Several weeks ago I was sitting in Sir Stogies, shooting the breeze. A variety of topics were discussed, one of which was potentially holding another blind tasting. My first blind tasting held at this shop turned out well and all in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves, so I grabbed my phone and looked for an available date.
Around the end of February, I headed down to the shop to setup for the tasting. We wound up with fifteen participants (which worked out well since all I had were fifteen cigars to hand out). The information below is the result of that blind tasting. Video footage has been edited down to about twenty-five minutes and is available at the bottom of the review.
A couple of hours before the blind tasting was scheduled to get under way, I spent some time removing the bands from each cigar. This is typically a time consuming process because I don’t want to tear any of the wrappers while removing bands. Fortunately, I was able to remove all bands without damaging a single cigar.
Having the cigars in my hands for an extended period of time, I had the opportunity to get a good look at them and found them to be rather rough. While there were no defects that would affect smoking, there was not a single cigar in the batch that I would have called pristine. To my surprise, no one in our group felt the same way. Every worksheet remarked that the cigars were oily and attractive. One sheet went as far as to say the cigar was “scrumptious looking”.
The Sir Stogies crew also noted that the cigars were firmly packed with tobacco and exhibited small veins. When clipped, all cigars produced a comfortable draw with a variety of cold flavors. Those cold flavors included sweet spice, butter, earth, pepper, and coffee.
Once lit, all cigars produced a good volume of dense smoke. This steady supply of smoke continued throughout the cigar. Cigars burned well with the exception of a select group of people. Judging by the worksheets and the video, it would seem that the people which had the most difficulty were those seated below the smoke eater. Considering the smoke eater was cranked up to keep pace with fifteen burning cigars, I am not totally surprised that there was a slight problem and wouldn’t fault the cigar under these circumstances.
The worksheets point out that cigars remained firm and cool until below where the band would typically be located. Beyond this point, experiences varied based on the individual smoker. Ashes were light in color and held firm for roughly an inch.
The flavor portions of these blind tastings are always the most interesting. For the most part, everyone notes the same core flavors but secondary flavors and aftertastes vary greatly. Because taste is a very subject thing, this is the type of thing that I like to see on the tasting worksheets.
As I expected, practically every sheet noted this cigar as being medium to full bodied with notables flavors that included pepper and coffee. Secondary flavors included licorice, sweet, toast, and chocolate. The finish was described as smooth, with the exception of two individuals. These two people found the smoke to be a bit harsh on the palate and tongue.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to get the feeling that you were there based on the video (problems I aim to correct in the next blind tasting). Having been there and able to walk around and talk to everyone, I got the impression that the La Aurora 1495 – Brazil was well received. Many put it in the $5.00 to $7.00 price range and commented that they would certainly purchase them if available.
In a group of big ring smokers, I wasn’t surprised to hear people remark that they would love to smoke this cigar in a larger format. When asked if it would perform well in a smaller size, people felt that it might be too peppery but something larger would be right up their alley.
A special thanks to Sir Stogies and everyone that participated:
- Keith B.
- Tim M.
- Matt M.
- Bud W.
- Andy R.
- Bob T.
- David G.
- Brian K.
- Mike H.
- Debi G.
- Matt C.
- Jim J.
- Kyle M.
- and the person that forgot to put their name on the worksheet
15 thoughts on “La Aurora 1495 – Brazil (Blind Tasting)”
Don’t know why but I can no longer view your videos on my iphone?
Is it just this video that you are having trouble with all videos across the site? If the problem is just with this video, give it another try on your iPhone. When I posted this review, it was right after the video was uploaded. There may have been a delay in converting it for mobile devices when you tried watching.
That was a pretty good cigar.
I enjoyed it alot, Thanks.
Thanks for participating, I’m glad you enjoyed the cigar.
Hey Walt thanks for the response. Going back, I can’t seem to watch this video, your previous video and Mike’s last video. But I was apply to view Jerry’s last video review. Did you guys do something different this time?
I can see potentially having a problem with Mike’s video, but my and Jerry’s workflow is very similar. We are both producing videos on a Mac with the same file format. The only difference is that Jerry may be doing conversions himself while I am relying on our video host to do them automatically.
Thanks for the info, I’ll try and take a look into what the problem might be.
I’ve had the same problem with videos not working via cellphone. I am using a droid. Turning my phone off and on again clears it up for me. I think somthing to do with the cache on the phones gets filled during a browsing session.
When it comes to the Droid platform, it looks like it has a lot to do with the model phone. I have a Droid X and never have a problem playing videos, but sometimes I can’t expand the video to full screen and have to watch it in a small format.
Other Droid users, with different phones, have had varying success playing videos.
Great concept ! I’m sure the owner is very appreciative as well. SRFF / Manufacturer / B&M – win / win / win situation.
iPhone 4 – Mobile RSS / Safari – didn’t play. Skyfire did play.
In reference to the quality of the video, I hard a hard time understanding at the beginning and after ventilation was increased, I couldn’t hear anything. Perhaps wireless mic in the future ?
Keep up the good work.
I think next time I’m going to try to keep the number of participants smaller and perhaps use a couple of different microphones on a mini-mixer. For this recording I was using a Shotgun mic, which as you pointed out, was overwhelmed with noise.
I just erased my cookies and rebooted my iphone as suggested. Still getting no love on the the video end of things. Perhaps I need to get that skyfire app?
On the iPad – the video preview doesn’t show up but if I click on the ‘right click-save as’ link, it brings up the video but it’s black and I can only get audio.
I think I may have found the problem (hidden in plain sight)
Note from Video Host:
I’m liking these blind tastings, and I like the summaries you provided. Recommend adding more direct quotes from the participants.
There were some good quotes. I’ll keep that in mind for the next tasting (which I’d like to setup for next month)
I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment.