First of all, allow me to apologize for dropping the ball last week and not having any content to post. I was up in Maine with very spotty Internet access and didn’t plan ahead. A big “thank you” goes to Jerry who covered for me, and also to Walt who didn’t fire me. I also fudged-up this week when I didn’t have this post ready in time for my normal Tuesday slot, due to back-to-back brutal days at work as soon as I returned from vacation. That, plus prepping for IPCPR, led to this review slipping until today and resulted in a written format rather than my standard video. I’ve been informed by my wonderful colleagues that my punishment will be administered this coming weekend in Orlando.
Also, yes, I am trying to set the record for longest post title in Stogie Review history.
What I have for you this week is the limited edition release of the La Aurora 100 Años celebrating the 125th Anniversary of W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist. These cigars were launched by Guillermo León himself at Drapers back in April. This version of the 100 Años was rolled back with the original release, so we’re talking about some fairly well-aged tobacco here. Naturally, I picked up a box before they were sold out, which Guillermo was kind enough to autograph.
La Aurora 100 Años W. Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary by the numbers:
Wrapper: Dominican Corojo
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Corojo & Piloto Cubano
Factory: E. León Jimenes Tabacalera in Santiago, Dominican Republic
No. smoked for review: 5
Duration: 60 minutes
Source: purchased by the reviewer
Looking over the cigars before lighting up, the wrapper was a milk chocolate brown with medium-sized veins and virtually no visible seams. From the wrapper, I picked up a whiff of chocolate and cedar, while the foot presented coffee, chocolate, and earth. The cold draw tended to be a bit on the snug side, with a faint medley of dark flavors.
The first third tended to be the most enjoyable for me, flavor-wise. I noted a wide variety of interesting, if subtle, flavors blended together. These included graham cracker, cinnamon cookie, cereal & milk, wood, leather, and bread.
In the second third, the flavors mellowed out even further, with wood coming to the forefront along with a Dominican twang. The burn was decent across all of the cigars, with a reasonably straight (if sometimes thick) burn line. Smoke production was very good and the draw presented few problems. The ash was consistently solid, but very inconsistent in color between sticks, as I saw the full range from very white to very dark.
Flavors ramped back up slightly in the final third, but not quite reaching the level of the first. The woodsiness was greeted by leather, some creamy caramel, and a hint of baking spice. It was easy to smoke these all down to nubs, and no touch-ups or relights were ever required.
Overall, I can easily say this was a good cigar, although the flavor profile isn’t exactly my cup of tea. It’s milder than I’d like, and the flavors were more subtle & nuanced, while I prefer big & bold. For me, the best time to smoke the La Aurora 100 Años W. Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary was as my first cigar of the day, in the morning with a cup of coffee. Perhaps all the aging and resting these cigars had seen served to smooth them out to the point that they’re just not in my wheelhouse. And to be fair, it’s rare that I find a Dominican puro that makes me say “Wow!”
In honor of this being my 50th post for the Stogie Review, I’ve decided to celebrate by giving away some cigars to our loyal readers. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us what’s your favorite cigar that we haven’t yet reviewed. I’ll select one entry at random to receive a two-pack of the La Aurora 100 Años W. Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary plus a third mystery cigar of my choosing. Contest ends August 16, 2012; residents of the US & Canada only; must be 19 or older. Brian Hewitt, his employees, associates, and immediate family members are not eligible to win. Good luck!