La Aurora Edición 1903 Preferidos Emerald Doble Figurado

No matter your cigar vitola preference, you have to admit one of the classic and most attractive shapes ever made is the perfecto or double perfecto. While the length and girth of the ring gauge can vary, the avant-garde shape features gently tapered ends giving the sleek figurado the appearance of a P-38 Lightning’s drop tank. One of the advantages of the tapered head is to allow the complex flavors of the cigar to better fuse on the palate while the tapered foot, sometimes “closed”, typically does not require “toasting” and can easily be lit with even a short match or cedar spill.

One iconic Dominican cigar maker opted to make its first cigars in the perfecto vitola when it opened its doors in 1903. Called preferidos (tr. “favorites”), Eduardo León Jimenes’ first perfecto cigars became local favorites in and around Santiago, the home of his new cigar venture, La Aurora. Fast forward 100 years to 2003 when La Aurora is now in the hands of Guillermo León Herbert, the third generation León, as the company celebrates its centennial by releasing the super-premium, 5-cigar Serie 1903 Preferidos. The limited production run consists of only 100 Preferidos per day.

La Aurora actually re-introduced the perfecto back in 1999 cloaked in a Cameroon wrapper which made the unheralded vitola quite popular. This led to the re-release of the Serie 1903 Preferidos in 2003, but in a 5-cigar line-up all donned in a unique wrapper and blend. To enhance the appeal of the cigars, each blend was packaged in metal perfecto-shaped tubos and designated with names of precious metals and gemstones like Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and Gold. The premium cigars garnered a lot of praise over the years becoming “favorites” of aficionados the world over. Two additional cigars would later join the line-up: Platinum and Double Barrel Aged.

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In 2016, La Aurora expanded the Preferidos line to include 3 traditional parejos – corona, robusto and toro- to whet the appetites of more traditional smokers, but we’re suckers for the perfecto and decided on the unique 5-country blend, Emerald (Ecuador). Our Sumatra-cloaked perfecto is stunning with an oily, mottled gingerbread hue while sporting a nice cap, minimal veins and a near seamless roll. Firm throughout its length, the oily wrapper bestows a sweet leather and floral bouquet while the small foot can only manage minimal hints of milk chocolate. The cold draw with 3/8” Dickman cut is somewhat restricted but still affords a burst of sweet raisins on the palate.

Encasing exotic leaves from Brazil and Peru, Emerald shimmers with a creamy leather core and notes of graham cracker on the draw. Intonations of wood, marshmallow and graham cracker on retro soon follow, capping things off with a satisfying finish of leather and sweet cedar. Hints of cocoa and nougat tease on retro while a light spice develops, and the palate is coated in a layer of coffee bean. Emerald settles into a woody foundation with a decadent essence of chocolate pudding. Woodier transitions offer nutty draws and additional treats as complexity continues with retro notes of cocoa, oak and pecan along with finishes of spicy coffee bean and pinewood.

The mostly medium-bodied cigar maintains a ridiculously smooth demeanor and it’s complexity is decadent at times. Although an odd hemp-like aroma developed, it thankfully abated quickly. Initially, keeping the small foot lit was an oversight and I let it go out, but after relighting combustion was nothing less than superb. The draw improved and this small cigar produced big smoke and a nice 1” ash. I wondered if the perfecto would live up to its near $20 asking price, but it delivers in spades. Wrapping up the review I simply said, “gonna have to get some more of these l’il darlins.”  – In Fumo Pax!

Recommendation: Boxworthy

Did you KnowCigar sales from La Aurora’s are only a small part of its business where the clear majority of its revenues are derived from banking, cigarettes and beer.

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  • Profile: Med-Full
  • Vitola: Doble Figurado Tubo
  • Length / Ring: 5.0″ x 54
  • Purchased: Online
  • Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Sun Grown Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Dominican
  • Filler: Dominican, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru
  • Production: La Aurora S.A.
  • Blade: Xikar Xi1
  • Fire: Colibri Firebird
  • Price:$18.90 [Box $151.20]
  • Humidor Age: 15 mo.
  • Box: 8
  • Other Vitolas: (Non Tubo) Robusto [5″x50], Corona [5.5″x42], Toro [5.75″x54]


Smoke Time: 1:05
: Partially open (3/8″ Dickman cut)
Construction: Beautifully rolled double perfecto; oily; rich, marbled gingerbread coloring; minimal veins; semi-seamless; firm throughout; great smoke producer; holds strong 1″ ash.

  • WrapperLeather, floral
  • Foot – Milk chocolate
  • Cold Draw – Sweet raisins

Tasting Notes:

  • Initial: Creamy, leather core; graham cracker draw; notes of graham cracker, marshmallow and wood on retro; finish of leather and sweet cedar; light spice on tongue; hints of cocoa and nougat on retro; coffee bean essence on palate; spicy persona; temporary notes of hemp on draw – weird; settles into savory, woody profile.
  • Transition: Cedar foundation with notes of chocolate pudding on palate; notes of cocoa, pecan and oak on retro; spicy coffee bean finish; maintains spice level; becomes more wood-dominant overall; still medium bodied.
  • Transition: Peanuts on draw; dominant cacao and coffee notes on retro; more body; finish of dark roast coffee; major increase in spice; earthy and hint’s pinewood on finish;

Complexity: Excellent
Balance: Excellent
Touch ups2
Combustion: Very good
Weaknesses: Weak roll causing wrapper not to burn with binder and filler
Recommendation: Boxworthy

Recommendation scale:

  1. Go-to
  2. Boxworthy
  3. 5 packer
  4. Yard ‘gar
  5. NR [No Recommendation]

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