During this year’s Procigar, La Aurora showed off a brand new line named ADN Dominicano, which translates into Dominican DNA from Spanish.

While the majority of La Aurora cigars are produced with tobacco that is grown using traditional techniques, the ADN Dominicano is quite different, as it incorporates andullo tobacco which refers to a unique way of processing the leaves. Instead of being harvested and placed in pilones—basically extremely large piles of tobacco that are rotated in and out as the leaves process—as is the case for most cigars, andullo tobacco is wrapped into large pods known as yaguas after being harvested. These pods are then rooted into the ground while the tobacco processes.

Blend-wise, the ADN Dominicano incorporates a Dominican wrapper sourced from the Cibao Valley, a Cameroon binder and four different filler tobaccos: Dominican from the Cibao Valley and Dominican andullo, Nicaraguan and Pennsylvania. Each of the four vitolas are packaged in 20-count boxes, and they are being rolled at the La Aurora Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic.

Although ADN Dominican was announced as a Dominican Republic exclusive release when it was shown off in February, La Aurora began shipping the cigars to the U.S. earlier this month.

There are four different vitolas of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano.

  • La Aurora ADN Dominicano Robusto (5 x 50) — $7.25 (Boxes of 20, $145)
  • La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro (5 3/4 x 54) — $8.25 (Boxes of 20, $165)
  • La Aurora ADN Dominicano Churchill (7 x 47) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170)
  • La Aurora ADN Dominicano Gran Toro (6 x 58) — $9.25 (Boxes of 20, $185)

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Aurora ADN Dominicano Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: La Aurora Cigar Factory
  • Wrapper: Dominican Republic (Cibao Valley)
  • Binder: Cameroon
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Pennsylvania & Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $7.25 (Boxes of 20, $145)
  • Release Date: February 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The La Aurora ADN Dominicano Robusto is quite striking in your hand with a smooth milk chocolate brown wrapper that literally glistens with oil. The cigar has a number of obvious veins present and I can feel a large soft spot right under the cap. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong manure, hay, dark chocolate, sawdust, hay, earth and roasted peanuts, while the cold draw brings flavors of strong creamy oak, barnyard, leather, hay, baker’s spices and milk chocolate sweetness.

Starting out, the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Robusto features a very obvious combination of dominant flavors, including creamy oak and espresso beans, followed by notes of gritty earth, citrus, dry tea leaves, roasted peanuts and baker’s spices. The milk chocolate sweetness from the cold draw is easily detectable on the retrohale, where it joins some nicely integrated white pepper that seems to be getting stronger as the first third continues. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a simple straight cut—giving me just the right amount of resistance—while the burn is quite good as well. The smoke production is above average, and although the strength level starts out fairly low, it ends the first third very close to the medium mark.

Both the white pepper and the milk chocolate sweetness notes on the retrohale start to diminish as the second third of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Robusto begins, while the dominant flavors shift a bit to more of a hay and earth combination. Other notes of leather, cocoa nibs, sawdust, cinnamon, dry tea leaves and a bit of floral flit in and out, and there is also the addition of a small amount of spice on my tongue. The draw continues to impress and the burn is giving me no major issues, while the smoke production coming off of the foot remains fairly high. Strength-wise, the ADN Dominicano does finally hit the medium mark any the end of the second third, but does not seem to be going any further anytime soon.

The final third of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Robusto is dominated by the same creamy oak and espresso bean flavors that were present in the first third, but unlike the first two thirds, the rich milk chocolate sweetness on the retrohale has disappeared almost totally, throwing off the balance of the entire profile a bit. There are sill some lesser flavors of leather, earth, almonds, grass and floral, but they are less distinct now, and don’t have near the same impact as before. The smoke production increases a bit and the the draw continues to give me great resistance, but the burn has become problematic enough that I have to touch it up a couple of times right at the end. Finally, the overall strength level ends up firmly in the medium range by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch to go.

Final Notes

  • La Aurora says it’s using a full leaf of andullo tobacco in the filler.
  • You can see a photograph of the pod that the andullo tobacco is processed in here.
  • The band on this release is quite distcintive, and reminds me a bit of Fratello’s bands.
  • Although both the burn and draw gave me no major issues, the ash on each one of the samples was extremely flaky, to the point that I did not smoke it over my computer for fear of getting a mound of ash on it.
  • Both the smell from the wrapper and cold draw are loaded with milk chocolate, and it is quite unusual to have both of those attributes match up so well.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were provided to halfwheel by Miami Cigar & Co. at the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
  • Miami Cigar & Co., La Aurora’s U.S. distributor, advertises on halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged a very quick one hour and 4 minutes.
88 Overall Score

I am a sucker for a cigar with a good back story, and the La Aurora ADN Dominicano delivers in that regard. The first third is excellent, with complexity, balance and well-integrated strength, but the profile starts to diminish noticeably after the halfway point. In fact, the milk chocolate sweetness is quite pervasive during the first third, and while it does become less distant rapidly after that—leading to noticeable drop in complexity, particularly in the final third—it is still present enough to identify. I am not sure you can tell specifically that andullo tobacco was used, but even with the issues in the final third, it is worth tracking down to try for yourself.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.