Brand: La Aurora
Facing: Preferidos Maduro
Blender: Jose Blanco
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Filler: Brazil, Dominican, Cameroon
Origin: Dominican Republic
The La Aurora Preferidos Maduro is a cigar that is not new to the market. This offering has been around for some time now in attractive aluminum tubes. At the 2009 IPCPR Trade Show we were fortunate enough to spend a little time with Jose Blanco of La Aurora. While speaking with Jose, we learned that the newest addition to the Preferidos Maduro line was a Robusto vitola.
This new facing comes packaged in boxes of twenty-five and carries an MSRP of $10.00 per single (plus applicable state taxes). The wrapper is a Brazilian sungrown maduro from Santiago de los Caballeros. This wrapper is aged in barrels to give it a unique flavor.
Having brought this sample back with me from New Orleans, I wasn’t sure what to expect. While most of my cigars traveled without issue, there were a couple that didn’t tolerate the conditions too well. To my surprise, the La Aurora Preferidos Maduro looked good with no cracks, chips, or damage from potentially rough travel in my carry-on.
The only visually negative aspect came in the form of a medium sized vein. While the vein didn’t protrude much from the wrapper leaf, it had a lighter color and stood out against the chocolate brown base color. The seam running down the length of the cigar (created by the three wraps of the wrapper leaf) was nice and straight.
When pinched, I was unable to find any soft or hard spots, although the cigar felt a little soft overall. The aroma on both the wrapper and exposed foot were mild and presented the smell of compost / mulch. The pre light draw was pleasant with a slight bit of resistance.
After a quick toasting and lighting session, I had my La Aurora Preferidos Maduro evenly lit and producing a satisfying amount of smoke. The very first puff produced a soft texture across the palate and immediately had me salivating heavily.
The body throughout the first third was fairly laid back and fell into the low end of the medium spectrum. The finish was soft and creamy while laying on the palate for, what felt like, a relatively long time before fading. After the finish finally faded, I was left with a clean feeling on the tongue and walls of the mouth.
In the flavor department, I don’t think this stick is loaded with a variety of flavors. The initial rush was just a rich Dominican tobacco taste with the slightest bit of black pepper. As the initial flavor subsided I noticed a bit of cedar. Through the sinuses there was a mild aggressiveness about the smoke that, rather than add an unpleasantness, seemed to accent the soft finish nicely.
The burn line is thin and slightly uneven while producing a fairly dark gray ash. The ash was tightly compacted and very neat. In terms of strength, the ash was about average and held on for about an inch before a gentle tap removed it from the foot of the cigar.
After about forty minutes, I reached the second third of my La Aurora Preferidos Maduro. After taking a puff and reaching across the table to place my cigar in the ashtray, something caught the corner of my eye. Closer inspection lead me to discover a bit of tar building up on the clipped end of my cigar. A quick re-clip removed the buildup and prevented it from resurfacing later in the second third.
The body picked up a bit and was now what I would consider a solid medium. The texture of the smoke remained soft and continued to make me salivate heavily. The finish remained easy on the palate and continued to linger for a while before fading.
The flavors of this cigar did not change up from the first to the second third, but they did seem to get richer and more complex. The slight aggressiveness through the sinuses was a little more apparent but still did a nice job of accenting the soft finish. Any more, however, and I think it would become a bit unbalanced.
After about an hour and a half, it was about time to consider laying my La Aurora Preferidos Maduro down to rest. The soft overall feel was becoming more apparent as the cigar grew shorter and resulted in the stick getting warm on the fingers. This same warm feeling transferred through the smoke and onto the tongue. A slower rate of smoking seemed to help but did not resolve the heat issue completely.
Throughout this portion of the cigar, the body picked up slightly and finished off towards the upper end of the medium spectrum. It delivered a soft and creamy smoke that lingered on the palate for an extended period of time before fading to a clean feel.
When the smoke was passed through the sinuses, I felt a bit more aggressiveness that now made the cigar feel a little out of balance. Earlier this mild aggressiveness accented the soft finish and medium body nicely, making for a pleasant pairing. The flavors remained the same in terms of definitive flavors, although they seemed to grow richer and more complex along the way.
The burn line was thin and a slightly uneven for most of the smoke. The ash produced was dark in color on the outside, and light on the inside (when looking at the filler in section). The strength of the ash was about average for this size and shape, while holding on for about an inch before falling off. The draw was pleasant with a slight bit of resistance.
This particular cigar was my third La Aurora Preferidos Maduro Robusto. My first was smoked in New Orleans followed up by a second one when I returned home, paired with a cup of coffee. While this sample was a solid cigar, I enjoyed the first two much, much more. Especially the second sample, it, paired with a cup of coffee, was absolutely fantastic.
Even thought this one wasn’t quite up to speed with the others, I still found it to be a nice smoke. The interesting thing about all of the cigars I smoked was that none of them seemed to have that commanding Maduro flavor to them. The core was simply a rich Dominican tobacco flavor that remained consistent throughout.
While these are a few dollars more than I typically spend on a robusto, I’ll definitely make sure to have a couple on hand to enjoy with coffee earlier in the day.