La Aurora 120th Anniversary
Dominican Republic Cigar Review

Cigar Review: La Aurora 120th Anniversary Robusto

Born in 1903, the La Aurora 120th Anniversary celebrates the birth of the first Dominic Republic cigar factory. For La Aurora it has been a roller coaster of a ride.

For me the cigar factory was first on my radar at the first cigar blog I ran called when I was invited down to the Dominican Republic for a factory tour. I went down with a lot of cigar smokers who were bloggers and legends. Not many of us blog still but the group consisted of Patrick from (not updated since 2002), Jerry Cruz (retired) from (not updated since 2023), Ben Lee who now part of the team. Bob from Cigar Radio (defunct) and a few others that escape me. I would return for a second group which included the likes of Doc from Stogie Fresh, Brian Hewitt from Stogie Guys and Tom Ufer from Tampa Cigar Examiner (defunct), Mario from Cigar Explorer (defunct), Charlie Minato from and David Jones from to name a few.

The company was in a state of flux back then with Guillermo Leon taking control of the company when his siblings were considering selling it, refusing to give up on his family legacy. Through the power of social media La Aurora saw their sales grow and the brand recognition growing due to the release and media campaign of the La Aurora 107. However, the company began to give back the growth. Jose Blanco, the greatest brand ambassador in the history of cigars left the company. They hired a Spaniard to oversee the company who didn’t understand cigar bloggers or the American market and he slowly began to push the company away from those relationships. Plus they had a person handling sales who whored out the cigars to mail order companies for pennies on the dollar allowing them to be sold at a deep discount alienating the cigar retailer. It was a perfect storm that wound up hurting La Aurora.

After decades with Miami Cigar & Company providing a sales staff, La Aurora would end that agreement but remain close with the Miranda family where they still make Tatiana cigars for Miami Cigar & Company. La Aurora would hire their own sales team, open their own warehouse and take control of their destiny. But the damage was done, especially with the company selling direct to consumers on their own website.

Today, La Aurora hopes to reclaim that growth and I for one hope Guillermo Leon returns to the limelight and traveling in support of the brand. To know Guillermo Leon is to fall in love with La Aurora. The company has instead relied on master blender, Manuel Inoa who is a gem in the cigar industry but I would love to see Guillermo back in the road.

Their most recent release at the time of this review came in 2023 with the La Aurora 120th Anniversary and today we share our review..

Cigar Review: La Aurora 120th Anniversary
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Dominican Republic (Habano ’92)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Fillers: Dominican Republic (Corojo, Olor, Piloto Cubano)
Factory: La Aurora Cigar Factory
Release Date: Sep 2023
Box Count: 20

The Cigar: A gorgeous presentation, the La Aurora 120 Anniversary has a white, black and copper motif. There is a cedar sheath that covers the cigar from the band down and a small foot band denotes Anniversary Edition. Once the cedar sheath is removed a dark wrapper with some noticeable veins and oils is present. Like many La Aurora cigars, the foot is slightly under-filled and the cigar as a result feels a tad light in the hand.

The Notes: The cold draw of the La Aurora 120th Anniversary reminds me of a sugar cookie. It’s wonderfully sweet with a touch of cookie dough. There is a subtle spice on the lips and the aroma from the foot takes me back to the La Aurora factory which its wonderful tobacco aromas and a touch of cinnamon. Once the cigar is firmly toasted and lit the initial note is a wonderful caramel.

Smoking our way into the first third the caramel pulls back rather quickly as the cigar takes on notes of cedar and earth. As we continue deeper into the cigar notes of peanuts, caramel and cocoa are sprinkled over the cedar and earth. Medium in perceived strength and full of flavor the first third is round out with a subtle saltiness on the retrohale.

The second third sees the notes of peanuts become font and center as earth slides into the background. There is some cedar present as well as some nutmeg and chocolate. As the second third comes to a close some licorice components begin to emerge that are intensified on the retrohale which also has a subtle saltiness and a growing black pepper.

The final third sees the introduction of a subtle honey note with continued peanuts. The earth note has disappeared instead replaced by an ever so subtle leather with continued chocolate, licorice and nutmeg. The cigar which was medium in perceived strength now comes off on the northern side of mild or southern side of medium if you prefer. The retrohale sees the addition of some coffee notes with added cedar and a touch of salt.

Conclusion: La Aurora has always has thicker wrappers on their cigars and as a result the burn can be a little wonky. That is the case with the La Aurora 120th Anniversary as noted in the picture above. However, I am not one who is a slave to his lighter and never touched up the cigar and it never got out of hand past what is shown. The other issue I have is the loose draw which seems to be by design for almost everything the company produces. I feel this cigar could have easily been rolled down to a 48 ring gauge and as a result it probably would have performed a lot better.

With that said and done, this Dominican puro has a nice depth of flavors that smokes a little too fast. Before you know it the experience is over and I am a notoriously slow smoker. There is a lot of good things happening with this offering from the first cigar factory of the Dominican Republic. But there is also some issues that can be solved with better construction mainly a thinner wrapper and tighter roll. These issues prevent this cigar from being epic.

Score: 92
Price: $14.00 (Before any local or state taxes)

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