W. Curtis Draper has been around for a bit of time and because of that they regularly enjoy celebrating its anniversaries with specially-commissioned cigars. Last year the Washington D.C. store went to La Aurora, who has helped them with many special anniversary cigars in the past, to create yet another special cigar.[ref]La Aurora was chosen again for the 127th anniversary this year with the Guillermo León Family Reserve Ambassador size and blend making up the La Aurora WCD 127.[/ref]

For the 126th anniversary though, they came up with a lancero, which was a new size in the Guillermo León line. Last year when I reviewed the cigar, the two samples I smoked seemed like they could potentially be a little over humidified and had a lot of burn issues.  Here’s what I originally had to say about the WCD 126th Aniversario:

There were great things about this cigar and there were bad things about this cigar. When the flavors were clean and bright, they were nothing short of amazing. The problem is with the frequent burn issues and the constant struggle between smoking too fast and the cigar going out, it caused those flavors to either get muddled or overpowered by harshness. Averaging out the pros and cons though, I can definitely say I enjoyed the cigar more than not. I think these need some time to settle down and maybe dry out a bit, but I’m very much looking forward to doing a redux. As for now, I can definitely suggest buying a few and trying them out for yourself.

Fortunately, I saved the third sample for a redux looking forward to seeing what a year of rest could do for the cigar.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Guillermo León by La Aurora W. Curtis Draper 126th Aniversario Lancero
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: E. León Jimenes Tabacalera
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Cameroon & Dominican Corojo
  • Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Peru & Nicaragua
  • Size: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $9 (Boxes of 10, $90)
  • Date Released: Sept. 6, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

Though the cigar is still soft and oily, it isn’t the same “silky smooth” that I described it as originally. It is also much more firm that I remember, with a little give but no soft spots to speak of. Leather, sweet tobacco and cedar come off the wrapper in a pleasant aroma. The cold draw is quite different from what I remember, with the dominant chocolate from before nearly nonexistent. Leather and tobacco are still there, though a roasted pepper note is dominating the profile this time.

Starting out the first third hot cinnamon, cocoa, leather and spice make up the profile, while the bitterness that started the cigar out previously was enjoyably absent. During the first third there isn’t much development, with the spice just staying a general note as opposed to the specific spices I got from it originally. As I move into the second third the specific nutmeg spice appears out of nowhere, a pleasant surprise that combined nicely with the cinnamon, cocoa and leather. As the cigar is performing significantly better than before, which is allowing the profile to shine without any bitterness so far. The final third doesn’t see much development, mostly sticking with cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg and leather. The nutmeg is much more subdued however, with the hot cinnamon taking the forefront giving it a bit of a kick. As we near the end it stays flavorful and avoids getting hot or harsh.

Guillermo Leon by La Aurora W Curtis Draper 126th Aniversario Lancero

Within an inch of lighting the WCD 126th before I was having burn issues. The burn is significantly better this time around, though there is a couple of minor touch ups in the first two thirds. I’m able to smoke the cigar much slower than I remember without it going out, so the slow pace and it not going out on me is providing an experience free of bitter harshness. The final third needs a couple more touch-ups as one side lags behind a little, though it doesn’t seem to affect the profile.

Disclosure: Miami Cigar & Co., the U.S. distributor for La Aurora, is an advertise on halfwheel.

89 Overall Score

When I first smoked this cigar, I could tell that there was a good foundation of flavors there, but the burn issues detracted too much from fully enjoying it. The year that it has had to rest has definitely fixed some of those issues, though there were still a few touch ups that needed to be made. The difference though was that those were minor enough that they didn’t really affect the flavors. Though the flavors have changed a little bit as well, the profile was still mostly there and was really able to shine without the burn getting in the way and deteriorating the profile.

Original Score (Oct. 2013)
86
Redux Score (Dec. 2014)
89

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.