Bite Size Review: La Aurora 100 Años
You simply can’t have a conversation about Dominican cigars without mentioning La Aurora. The eldest cigar maker in the Dominican Republic? A stalwart fixture at ProCigar? Millions of cigars produced per year? Did you know they make rum and coffee? The venerable cigar maker continues to reinvent itself and has been busy as of late promoting their much ballyhooed partnership with the NBA’s former “Mailman”, Karl Malone, in producing Malone’s new signature cigar, La Aurora Barrel Aged by Karl Malone. Know what NCAA Football’s champion LSU Tigers were smoking in the locker room? Hmmm.
At some point in every cigar makers tenure a cigar is cast to commemorate something, usually an anniversary or other important date, honoring family, etc. Well, besides being famous for their iconic double perfectos, Preferidos Tubos, La Aurora’s 117 year-old portfolio is piled high with cigars named in honor of important dates, milestones and anniversaries. Like other commemorative cigars, they tend to be produced in limited numbers making them very exclusive, but some, however, do manage to land into regular production.
One of those cigars is the 100 (Cien) Años, a Dominican puro sporting a 4-year-aged Corojo wrapper crafted to celebrate La Aurora’s Centennial anniversary in 2003. This inaugural run was designed to be limited in production, but after it was showered with praise and garnered a laundry list of critical accolades, including a 93 rating and 2004’s #2 Cigar of the Year from Cigar Aficionado, a yearly limited release was a no-brainer. But it did disappear after a few years only to be resurrected in 2012. In fact, several 100 Años special editions were created with tweaked blends and special packaging for several noted tobacconists.
The 100 Años maintains it’s limited yearly runs and sports a secondary band reflecting the production number (our’s is No. 061360). Our 2019-minted, nine-month-old robusto still shows residual oil which accentuates the Corojo wrapper’s marvelous marbled bronze patina. The feel is solid and uniform and it is finished with a nice cap. Not terribly aromatic, but 100 Años still entices with notes of leather and a floral essence from the Corojo leaf and coffee bean from the foot. The cold draw is mostly open, but could be better, and there’s a raisinesque piquancy on the palate.
Our 100 Años begins with a light, medium profile driven by a leathery core and nutty draw surrounded by delicious notes of cream and black pepper and a light woodiness. The distinct finish is lush, toasty and peanutty. As she settles in, a surprising mélange of marshmallow cream and spice appears on the retro. A nice savory, smoky quality develops late that complements the profile. Transitions feature more sweet, woody profiles balanced nicely with a light spice and notes of juniper, baked bread, coffee and dark chocolate. More medium-to-full bodied, the final leg is more robust and very smoky, but maintains good balance for the most part.
Clearly this blend still dazzles even after a 17 year run, which says a lot about its consistency (we have not smoked a cigar from the original release). Combustion is mostly even producing a fair 1” ash, but it’s an average smoke producer and the ash becomes a tad flaky late. It becomes a little dry late, but this blend is so satisfying you might not notice. The flavor palette is unique and well balanced and truthfully, offers something for everyone. As a bonus, try this with a 12 year-old Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban – as if it couldn’t get any better. Wow. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: Since the 100 Años first release in 2003, the cigar has been made in six total vitolas over the last 17 years, but is currently only available in three.
- Profile: Med – full
- Vitola: Robusto
- Length / Ring Gauge: 5.0″ x 50
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Dominican Corojo
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican
- Production: La Aurora Centennial
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $10.80 [Box $268.95]
- Humidor Age: 9 mo.
- Box: 25
- Other Vitolas: Churchill [7″x47], Belicoso [6 1/4″x47]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:25
Draw: Mostly open
Construction: Lightly oily; visible seams; veiny; Nice cap; good uniform firmness; marbled bronze patina; average smoke producer; holds 1″ ash; ash becomes very flaky.
- Wrapper – Floral, leather
- Foot – Leather, coffee bean
- Cold Draw – Raisins
- Initial: Nutty draw; notes of cream, light wood and black pepper on retro; leathery core; rich finish of toast and nuts; hint of spice with notes of marshmallow cream appearing late; develops roasted peanut quality to finish; medium body and strength; smoky character.
- Transition: Sweet, woody profile; savory character; dominant notes of charred oak on retro; finish remains woody and nutty; slight uptick in spice; crisp, juniper essence throughout; baked bread added as core element; coffee notes detected late.
- Transition: Robust core of black pepper; notes of dark chocolate and charred wood; smoky finish of nuts and espresso; draw predominantly woody.
Touch ups: N/A
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]