The La Aurora Untamed is a new release from the oldest cigar maker in the Dominican Republic, and is a departure from the norm in a few ways. As it’s name suggests, the Untamed is a strong cigar. It’s got a dark, rustic Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper surrounding Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The packaging is also a departure from the traditional and classy presentation of the rest of the La Aurora line, with a noticeably agitated lion’s head roaring in front of what appear to be bloody scratch marks in black, red and foil. It’s a striking band that some consider tacky, but I rather enjoy it. The cigar is made for my palate. I’ve had a very long history with La Aurora, going back nearly 20 years to my very first box purchase, and my experience has run the gamut from not caring for certain cigars at all, to absolutely adoring certain blends. This Untamed, at least in the robusto size (I’ll certainly try more sizes), is a contender for my overall favorite, at least in the normally affordable range. I can’t count the Preferidos or the Puro Vintage lines, as they are special, either because they taste great, or because of events surrounding them that evoke pleasing memories (I’ve smoked Puro Vintage 2003s whenever granddaughters were born, I only can only have two more granddaughters…). The Untamed is strong, bold, and loaded with rich, sweet, earthy cocoa and espresso flavors that I love. I seriously dig this smoke, box worthy in my early opinion. Thank you to Jason at Miami Cigar and Co., and Gabriel Piñeres for providing these samples.
Taking a nearly 180° turn from the unapologetic, in-your-face nature of the La Aurora, Friday I decided to wrap up the week with a La Palina Black Label robusto that had been in the humidor for a while. In it’s uncellophaned state, I felt it was time to spare it any further risk of wear and tear and smoke it up. This has a Brazilian maduro wrapper, another wrapper I really like, and is more refined and delicate in flavor, sophisticated, perhaps. This cigar is made in the Dominican Republic also (PDR factory? Working from memory, not always a good thing for me to do), and has Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf in both the double binder and the filler. I really enjoyed this perfect smoking cigar for it’s complexity, it kept me guessing as opposed to having a bold flavor throughout, and was entertaining to smoke.
Wrapping up a string of Dominican maduros, yesterday I took a long afternoon walk with the Recluse Draconian Sidewinder #3 from Iconic Leaf. This one has an Ecuador maduro wrapper, I’m guessing Habano. The cigar is a formidable 7″ x 57, and is their proprietary Sidewinder shape which is a round/box press hybrid with a head reminiscent of a blunted woodworking tool one might use to make mortise joints, or square off a hole, or perhaps recess a hinge. What’s great about this cigar is it’s self cutting, a gentle squeeze pops the cap, which you peel away and it looks like you have it a cut with a brand new guillotine cutter. This cigar fell somewhere between the La Aurora and La Palina cigars in terms of strength and complexity. It was solidly in the medium bodied range, with nice dark coffee flavors and great construction. I’ve been a fan of these guys from the beginning, they are innovative and make exceptional cigars. This one was a good 2 hour smoke, and the head of the cigar was much more comfortable in the mouth than a 57 ring cigar “in the round”. this particular example had been in my humidor since the 2013 IPCPR show. Interesting to note, I took a walk that was about two and a quarter miles, and when I got home I had about four inches left that I was able to enjoy in the porch. Seven inch cigars are a commitment.
I came across this article at Barron’s website today: Nanny Doesn’t Like Cigars which is well worth the read. There are a couple points that I think are off the mark though. I don’t think the Nannies want to do away with smoking because of the health issues, I’d say it costs more to keep people alive longer than it does to have them die early from smoking related disease. Consider people living for one third of their lives on social security, medicare, etc., has to be more expensive than “treating” tobacco related diseases. Also, I think they are more concerned with seeing people doing something enjoyable, if it were just nicotine that is bad, I have no problem banning tomatoes and eggplant, both of which contain nicotine. I don’t like them, they must be banned. Sounds ridiculous, right? But it’s the same thing. The government should worry about more important things than trying to put people out of business and regulate what we do with our free time. Down with the pleasure police! Everything in moderation, raise your children to know the difference between right and wrong, and join Cigar Rights of America!
Off of my soapbox and on with my Sunday. I may have to visit a shop for a smoke today as it’s cold, the wind has had it’s way with the plastic on the back porch…and it’s cold…Until the next time,