La Aurora 115th Anniversary Limited Edition Gran Toro
One of the benefits of living in south Texas is you get to endure crippling heat and humidity from June through September. This year, triple digit temps trickled into October, but we were finally – finally – afforded some relief with a recent nip in the air. Ahhh – changing leaves, warming up around the fire pit and the annual return of pumpkin spice lattes. What better way to welcome Fall – well, sort of – than with a special, limited edition cigar from the Dominican icon, La Aurora.
La Aurora officially celebrated its 115th anniversary late last year (1903 – 2018) and to commemorate the occasion crafted both a regular production, referred to simply as 115, and Limited Edition (LE) line of special blends. The 4-vitola 115, featuring a blend that includes a Sumatra wrapper cloaking a Brazilian binder and 3-country filler, was due to begin shipping this summer. The 2-vitola LE began shipping in March and our cigar was purchased shortly thereafter.
Blend details of the LE have been a little confusing between release info and what is on La Aurora’s official website, particularly regarding whether the wrapper is Dominican or Ecuadorian. Also, based on the info available we can reasonably assert that some reports stating the LE is a puro are false. The LE is offered in 2 vitolas: a Belicoso that is packaged in boxes of 15 and the Gran Toro which is packed in ornate jars of 30. Boxes of the Belicoso will be limited to 3000 and jars of the Gran Toro, 800.
Our hefty Gran Toro is a beautiful mottled shade of cocoa brown with an oily sheen on its bumpy skin. The LE’s seams are visible and it shows a lot of tooth. The wrapper provides only subtle hints of whats to come with only a muted fragrance of leather while a whiff of the foot reveals graham cracker and dark chocolate notes. The cold draw with a punch on this 58 RG baby provides a very open inhale accompanied by a dash of spiced raisin on the tongue.
The LE’s initial profile is anchored in a leather core accompanied by a light, airy medley of cream, raw almond and toast. The hints of sweet funnel cake on the draw are mesmerizing as is the crisp, clean finish of roasted coffee bean. The texture is silky smooth and there is a noticeable cherry essence on the draw. The flavor wheel is still spinning as the LE introduces some creamy caramel and honey notes late. Transitions pinball from a tasty, toasty dominance to an oaky core with complexity waning in the final stages. Balance is never out of kilter, but I was expecting a bit more in the final stage from a limited edition cigar.
Combustion is gangbusters, but an irregular char became too annoying thus necessitating a couple of corrections. This cigar likes to be smoked, so pay attention. I think the price is a bit on the high side, but I would still opt for a box of Belicosos as it is a sublime and thoroughly scrumptious cigar that is indeed special and a proper tribute to a storied brand. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: La Aurora Cigars are distributed by Nestor Miranda’s Miami Cigar & Co.
- Profile: Medium-Full
- Vitola: Gran Toro
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″ X 58
- Purchased: Online
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
- Binder: Dominican (Cibao Valley)
- Filler: Dominican, Brazilian
- Blade: Xikar Punch
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $17.75
- Humidor Age: 4 mo.
- Box: (Jar) 30
- Other Vitolas: Belicoso [6.25″x52]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:35
Draw: Very Open
Construction: Hefty; visible seams; oily; bumpy; toothy; several veins; mottled cocoa brown sheen; holds strong 1″ ash; very good smoke production.
- Wrapper – Muted leather
- Foot – Hints of graham cracker, dark chocolate
- Cold Draw – Spiced raisin
- Initial: Leather nucleus surrounded by cream, toast and raw almond notes; clean finish of roasted coffee bean; hints of funnel cake; light cherry essence on draw; creamy caramel with hints of honey on retro; adds wood notes
- Transition: Toasty core with residual leather notes; adds dark cherry notes; more woody; rich baked finish of oats and coffee; hints of baking spice.
- Transition: Spicy, oaky core; notes of hay with hints of milk chocolate.
Touch ups: 2
Combustion: Excellent; becomes irregular late
Weaknesses: Complexity wanes late
- Boxworthy / Go-to
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]