La Aurora, from what I understand the 1495 and Cien Anos both utilize barrel aged tobaccos. The aging of the wrapper is uncharted territory for the company, but it seems to have developed a bit of a following.
The Barrel Aged comes packaged twenty-five to a box and is available in four sizes. A #4 (43 x 5.75), Belicoso (52 x 6.25), Churchill (50 x 7.50), and a Robusto (50 x 5.00). The MSRP appears to be in the $6.00 to $9.00 range at a local brick and mortar cigar shop.
After rummaging around in my cooler for a few minutes, I finally found the bag which contained the cigar of the evening. That cigar was my very last La Aurora Barrel Aged that I purchased from my local shop a few weeks ago.
Being about the sixth cigar I’ve smoked, I wanted to allow the cigar to acclimate to my preferred 65% RH before doing the review. All of my previous smokes were lit up right at the cigar shop where the RH is kept a bit higher to account for people entering and exiting the walk-in humidor.
Once everything was situated, I started to give my cigar a once over. The first thing to stand out is the bright red and orange band against the dark Corojo wrapper leaf. Upon closer inspection I noticed a few medium sized veins that protruded enough to make the cigar feel a bit rough. The wrapper had a slight gritty feel to it when handled and felt solid. When pinched the stick felt consistently packed with tobacco from head to foot.
After a bit of a sloppy cut on my part, I had the head opened up and ready to go. Before lighting, I checked the pre-light draw and found it to be a little firm for my liking, while exhibiting a mild sweet flavor on the cold draw.
After a slow but thorough toasting process, I had my La Aurora Barrel Age evenly lit and producing a satisfying amount of smoke. The draw was a little firm for my liking but produced a dense smoke which was easily passed through the sinus.
The body starts off in the medium range and leaves the feeling of a thin film on the palate and tongue. The finish is smooth and creamy and leaves the palate feeling washed with a thin syrup.
The primary flavor comes over the palate as a defined sweetness with lots of oak undertones. Being aged in an oak rum barrel, I expected to get some sort of rum reminiscent flavor in addition to the oak. So far, that flavor has not yet made an appearance. Once the palate is allowed to rest for a moment, I started to noticed a slow and steady spiciness that I thought was a nice touch to the flavor combination.
The burn line was a little wavy but fairly well behaved. Looking closer at the burn line, the wrapper was a little discolored from the heat of the foot and slightly blistered. The ash was tightly compacted and very light in color while holding on for about three-quarters of an inch before falling.
After forty minutes of smoking, I found myself into the second third of my La Aurora Barrel Aged. At this point the body was slowly progressing deeper into the medium range while the finish remained smooth and creamy. Each puff left me with the feeling of a thin, flavorful film on the tongue and palate.
The flavors didn’t make much of a transition throughout this portion of the cigar. I was still getting a definite sweetness with oak undertones. This flavor combination took center stage while a pleasant spice drifted in as the palate rested for a minute or so between puffs.
The draw seemed to be loosening up, ever so slightly, as I smoked deeper into the cigar. The new draw resistance was more pleasing than before and produced a little more smoke. This smoke remained dense and rich, just as before, and produced a pleasant room aroma. The burn line was slowly becoming more even while producing a light amount of resting smoke.
As I came close to the hour and a half mark, it was time to remove the band and finish up the final third of my cigar. As I progressed deeper into the cigar, the body did the same and slowly got closer to the medium to full range. The finish remained smooth and creamy with each puff.
In the flavor department, I wasn’t noticing a whole lot of change throughout the smoke. The focus remained on this oak and sweet combination that was a little much for my liking. I’m still a little surprised that I am not tasting more of a rum like flavor now that the cigar is getting short, unless of course the defined sweetness is a result of the residual rum within the oak barrels. After the palate is given a moment to rest, I am picking up a nice soft spice in the sinus that makes for a nice change of pace.
From time to time I began to pick up a nice Corojo flavor that seemed to jump in front of the sweetness and oak flavors, but just as suddenly as it came on, it quickly faded. I can only assume that the aging process within the oak barrel has dramatically changed what I would consider a traditional Corojo flavor. The sudden pop of flavor added a nice bit of character to the feel of the smoking experience.
When it was finally time to set my La Aurora Barrel Aged down, I was about ready for it. While I enjoyed the cigar and what it had to offer, the sweetness was a bit much for my liking. I would guess that this flavor is a direct result of the wrapper and that selecting a robusto, or something with a thicker ring gauge, will tone this sweetness down in the future.
While I can’t see myself smoking these multiple times throughout the week, I can most definitely see myself picking them up from time to time. I would absolutely love to give this cigar a shot while pairing it up with the rum that it was aged with. I can only imagine them complimenting one another very nicely.
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