The La Aurora Preferidos Maduro Lancero up for review traces its roots back to a similar cigar made for W. Curtis Draper’s 123rd anniversary back in May 2010. That cigar caught the attention of David Mogilner, vice-president of Racine & Laramie in San Diego, who wanted to have some made for his store. According to Mogilner, he approached José Blanco, then vice-president of Sales for La Aurora about it but was turned down, only to have his persistence eventually rewarded with some similar cigars.
That first batch was created in April 2011 and delivered to the store shortly after, as you can see by the tag included in the box:
When Mogilner was close to depleting his supply and went to reorder it, he was told that the ingredients for that blend were lost, but that another cigar could be created to replicate it. He agreed, and took delivery of the cigar that is being reviewed here.
Those cigars were rolled in March 2012:
As you can see, there is quite a bit of difference between the two cigars, at least on the wrapper:
The boxes also changed, with the first batch coming in a box that signified them as a Maduro, while the second batch came packed in a box indicating they were Cameroon, even though the band clearly says Maduro:
A representative from Miami Cigar & Co., who handles distribution for La Aurora, said that the idea for this ‘new’ La Aurora Preferidos Maduro Lancero was born on Super Bowl Sunday this past February, when several Miami Cigar & Company employees were watching the game and smoking the Ruby Preferidos. Thinking that the blend would do well in a Lancero, a call was made to the factory and some were made. They tested well and a very limited batch were created, around 20 boxes of 50 cigars each.
When Mogilner was offered these cigars, he didn’t want to take delivery of all 20 boxes, instead offering to take 10 on the first order. Instead of the remaining ten boxes sitting in the La Aurora warehouse, they were made available to other retailers, one of whom was Burn’s Tobacconist in Chattanooga.
Mogilner tells me that the wrapper is a Brazilian Mata Fina maduro, which sits on top of a Cameroon binder and an unknown filler. This differs from the blend used in the Ruby Preferidos, which uses a Corojo binder, according to La Aurora’s website. So as you can see, we’ve got a bit of a mystery on our hands.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s light this stick up.
Cigar Reviewed: La Aurora Preferidos Maduro Lancero (2012)
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: E. León Jimenes Tabacalera
Wrapper: Brazilian Sun Grown Maduro
Size: 6 7/8 Inches
Ring Gauge: 40
MSRP: $11.00 (Boxes of 50, $550.00)
Date Released: March 30, 2012
Number of Cigars Released: 20 Boxes of 50 (1,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 4
The cigar is firm and toothy with a rough textured wrapper that is leather brown in color. The pre-light aroma is mossy, a bit woody, a bit floral and just the slightest bit sweet – a delicate balance of smells to pick out and separate. The cold draw is ideal, no restrictions but just the slightest bit of firmness, with an echo of the notes picked up through the nose coming through on the palate.
The first third of the La Aurora Preferido Maduro Lancero starts with a sweet, tangy, spicy blast in the first draws. As is often the case with Lanceros, the ash doesn’t hold on terribly well, falling off about 3/4 of an inch in and without prompting. Spice is minimal, and in one cigar, there’s a bit of sweet syrup that hits the palate and envelopes some of the other flavors – quite possibly a leaf that responded well to the Maduro process.
A mix of earth and a note equal parts coffee and chocolate starts off the second third, while the spice and pepper is still minimal. Leading notes of wood dominate what has evolved into a slightly earthy taste as the cigar shows its first significant flavor change. While the La Aurora Preferido Maduro Lancero is showing some flavor, it doesn’t have the depth or complexity of their other offerings, at least not at this point. Either the Maduro wrapper is cloaking everything else or it just might not be a terribly flavorful and complex cigar, for any of the reasons that a cigar loses its flavor.
The final third has more earth and wood notes but thankfully they aren’t overly dry, though a touch of sourness was picked up in one of the cigars. Pepper is still minimal if at all, but there seems to be just a bit of faint baking spices tucked away in the back. There’s a tanginess that stands out in a good way on very front of the palate and tip of the tongue that brings the cigar to its conclusion, as it is burns well down to the nub without getting overly hot or bitter.
- There are a lot of discrepancies in the details regarding the cigar.
- It looks like the bands for these were trimmed before being applied, as the last few letters of “Republica Dominicana” is clipped off.
- Speaking of bands, while it doesn’t get brought up enough, I do like the band on this cigar. The lion is the real eye catcher, but the color combination is distinctive and it seems to harken back to a time when the cigar world was, well, different.
- I can’t remember the last cigar I had that had this rough of a wrapper. This isn’t a bad thing, of course – purely an observation.
- Don’t bother entering a long ash contest with this cigar. You’ll be lucky getting the ash to hang on to the one-inch mark.
- Ash aside, technical performance was very good – the burn was good and the smoke was plentiful for the size.
- Charlie reviewed the La Aurora Preferidos Cameroon Lancero here.
- The cigars for this review were provided by David Mogilner of Racine & Laramie in San Diego.
- Final smoking time is one hour and 35 minutes.
- You can purchase the La Aurora Preferido Lancero from Racine & Laramie (619.291.7833) and Burns Tobacconist (423.855.5200) in Chattanooga, TN.
The Bottom Line: There are times when a cigar just doesn’t match up with my palate, which is what seems to be the case with this La Aurora Preferido Maduro Lancero. Even after smoking four cigars, I struggled to find something that would bring me back to this cigar, and I just couldn’t. As was mentioned earlier, there isn’t a shortage of flavors in this cigar, but rather a shortage of complexity. I’d be willing to try another one fresh out of the humidor, but only with tempered expectations.
Final Score: 83